123 Preschool/Kindergarten Ready!
By Kerri Isham and Lesley Stedmon
You’ve bought new shoes and backpacks, sharpened crayons, and added nutritious peanut-free snacks. Is your child ready for preschool/Kindergarten? Almost!
Going to preschool/Kindergarten is the first time in many children’s lives where they begin to assert their independence and navigate their new social world. Let’s make sure they navigate as safely as possible.
Five helpful strategies to keep your child safe:
1. Identify safe adults in your child’s life. Children need trusted adults to be able to ask questions openly without shame. This trust needs to extend beyond their parents/guardians.
2. Reinforce the difference between private and public behaviours/spaces. Behaviours used for self-soothing and anxiety reduction (self-pleasuring) need firm boundaries outside the safety of your home.
3. Start to introduce yes/no feelings. Laying the foundation for intuition recognition lays the groundwork for your child to learn to trust themselves and their own feelings.
4. Use accurate names for all body parts and teach basic reproduction. This is a proven way to increase abuse resistance in children.
5. Emphasize the difference between surprises and secrets. Surprises will always surface whereas secrets will remain underground. There is no need for preschool/Kindergarten aged child to be requested to keep a secret.
Healthy sexuality begins at birth and is a lifelong process. We are all sexual beings. Addressing physical, emotional, cognitive and sexual growth from a balanced perspective will support each child to maximize positive health outcomes. Adults, teachers and school counsellors have a responsibility to help children understand and accept their developing sexuality.
As parents, it is never too early to start these important conversations. Books such as Belly Buttons are Navels by Mark Schoen and What’s the Big Secret by Marc Brown are both gentle introductions to making healthy sexuality a part of everyday conversations.
Education is not permission. Knowledge is power.
For more information please contact
Kerri Isham at www.powerupworkshops.ca
Lesley Stedmon at http://www.lesleystedmon.com/