Posted in mommyhood

The No – No Zone

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I was putting my girls to bed the other night, and after their bedtime story decided it was time to talk about the no no zone. I attempted to explain the no-no area and how they are not to let anyone touch it.  A conversation that quickly went south ( no pun intended) as my 6yo looks at me and says, “Well what if I have to go potty” So I tried to explain to her that if she needs help going potty then mommy can help her but no one else.  No strangers, no teachers, no one!  Still I get blank stares from the girls, both trying to make sense of what I had just told them.

And then my 6yo asked me a question that I expected her to ask, but was in no way prepared to answer. She asked my Why? Hmm. Why I thought, and I didn’t know what to say. I just let the question hang in the air as I tucked them in and said no one gets to touch. I suppose that I should have prepared myself for that question before attempting the conversation, but I failed miserably.

How do you explain sexual abuse to a little girl? How do you look innocence in the eyes and tell them that there are bad people in the world and as much as mommy and daddy want to protect you, we might not always be able to!  How do we tell them that we live in a place where people could hurt children in ways that are unimaginable. Most of the time, sexual predators are ones that know the victim. How do I explain that sometimes relatives,teachers,janitors, people you know and love hurt little girls?

The day that I found out we were having a little girl, I had vision of pink blankets and cute little dresses, but also fear built up inside me. Fear that I will not be able to protect her from the demons that lurk. Fear that they will be in a dangerous situation that they are unable to get out of.  Fear that my daughters could be the one in four girls who are assaulted in the united states.  Some would say it’s silly to sit and worry about such things, but with 62,000 reported sexually abused victims in the united states, then those are statistics that I simply cannot ignore.

So what is the answer, do I keep the hidden until they are adults. Never let them go anywhere or do anything without me? Or do I just instill in them the dangers that lurk and how to prepare for them. I don’t want them to be afraid at every corner they look , but I do want them to know that these dangers are real.

When they are older, I will and am prepared to explain how they should not put themselves in compromising situations. As I look back at my teenage years I think wow, that could have ended so badly. I have been in a few situations that could have ended so badly had the people I were with not been a gentleman. I am prepared to explain how drinking alcohol clouds your judgement and you may face yourself in situations that you otherwise would not have. I can explain the effects of drugs based on what I have seen in the hospital and what they have done to so many young people who I treat every day! I am prepared to explain sexually transmitted diseases, and might even show them a few nasty pictures when they are older to get my point across. But for some reason I am not prepared to answer this one simple question of Why. I am reaching out to my blogging friends and asking for your help. How do I answer this question for my little ones. I need to tell them, but just can’t quite look into their innocent eyes and explain the monsters of the earth.

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Author:

I am a wife of ten years, mom of three, Nurse and student! My household is quite chaotic and busy. With a six year old going on sixteen. we shall call her "Sassy", a four year old, who is stubborn as a mule, she shall be called " mini me", and a one year old, we will call "Buddy". Our girls do Ballet, and our son, well he is all boy! Very curious and always getting in to something. When we found out we were having a boy i laughed and said " god must have known we needed a little less diva in our life," Ha, little boys are quite the handful! I love my kids with all of my heart, and i love my job too! As a nurse leader i get to see many sides to healthcare and help encourage and guide new nurses. I love taking care of patients and being able to have grown up talk and then come home to my babies. The house is usually chaotic with lots of tantrums, and messes, but i wouldn't change it for a bit. On the rare occasion that i am able to have some spare time to myself, i like to read, bake and decorate cakes, and take pictures of my kiddos. Time to myself is rare so i decided to start this blog to have a creative outlet and connect with other working moms, who might be going through the same situations as myself. I hope you enjoy my thoughts and stories as a mom, student, wife and Nurse! These stories will range from Diapers and tutus to meetings and boardrooms! and everything that falls in between. Enjoy and thanks for visiting my site.

14 thoughts on “The No – No Zone

  1. I told my boys that they have special spots that nobody is ever allowed to see or touch, and when they asked why I said because anyone who tries to do that is a bad person and they could hurt you. It is a hard conversation to have but it is one I continuously have with my kids, mainly so that they know they can come to me if anyone ever tries anything. I just found out that my sons friend up the road who is six was sexually assaulted, and that the man who did it to her made bail, and is now right up the road from us. So scary.

