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Manners, Secrets & Sex Ed — Keeping Kids Safer

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We are thoughtful parents, friends and relatives, but sometimes we say things that inadvertently contribute to a child’s vulnerability. Here are some everyday examples – and suggestions for how to strengthen communication with children with regard to secrets, consent, manners, sex ed and more.

Secrets – “Let’s not tell Mom about the ice cream.”
Sometimes adults ask children to keep “innocent-like” secrets, but are these so-called innocent secrets actually hurting kids?

What happens, for instance, when you say to a child, “Let’s not tell Mom that I let you stay up past your bedtime?” Well, it turns out that asking children to keep secrets like this is both burdensome and confusing. And without even realizing it, innocent secrets at home can make a child more vulnerable. For instance, a child may then think it’s okay to comply with another person’s request to keep “touching” a secret if the person says, “Let’s not tell anyone because this is our special secret.”

Instead, implement a “No secrets” rule in your home. And if you do let your child stay up past their bedtime, and this causes conflict between you and your partner, rather than asking your child to keep it a secret, perhaps say,  CLICK TO KEEP READING

 Feather Berkower

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