1, 2, 3...Preschool Ready
You’ve bought new shoes and backpacks, sharpened crayons, and added nutritious peanut-free snacks. Is your child ready for preschool/ Kindergarten? Almost! Going to preschool/Kindergarten is the first
time in many children’s lives
where they begin to assert their independence and navigate their new
social world. Let’s make sure they navigate as safely as possible.
Five helpful strategies to keep your child safe:
1. Identify safe adults in your child’s life. Children need trusted adults to be
able to ask questions openly without shame. This trust needs to extend
beyond their parents/guardians.
2. Reinforce the difference between private and public behaviours/spaces.
Behaviours used for self-soothing and anxiety reduction (self-pleasuring)
need firm boundaries outside the safety of your home.
3. Start to introduce yes/no feelings. Laying the foundation for intuition
recognition lays the groundwork for your child to learn to trust themselves
and their own feelings.
4. Use accurate names for all body parts and teach basic reproduction. This
is a proven way to increase abuse resistance in children.
5. Emphasize the difference between surprises and secrets. Surprises will
always surface whereas secrets will remain underground. There is no need
for preschool/Kindergarten aged child to be requested to keep a secret.
Healthy sexuality begins at birth and is a lifelong process. We are all sexual
beings. Addressing physical, emotional, cognitive and sexual growth from a
balanced perspective will support each child to maximize positive health
outcomes. Adults, teachers and school counselors have a responsibility to
help children understand and accept their developing sexuality.
As parents, it is never too early to start these important conversations.
Books such as Body Smart: Right from the Start and What’s the Big Secret,by Marc Brown, are both gentle introductions to making healthy sexuality a part of everyday conversations.
Knowledge is power.
Thank you to Lesley Stedmon, original co-author, for giving permission to repost this content.