Letter: Teaching children about safety can help protect them from predators

February 15, 2013 

Parents and guardians play an important role in the prevention of sexual abuse. Teaching the following skills can help keep them safe.

Teaching kids about assertiveness and personal space helps them stand up for themselves and tell you when they feel uncomfortable. Assisting your children in learning respect can raise your child's self-esteem and confidence.

Learning empathy and problem-solving skills can help when children and their friends face difficult situations. Developing open communication with your children makes you a safe person to go to when they need help.

It's important to include body safety conversations in all of your safety talks. Make sure your children are aware that any adult or other child could make them feel uncomfortable. Practice "what if" statements to give them different scenarios. Also, let them know that if something like that happens, it's never their fault and they're not to blame.

The Support, Advocacy & Resource Center (SARC) provides many educational programs for preschool, elementary, middle school, high school and adults in Benton and Franklin counties. If you are interested in learning more, please call 374-5391.

DENISE M. MARTIN, Kennewick

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