If you watch the news or are connected to Facebook, you will no doubt know that our children live in a dangerous time. We live in an age where you need to check the sex-offender registry before moving into a neighborhood and do background checks on church volunteers. In this culture, it is paramount to begin educating our children on the dangers around them.
No one is insulated from this risk. A recent study of reported child abuse cases shows that only 10% of children are molested by a stranger. That means that 90% of molesters are family members and friends. You may think that your children are not old enough to begin thinking about keeping their private parts, private - but 45% of molested children are under the age of 5. To be honest, that makes me sick at my stomach. So what do we do?
Starting this conversation can be a difficult task because it raises questions like “what is age appropriate” and “how much should you share”. We now have a great resource to help us answer those questions and train our children.
Justin & Lindsey Holcomb have published a handy little book called, “God Made All of Me”. I love this book for a lot of reasons. First and maybe most important, the conversation is rooted in the fact that when God created people, we were declared perfect, in all of our parts. This is a uniquely Christian approach to the conversation and for parents who have utilized any form of a catechism with their child, this will fit right into that methodology.
The second thing I liked is the content for parents is spot on. It starts with a basic introduction to the purpose for the book and gives a simple, but good framework for the need to read the book. The most helpful portion of the book for parents is the very practical section in the back called ‘9 Ways to Protect Your Children from Sexual Abuse’.
The third thing I liked about the book was the blending of age-appropriate content with fun artwork throughout the book. Trish Mahoney did an incredible job with the illustrations. Keep in mind that this is a book that you want to read with your child and guide him or her through the content. This is probably not a book you want to put on your four-year-olds shelf and leave it for them to read alone. Half-way through the book there is one page that gives medical names to a child’s private parts - depending on your preference and your child’s age, you may want to augment this.
This is a fun little book that may be helpful in starting the conversation with your child if you haven’t already. As a parent of six, this would be on my must read list with my children if they were between two and eight years old. You can pick this book up at Amazon.com and flip through the pages to get a better idea of how the book works through the conversation.