1 Apr 2021

Protecting Children From Sexual Abuse| When You Are A Stay At Home Parent.

Children are very innocent and highly vulnerable to abuse. The child feels the best in the company of their parents. After long and tiring school hours spent away from home, all I wanted was my loving mother's warm hug, this is what I remember from my childhood. This applies to all the children especially the very young ones. Children don't remember the brand of clothes and toys their parents gave them but the hugs and kisses and the warmth of love they received in these early days. Sometimes kids ask for expensive toys or other things we can't afford but this should not shake our decision. There is no limit to the expensive toys and even if you earn more money and buy those for them then they will surely not stop asking for more. So as I already said, there is no limit. Instead of feeling guilty about being a housewife and not earning extra income to fulfill our kid's luxury demands, we must teach them the difference between "needs" and "wants". Also, we must make our kids aware of things like "budget" and "limits". Teaching these values will not only help you deal with their demands in a positive way but will also help them handle finances wisely in long run.

Once you are firm in your decision of being a "happy stay at home parent" then we need to focus on some other points that we need to be careful regarding the safety of our kids:-

  1. In case of emergency if you ever have to leave your child for long hours then leave her with someone you highly trust and talk to your child about this in advance to get any potential feedback about that person. Prefer to leave her with a mature female, preferably a close neighbor.
  2. Try not to leave your child overnight with a family in which there are members(especially males because according to various researches and studies it has been established that men want sex more than women. Men are hornier than women and therefore vulnerability is more with males as compared to females) who are not well known to you. Even if they are family or relatives. Take some pain and decide the best possible and safest place.
  3. Strictly tell kids to play in an open place near your house where you and neighbors can have an eye on them and tell them to inform you if they want to visit a friend or change in their place of play.
  4. Strictly tell them to not go to anybody's house without informing you. 
  5. Children should be habitual of informing you whenever they leave the house even if they are going to an immediate neighbor.
  6. While visiting a friend or relative's house for a vacation take special care of your kid. One of the parents must be accompanying the kid always and if the kid is playing with a friend keep an eye from distance.
  7. Never force your kid to go out, hug, kiss, sit in a lap, sleep, or stay alone with a male relative or friend. There must be full consent of the child and she should be very happy while doing so. To be on the safer side do not let your child spend any alone time with male adults or teenagers.
  8. Even if your child is a baby and everyone is tempted to take her in their arms, still all of the above rules apply to her. If you are worried that you offend them then you can use some excuses like, "doctor has told me to keep her away from everyone as there is a chance of infection" and if the child is a little older you can say that "she doesn't likes strangers" or "she doesn't like males", or "she wants to sleep, feed, etc" etc. 

Some extra tips in general:-

  • Provide love, care, and trust to your kids, and the output will be a happy and confident kid who would love you and trust you
  • Encourage outdoor games with rules they need to follow for their safety.
  • Tell your kids that they can trust you in every situation and tell them you will believe them always.
  • Teach your kids to speak the truth and be generous and kind to everyone.
  • Do not lie to your kids.
  • Build a strong relationship with your partner. Kids with parents who fight, find difficulty in believing that their parents are capable of protecting them and they do not open up easily.
  • Try to avoid separation or divorce from the partner in any case. This is how you provide emotional protection to your kid and then he grows into an emotionally and psychologically strong kid who is well capable of handling people and situations in his life in the long run.
  • Sort out family matters for the emotional well-being of your children. A depressed, anxious, sad, timid child is easy prey to abusers and manipulators.
  • Do not conceive if you and your partner don't get along with each other. Become parents only when you are ready.
  • If you are too career conscious and career(money and luxury) comes on the top of your list of priorities, don't conceive. Wait, till the kids and their care becomes your top priority. No need to hurry.
  • Look at your kid's face every day, there is so much written over there, you just need to read and you will find what he is going through.
  • Every murderer, rapist, and other types of criminals serving their punishment in jail are someone's father, brother, cousin, uncle, grandfather, etc. Criminals/molesters/rapists don't grow on trees nor they fall from the sky. This doesn't mean that everyone is a criminal, but anyone can be a criminal. Do not trust a relative or family member with your child. Believe your child first, then others when you have to choose between the two.
  • Beware of a person(especially male) who is too fond of your child and is going an extra mile to impress her or putting a lot of effort to win your trust. This could be a sign of pedophilia(sexual or romantic attraction towards kids). A pedophile can be a molester/rapist too in some cases. Reports suggest that the molesters groom the victims and their parents before committing the crime. Watch his behavior toward your child if he touches and caresses your child a lot this is a red flag. Males generally don't find kids interesting for a long period and easily get bored. 
  • Teach your child about "good touch" and "bad touch" from a very early age and tell them that they have full authority over their body.
  • Let your kids play in dust, sun, and water sometimes to strengthen their immune system. Let them jump and run Let them live freely and enjoy their childhood.
  • Do not over-pressurize to excel in academics. Encourage to do well but do not focus much on marks and ranking
  • Believe in their talents and limitations and praise them for their good qualities and achievements. 
  • Their safety and overall health(physical and mental)should be more important than their achievements and social image. 

Last but not the least, let your child develop a loving relationship and service attitude towards God. A strong relationship with God provides strength and immunity from material miseries and the person also develops strong moral values and ethics hence making his own life and other lives better around him.

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