Safe Touch

The Hot Chocolate Talk

One of the most powerful ways to protect kids from sexual abuse is talking to your child about personal safety. The Committee for Children call this conversation a "Hot Chocolate Talk" because they encourage you to "get cozy" and comfortable.

"A mug of hot chocolate or another treat might help create a cozy atmosphere. Remember, kids will follow your lead. Approach the subject of personal safety matter-of-factly, just as you would any other safety topic."

To read their entire guide and download a copy for yourself, click here.

Miles is the Boss of His Body

by Samantha Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller

In this story, it's Miles' birthday and throughout the day, he is uncomfortable with how people are touching his body - his grandpa pinches his cheek too hard, his dad gives him a noogie, his mom hugs him too tight. Use this book to read with your child and ask questions along the way.

"Look at Miles' face and body for clues - how is he feeling?"

"Is he feeling comfortable or uncomfortable?"

"What should Miles' do or say?"

At the end of the book, Miles finds his assertive voice and reminds his family (and the readers) that he is the boss of his body and he gets to decide who touches him and how.

Teaching Assertiveness

Conscious Discipline: Teaching Children to Use Their Big Voice

To read the full article, click here for English and click here for Spanish

COACHING CHILDREN

Conscious Discipline’s approach to tattling starts with empowering the child to reflect on the question, “Did you like it?”

When a child comes to you with their upset, it’s important to be present with them and listen for their “voice.” Is it passive, aggressive or assertive?

Once you’ve identified the child’s “voice,” it’s time to coach them to find their Big Voice. Let’s practice now!

The child comes to you and says, “Sophie took my toy.”

You say, “Did you like it?”

The child says, “No!” (Remember to assess the child’s voice when they answer.)

You: “Tell Sophie, I don’t like it when you take my toy.” (If the child’s voice sounds passive or aggressive, you may tell them, “Match your voice to mine.”)

Child: “Sophie, I don’t like it when you take my toy.”

And here is where we often don’t get the child over the finish line. This is where we mess it up and leave the child with the upset. It’s also where we fail to send the other child a message about what to do instead.

Instead, let’s take the extra steps to get these children over the finish line!

FINAL STRETCH: GETTING CHILDREN OVER THE FINISH LINE

It’s imperative that we coach the child in explaining how they want to be treated by their friend. They tend to get stuck in, “I don’t want her to take my toy,” or, “I don’t want him to push me.”

Here’s your language:

“So, you want your friend to ask for a turn” or, “So, you want your friend to say, Move over.”

Here, you can also ask the friend:

“Are you willing to ask for a turn?” or, “Are you willing to say, Move over?”

Big Life Journal: 5 Steps for Raising Assertive Kids

If you want to raise strong and confident kids, teaching assertiveness is key. Assertive children know how to stand up for themselves (and others) without being hurtful or mean. They can say “no,” communicate clearly, and maintain positive relationships that meet their own needs as well as those of others.

“Assertiveness works in all situations, giving kids guidelines for navigating everything from the playground to the slumber party. It helps kids have healthy relationships and a solid self-esteem.”

-Margarita Tartakovsky, psychologist