Having tough conversations with your kids can be a challenge. As part of National Child Abuse Protection Month, developmental psychologist and mother of two, Dr. Tia Kim shared with Inside South Florida some best practices to keep your little ones safe.
“It’s important to start these conversations early and have them often throughout a child's life,” says Dr. Kim. “One of the most powerful tools to keep children from getting victimized is have these important personal safety conversations. You can weave these into already existing routines that you have at bath time or bedtime.”
Dr. Kim tells Jason Carter about the importance of the “Hot Chocolate Talk” campaign.
“We understand that it’s very difficult for families to have these important safety conversations, so we wanted to evoke an image of comfort and warmth like drinking a cup of hot chocolate. We created great free resources and tips at HotChocolateTalk.org to get these important conversations started,” says Kim.
In order to normalize talking about this topic, Dr. Kim tells us “I like to think of it as personal safety rules. Teaching them safe versus unsafe touches, that they can refuse anything they don’t want, and they should also report any behavior they don’t want.”
There are a number of factors that put kids at risk for abuse. “For online abuse, it’s usually tweens and teens, and with abuse in general, younger kids get victimized,” Kim explains. “I would encourage families to look out for any sudden changes in mood or behavior in their children.”
Visit HotChocolateTalk.org for more information on how to start these conversations with your family.
This Inside South Florida segment is paid for by the Committee for Children