I’ve actually been putting off writing a review of this book, not because it’s not good, but the opposite, it’s so good I don’t know what things to say and what to leave out!
Who would I recommend The Safe Child Book* to?
Parents, babysitters, daycare workers, kids ministry workers at churches, teachers, and basically anyone who ever comes in contact with or sees a child….so I guess pretty much everyone.
What are my favorite aspects of The Safe Child Book*?
I love how it teaches you, the adult, how to teach your kids safety. It talks about playing the “what if” game with the kids. They’re way more likely to remember how to respond in situations if they’ve acted it out rather than just been told what to do. It can also be a fun, non-scary way to learn safety. We’ve personally done lots of versions of the “what if” game with the kids, like:
- Pretending a friend was asking them to jump on the bed and not let any adults know.
- We acted out if a stranger comes to the house asking to use the phone or wanting them to open the door.
- We’ve acted out someone (even someone they know) picking them up, saying that I had told them to get a ride with them (which I explained in real life if that were to ever happen I would PERSONALLY let the kids know, not send a message through someone else).
- We’ve acted out them being tickled and not wanting to be tickled any more and asking the grownup to stop.
The book explains how kids need to not just say “no”, but if it continues they are allowed to say they’ll tell and even push the grown up away if necessary.
Does it really work?
Actually something came up recently with one of the kids, nothing serious, but it helped me see an area I needed to work on with them. The first time it happened they did not handle it the way we had done in the “what if” game, so I reviewed with them. It came up again a second time and when they told me about it, they said they had handled it just like our pretend scenario.
The book quoted some hard to swallow stats that should motivate us as adults to take action in keeping kids safe:
- 85-90% of sexual abuse happens with a person known to the child.
- Approximately one-third of sexual abuse cases involve children six years of age or younger. (All the kids we’ve had in our home, birth and foster have been under 6, so this really stood out to me).
- Ninety-five percent of child abusers were themselves abused as children.
The Safe Child Book* includes information on how to help your child be a difficult target, abusers often look for easy targets. It talks about how we as adults need to always be talking with kids to see how their days have gone, that might give us clues if something is going on that shouldn’t be. One of the best preventions is teaching our kids to protect themselves and giving them the authority to even tell a grown up “no” and to help them feel comfortable with talking about anything to us without the fear of getting in trouble if they tell on an adult or another child.
Have any of you read this book before? What did (or didn’t) you like about it?
You may also be interested in The Swimsuit Lesson.
*Amazon affiliate links.