Top 10 Parenting Tips
1. Listen to your children
Good communication is the best anecdote for sexual assault.
2. Have a “No Secret” policy
Help children understand the difference between secrets and surprises, and that kisses and touches should never have to be kept a secret.
3. Don’t use passwords or code words
Even though it might seem like a good idea to have a family password or code word, they can be very unsafe for children! Predators know about passwords, too, and often use them to trick children.
4. Set sleepover safety plans ahead of time
Always give you child an out! Don’t force your child to “stick it out.” Have a plan in place that allows your child to call you for help as soon as they feel uncomfortable.
5. Participate in your child’s activities
Do not just drop them off and leave. Be the parent sitting on the sidelines at practice and games!
6. Have a private parts discussion
Your child should know the correct names for his or her private parts. If you child asks for help with a problem, using anything other than the correct anatomical terms could be confusing to an adult who could help them if they are feeling unsafe.
7. Have a new babysitter discussion in front of the babysitter
Always make a point to have the following discussion in front of your child and the babysitter before leaving a new babysitter alone with your children for the first time: “I know you will do great tonight and follow our family rules. If anything happens while I am gone that makes you feel sad, confused or unsafe, we will talk about it first thing when I get home tonight.”
8. Practice public restroom safety
Minimize the risks whenever possible. If you can’t go in the restroom with your child, send them in with another child or stand in the doorway until they come out, maintaining verbal contact.
9. Maintain a CAP vibe
Perpetrators can tell if a child has been educated and if parents are paying attention. Re-address and reinforce skills by role playing and practicing with your children on a regular basis.
10. Reinforce CAP strategies often
Practice helps build skills and confidence!