Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pedophile Proof Your Children

This is a heavy topic for me, I am imagining who will be reading this and what they may think of me afterwards, but I think that it's important to unsilence the violence. I believe that one of the reasons children are being sexually abused is because we are so damned quiet about it and what it does to us as adults years later.

I was listening to CBC radio and I heard:
Like my stomach's being squeezed up, out of my throat,
That was all,
I hit the power button.
I knew that feeling immediately
I knew when it came
When it comes
Sometimes before I do,
Sometimes after.
Sometimes I gag so hard
I stumble to the bathroom.
Wishing that I could throw it up
Throw it out
Flush it down
And it would never come back up again.
You know what the worst part is?
The first is never the last.
Time or person.
Though for the purpose and pain
They will become He.
I can't be tickled, grabbed, pinned, playfully
I wrench my body away in anger
Growl and snap
Don't Do That.
Because now I have a voice.
I didn't always
Because once He hid behind
A playful mask
But if I looked just so into the eye holes
A creepy cold feeling would wash over me
And the whole world was drowned out by sick silence
He would shush me when I tried to talk
He liked the silence,
He liked the creeks and groans of the mattress.
He didn't like me.
He still breaths in my ear
He lets his hand rest against my thigh in the bus
He grabs my ass in the bar
He hides under my bed waiting for intimate moments
Then replaces my lover
For an eye blink.
I suppose this is where I pretend like I'm healing,
Like it gets better or easier...

I think we live in a society that sets kids up to be victims of sexual assault. We tell them that "so and so will feel bad if they don't give them a hug goodbye". We expect them to sit on a strange bearded man's lap once a year because he gives them gifts. "Why don't you want to sit on Santa's lap? He brings you presents, you don't want to be ungrateful do you?" Pedophiles thrive off this mentality using a barrage of guilt and gifts to convince children to let them touch them. We make our kids ripe for the picking. Shame is another child silencing tactic, we teach our children not to talk about sex, that it is private and or dirty. We do not take the time to explain that physical love is nothing to be ashamed of, and that if they ever want to talk about it they are welcome to. Pedophiles tell children that their parents will be mad at them for doing "dirty things", so they better not tell them.

So how do we "pedophile proof" our kids? We make it harder for the pedophiles to use guilt, gifts and shame to get physical affection.

1.Teach your children "No." I don't mean "if a stranger..." , I mean "No."
I mean if they don't want to kiss aunt Lucy and they say "No." You respect that, you teach them that NO ONE, no matter who, has the right to force physical affection on them.

2.Teach them that they don't have to sit on Santa's (Grampa's, Aunty's, Uncle's etc.) lap just because s/he gives them presents.

3. Don't force your own affection on them, if they don't want a hug or a kiss at that time, show them you respect their physical boundaries.

4. Talk to them about sex, about making love. Explain that there is no shame in having or wanting sex. Though, sexual touching should never be forced on or expected of anyone. Let them know that they should feel free to talk about sex and ask any questions they may have about it.

In return they will learn self-respect and they will also learn that if someone says "No.", they should respect that. They will learn that they should not force physical affection on anyone, and that they do not deserve affection from someone because they gave them gifts.

This is not an easy thing to do. Trust me, I've offended many people. I probably just offended someone right now. But if I can spare my child the confusion of "Was this my fault?" and "Aren't I suppose to like being touched by someone who loves me?" If I can give them a voice, a voice I was too unsure to use myself. Then it is worth every scathing look and sneer I've ever gotten.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Letting Kids Choose the Subject.

So I woke up yesterday morning and had no idea what to teach about that day. I had my coffee, ate my breakfast, brushed my teeth and lazied around for an hour, hoping an idea would come to me. Usually, Jooniper's homeschooling is finished by 12:30pm. So I was running a bit late for curriculum ideas. The day before, we had spent almost an hour on Math workbooks, so I wanted to take a break from that. But I needed to be inspired. We got dressed, the kids played with an awesome building toy we got from Applause toy store. The creative juices got flowing after Jooniper whined: "Mom! Jack's wrecking my tent!"
There it was, that's what I was waiting for. A subject that she had taken an interest in, something that I could use to incorporate art, english and usable knowledge. I told her and Jack to go get their back packs and fill them with things they think they will need for camping. Jack put his 4 wheeler toy and some pants in. We talked about how some people do bring their 4 wheelers camping. Jooniper packed lots of clothes. We told her about the importance of an extra pair of dry socks and clothes that are tough and she doesn't mind if they get dirty. Then we got them to grab their canteens and we discussed how important clean drinking water is for someone who is hiking. Then we taught them camp fire safety. We pretended the floor was the ground outside. we pretended to dig a pit, then we surrounded the dirt pit with stones. We used dryer lint, then rolled up construction paper as sticks and some wooden cylindrical blocks as logs. We explained how important it was that the wood be dry. Then we talked about how only adults are allowed to light the fire. Then we roasted marsh mellows over our fake fire using pencil crayons as our sticks. After that Jooniper and I wrote out a 10 step plan to making a camp fire safely, including keeping water nearby and making sure the pit is dug away from the tent, trees and bushes. I typed out the 10 steps leaving key words blank for her to print in. Then we read it together. At that point the sun was shinning and I wanted to get out of the house. Jooniper was having so much fun playing camping that she didn't want to leave. So I had to make an adventure worth leaving for. I created a scavenger hunt to take place at the local outdoors store. Jooniper and I made a list together of all the things we would need to go camping. Then We drove into town and walked to the outdoors store. Jooniper then had to find everything on the list. She even added a few things. I love how easily she walked up the the salesclerks and asked them to help her find something. She even would ask them what certain items were used for when camping. Sometimes she would stop and draw one of the items in her workbook (Yay art!)
Jooniper had worked very hard that day. In fact, we had spent 15 minutes sounding out the word "sticks" earlier. So it was time to blow off some steam at the park. Jooniper made a new friend named Jacob. They ran around together for an hour before it was time to go home. We had a wonderful time together. As a side note: we started Jooniper's own cookbook on Monday. She had been talking about making smoothies, so we made a smoothie, then wrote down the ingredients together and she drew pictures of them, then we put them in a separate duo-tang and she labeled it Jooniper's Cook Book.