    1. Thank you Diana, that is simple and understandable for a child, I will try that. Girl the predators are everywhere and it’s just disgusting. I have a friend who’s daughter was violated at daycare! Uggh it’s just awful!

      1. Thats awful. I feel so bad for this little girls family up here, cause that guy got out of jail and lives only 2 doors down from them. I dont know how they are handling it, I would have killed him. Im sorry about your friends little girl. I am really thinken about homeschooling, I mean with all the perverts and people going around shooting up schools, it really is so scary just to send your kids to school anymore.

  2. It is a hard conversation to have. I told my kids that there are bad people out there and that, though it would probably never happen to them, they needed to know that that kind of touch wasn’t okay and that they should tell mommy or daddy as soon as they could–and of course, we reassured them that no matter what, we wouldn’t be mad at them and that they should never keep secrets from us, no matter what anybody tells them. They accepted it well, asked questions, and we revisit it every now and again to make sure that they don’t forget.

  3. I have two sons, four years old and three months old. The conversation has come up a couple of times with my older son, though it’s been long enough I can’t remember a lot of the specifics. The first time was because we happened to pick up a library book touching on the subject and my childhood experience has instilled in me the knowledge that this education is essential. The second time was because my son made a disturbing comment at preschool. (The latter inspired this poem.)

    This might sound strange, but it is wonderful that you are asking these questions. That you’re recognizing it’s the people nearest us that are best equipped to hurt others. It’s by not asking the questions–of yourself and those around you–that your daughters would be endangered, as it is oh so common for people to say things like “not in this neighborhood!”

    I try to be candid with my son in ways he’ll be able to handle. We have talked about abuse, but barely (I believe) sexual abuse. He surprises me with his ability to grasp what I’m saying, but so far, I only know how to have conversations with him. I have no idea yet what it’ll be like with his brother. (Hopefully he will be so inquisitive and undeterred by somewhat scary answers!)

    One thing I’d recommend a million times over is the book “Protecting the Gift” by Gavin de Becker. It is fantastic in how it gives tools to both protect children and deal with anxiety around protecting them. I’m just about due a reread, come to think of it.

    1. Thank you Deborah, this is very good advise and I will checking out that book! Parenting is so hard and learning how to have difficult conversations has been hard for me so thank you for this!

  4. I wish I had a better answer. We just told our boys that there are bad, evil people and sometimes it’s hard to tell which ones because they look just like the rest of us. That’s probably not much different than what you said. Of course, to keep them from feeling to afraid, each time I warn them of an evil I also remind then off the good: God is always there and he will always help us when we ask him. Bad things might happen but God will help us through it, if we let him.

    1. I love this response! Thank you I have been struggling with not wanting to make my kids completely afraid but to make them aware! Thank you for reading the response to this post has been wonderful!

  5. I recently had my own brush with this issue, it was kind of funny, but quite sad too.
    I was minding my 3 year old nephew/Godson and they must have taught him at preschool that people were not supposed to touch him there. So we get into the bath and it is all good, we wash his hair and no tears so I think everything is going swimmingly, but then I go to clean his meat and potatoes and he jerks away covering himself and screaming, “No touch, naughty Meow” (to clarify he couldn’t say Cat when he was younger so has always called me ‘Meow’). He got really worked up about it, apparently they must have taught him it was okay for Mummies, but they also forgot to mention Daddies because he now freaks out at home if his Dad tries to wash him. Hmm I don’t think they thought that program through very well. I ended up giving him the face washer and talking him through washing himself as best I could.

    1. Lol oh poor baby! I’m glad they are teaching it in school but no it doesn’t sound like they thought it out very well . It sounds like you handled it well though 🙂

      1. Yeah I don’t think they thought it out well at all lol. He wasn’t cleaned as thoroughly as I would have liked, but it was the best I could do on no notice 🙂 They taught him good though because apart from his Mum I would say me and Nan are the people he trusts most.

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