I have done a lot of research into this topic, being more than aware that the monster is usually someone that my child will know, not the random stranger they may come across, thankfully abuse is rare, but still, I want them to know how to stay safe without scaring them.
I have found a lot of the UK literature very, wishy washy, and even the child protection guidance from government bodies, a bit, I don't know - unspecific, how on earth is my 3 year old supposed to know what "safe touching" and "something that makes you uncomfortable" is.
I've been following my own, made up methodology, teaching them what their private parts are named, that no-one is allowed to hurt them or touch their privates except mummy, daddy, nanny or maybe their teacher or the doctor and even then, only if they NEED to, for bottom wiping or putting medicine creams on or in the doctors case if there is something wrong and mummy or daddy are there.
I've been doing this as a part of day-to-day living, I have no intention of taking away their innocence or scaring them half to death, I have taught them that if mummy does something, anything, they are unhappy with they can talk to daddy, or nanny, and they have gone through a whole raft of people they know who can help them and the same if daddy does something, or anyone else
They know if they get lost to look for the till and the person who works there in a shop, a Police Man or Lady (not politically correct, Police Constable is the correct term but they are chlidren) if they are out, or a mummy or daddy with children.
But I have just been doing things my way, then this morning, I had this book delivered. I am really impressed with it, it can be personalised and talked about in bite sized chunks, we have had some fun, foot stamping and waving pretend red flags, getting a serious message across to children but in a fun (or can be made to be fun way).
I Said No!: A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private
I wish I wasn't writing this post, I wish I didn't feel the need to keep my children safe, but I do, and I am glad to have found this book, written from a childs perspective, to help me with that task in a fun way.
Them stamping the feet, waving their for now imaginary red flags (I will be making real red and green flags) and shouting NO, I SAID NO, at the top of their voices has certainly turned a depressing but necessary topic into an hour of fun.