Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Review: I Said NO! A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private
Child sex abuse is rampant in this country. Any parent that thinks that it won't happen to their child is turning a blind eye to the very real possibility that someone, maybe even someone they know and trust, may attempt to perpetuate a sexual act on their child. Just turn on the news and it is likely that you will hear of a coach, a teacher, a clergyman or family member who has been accused of abusing a child sexually. These events aren't isolated. They happen everywhere and can happen to any child.
As a counselor, I am well aware of the frequency of child sex abuse. My first job out of college taught me that. I knew it happened, just not how often. I remember feeling horribly sickened when I made that discovery. What was even more disturbing was that it wasn't done by some twisted stranger, but usually by someone who was well-known and trusted by the family.
So, from day one, I talked to my children about their bodies and how to protect their bodies. This is a difficult topic, because on one hand, it is so important they have this message, but on the other hand, you don't want to have your child living in fear. You also want to provide them with enough information, but you don't want to provide them with too much information. Having experience in this field, I feel I know where that balance is. However, I know most parents struggle with how to deliver this message of safety.
I was eager to review I Said NO! A kid-to kid guide to keeping private parts private by Zack and Kimberly King. When I was working in the field, I struggled to find books that expressed just the right message about staying safe. I also was eager to reinforce messages I have been telling my children all along. I found this book to be a great resource for this delicate topic.
The story, unfortunately arose from an experience that the King's own son had at a sleepover. Kimberly King, a former kindergartner teacher who had reviewed the subject with her children assumed that if anything happened, her children would say "No!" or run away. However, she was mistaken. She says, "I had neglected rehearsing different scenarios..." To help her son cope with his feelings, they entered counseling. In order to help others, they wrote a book about what they learned.
The story is written from a kid's perspective covers what privates are, good touching and bad touching, scenarios of what someone may say, what to do if you feel uncomfortable, how to say no, who trusted adults are, and what to do if no one listens or believes you. It even covers parental or caregiver sexual abuse and what to do.
The book has cute illustrations. It is rated ages 4 and up, and my girls, ages 5 and 7, enjoyed it. I do think it is pretty long and a 4 year old might lose interest, but I would definitely still get it for them, just read in sessions or abbreviate it. But definitely get this and read it and re-read it to your children. Most pedophiles are very slick--they groom your child over time to get what they want. They start by doing small things and building up. By being informed, your child will know to come to you when the small things start. The best way we can protect our children from sexual abuse is by informing them and continually reviewing the information with them. Your child will also feel comfortable with this topic and will alert you if something unusual occurs.
The book sells for $9.95 (with free shipping on orders over $25) at Amazon. If you click on the link below, you can see some of the inside pages of this book.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book to facilitate this review. I was not compensated in any manner. The opinions expressed in this book are my own.