About a year ago, Informing Families Building Trust sent out a survey to families, asking what they would most like to know. The results of that survey, along with direction from the IFBT advisory committee, showed a significant need for information about a difficult topic to talk about: sexual development and (along with that) abuse prevention.
The concerns were many:
- What do I say to my child about his/her changing body?
- How do I keep my child safe, but also allow him/her to have a life that’s as typical as possible?
- How do I know if s/he has been harmed or is in harm’s way?
- Is there such a thing as too early to start talking to my child?
- What are age appropriate words to use?
The answer is simple, but not easy: Educate. Educate. Educate.
Theresa Fears, MSW, of The Arc of Spokane’s Partnership 4 Safety program, met with the IFBT advisory committee and agreed to help shed some light on this very challenging topic. She has contributed informational one-pagers (bulletins) available for download on the IFBT website, called Healthy Relationships.
Healthy Relationships is positive approach to body/boundary awareness and relationship education—teaching healthy relationships, rather than focusing solely on abuse. You can find the first two bulletins for download here.
IFBT wants to hear from you. Please let us know what you think about this and other topics. What are the issues you most want to learn about?