From the Chaplain
How Parents can protect their children
This week ‘Bravehearts Geelong’ visited our Junior Campus and shared the important message of personal safety with our Prep and Year 2 students. It was lovely that a few parents were able to attend as well. As we all unfortunately know, not everyone in our society today has the best motives and actions in mind when it comes to looking out for our children and their needs. They can be vulnerable so it is important to equip them with life skills that will assist in them having strategies to guard their personal safety. Christian College has important policies in place to assist in looking out for students needs and ‘Bravehearts Geelong’ also seeks to teach students important principles with regard to personal safety. These five important principles apply to children of all ages;
1 For children to trust their feelings and to distinguish between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ feelings
2 For children to say ‘no’ to adults if they feel unsafe and unsure
3 For children to understand that they own their own bodies
4 That nothing is so yucky that they can’t tell someone about it
5 That if they feel unsafe or unsure to run and tell someone they trust.
It is important to talk to your children so that they feel comfortable to tell you anything, especially if it involves another adult. Encourage your children to identify other trusted adults they can talk to in confidence. Empower your children so that they feel more at ease if a situation does arise. Empowering your children to say NO to any unwelcome, uncomfortable, or confusing touch or actions by others. Teach them to tell you immediately if this happens. Reassure them that you are there to help and it is okay to tell you anything.
Be sensitive to any changes in your children’s behaviour or attitude. Encourage open communication and learn how to be an active listener. Look and listen to small indications that something may be troubling your children, because children are not always comfortable disclosing disturbing events or feelings. This may be because they are concerned about your reaction to their problems. If your children do confide problems to you, strive to remain calm, non-critical, and non judgemental. Listen compassionately to their concern and work with them to get the help they need to resolve the problem.
Cyber- safety is an important area too, as children can inadvertently give out private information that can end up in the wrong hands. Keeping a close eye on children’s usage of time spent on their devices, the content they are accessing and ensuring that their computer use is in a public area of the house will assist in ensuring their personal safety is not compromised.