There is no good time to consider such an unconscionable danger. Yet to do so is to defend against it. Here are four simple but crucial reads for any parent, condensed here into a handy reference guide for continual use.
1) A Pediatrician Just Laid Out How to Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse—And She’s Begging You to Listen
1. The location of an incident [of sexual abuse] is likely to be at a place where you are familiar.
2. Slumber parties: I wanted to address this separately because of it being a sensitive subject.
3. Please use appropriate anatomical terms for body parts.
4. “Safe touch” vs. “bad touch”: make sure kids know which is which.
5. “Stranger danger” is a fallacy.
6. Be aware of what kids are looking at on smartphones and tablets.
7. Most importantly, trust your gut.
In summary, here are the appropriate questions to ask:
Did you enjoy yourself?
How did you spend your time?
What was your favorite part of the party?
What was the least favorite part?
Did you feel safe?
Was there anything else that you wanted to share?
Remember you can always tell me more details, okay?
Try to remember to make these questions a consistent habit. A common mistake for parents is we think that as long as we ask any question we are on top of things. The truth is, parents must always question, at the right time, under the right circumstances.
In summary, sleepovers can create unwanted vulnerability for your child so it’s best to be as cautious as possible.
In summary, trust your instincts because most threats come from friendly people we already know.
In conclusion: Communication is key. And honesty is everything.