“My husband works at a jail and just a few weeks ago a man we both know from school and church was brought in on sexual charges. His niece was supposedly the victim. Both of us were very surprised, as we wouldn’t have expected him of doing such a thing. Whether he is guilty or not, we will probably never know. However, after discussing it, we both thought that not only is it important to try to protect our children from this type of thing, we also need to take steps to protect OURSELVES and our own reputations.”
“Besides having an open door policy, we also insist that our children and their friends and cousins always wear clothes underneath when playing dress-up, and we are very leery of doing sleepovers. We also talked about how men should be very careful about tickling, rough-housing, and even having children sitting on their laps or spending time alone with them to ensure that any “appearance of evil” is avoided.”
This is a sad representation of exactly why we really must teach our children about appropriate touch and behavior, while hopefully not making them paranoid.
We have similar rules.
Our boundary rules:
- No sleepovers unless cousins or very good friends are coming into town and are staying at our home.
- No taking off clothes to play dress up, or dressing with other children.
- Doors open always, but Always shut while dressing.
- Children are NEVER allowed to be at a friend’s house if a parent isn’t home.
- Children must always keep parents informed where they are. (When I was a child, we just roamed the neighborhood. This isn’t safe now. Even in my day we could be found in the field playing Truth and Dare. My parents had no idea. And we never told them either. Mom, if you are reading this. Sorry. That was a long time ago. I am sure with computer cameras and digital devices, things could even get worse.)
We also have touching rules for friends, family, and neighbors.
I also agree that dad’s should protect themselves by never getting in a situation alone with a child. This is sound advice. Some children now days can even instigate sexual contact because they have been exposed to it. I knew a four year old girl once that told me her favorite movie was, hold on to your hair, “Coyote Ugly!” I fear for her future. No one could have paid me to see that show.
I also had a neighbor girl, age 6, get propositioned for sex at her school. She hadn’t had the talk yet, so she was actually excited about being asked. She had no idea what she was being asked to do. We have to talk to our children as soon as they understand about their bodies, and continue to have open conversation about sexual feelings until they are married. Parents were meant to be the mentors for this kind of teaching, not peers.