One of the things that I love most about Little Miss H is her ability to interact with everyone. She loves people and will socialise with anyone with a smiley face. She is also fiercely independent. And often runs off to play with another child or to giggle with an adult.
This is completely endearing and I hope that she always has that ability to get on with people. But it also worries me.
We all know that the world isn’t always a nice place. That some people can’t be trusted. That behind the smile could be a person who wishes to hurt or take advantage of my child. That sexual abuse is wide-spread and it is something we need to discuss with our children.
According to research carried out by the NSPCC in 2011, 90 per cent of sexually abused children were abused by people they know. And one in three children abused by an adult told no one at the time.
This is hideous. It sickens and terrifies me to think of someone abusing my sweet, innocent and trusting daughter.
I know that as a parent I can help to keep Little Miss H safe from abuse by talking to her about these threats. But I want to be able to talk to her without scaring her, without destroying her innocence and without taking away her belief that every new person she meets is a friend in the making.
Thankfully the NSPCC have created the Underwear Rule to help parents, like myself, talk to our children about sexual abuse. It is simple and easy to remember. But the best bit about this rule is that it doesn’t mention any scary words. It doesn’t even mention sexual abuse.
Let’s talk PANTS with NSPCC’s Underwear Rule
So, dear readers, let’s talk PANTS. PANTS is a really easy way for you to share the Underwear Rule with your child. As each line of PANTS covers a different line of the Underwear Rule:
- Privates are private.
- Always remember your body belongs to you.
- No means no.
- Talk about secrets that upset you.
- Speak up, someone can help.
For more information, about talking PANTS with your child please download NSPCC’s Underwear Rule – the guide for parents. This document contains lots of advice about how you can help your child learn that their body belongs to them and no one else.
How you can help
If you have a child between 5 and 11 years old then please talk to them about the NSPCC Underwear Rule and make sure that they are familiar with PANTS.
Also if you are on social media then you can easily share the #TalkPANTS message by pasting and copying these suggested tweets and Facebook posts.
I’m talking PANTS! The @NSPCC Underwear Rule is a simple conversation you can have with your child to help keep them safe from abuse. Spread the word and share with 3 parents today. #TalkPANTS
I’m talking PANTS! The @NSPCC Underwear Rule helps keep children safe. RT and #talkPANTS today.
All parents should teach their children the @NSPCC Underwear Rule. RT and #talkPANTS today.
Please support the NSPCC’s Underwear Rule and #talkPANTS to help keep your children safe from sexual abuse.