by Inna, California Mom
We recently moved to Los Angeles from the mountains of Colorado with our three kids, ages 10, 8 and 6. I started hosting and attending Feather's workshops from the time my youngest was a newborn, and the sense of empowerment we gained since has changed our lives.
It is never a lighthearted feeling, when I first have "the talk" with any new teacher, coach, babysitter or child care provider for our kids. My mouth feels dry, my palms are sweaty, and no matter how many times I bring up the uncomfortable topic of body safety rules, I am surprised that once again, I find my voice quivering, as if it's the very first time I've ever broached the subject. I swallow hard, I push myself, I focus, and I remind myself that it is my responsibility to protect my children from any harm, no matter how scary the thought.
The best child care providers, teachers and coaches we've had are always the ones who react to "Body-Safety Rules" in the most open-minded, interested and engaged way. Without fail, it is the best ones who always end up attending Feather's workshops and talking directly with us about their thoughts on the topic of child sex abuse prevention.
I now use this initial discussion as a screening technique in and of itself. I see it as a major criteria for deciding whether to hire somebody to babysit, tutor or train one of the kids. If I bring up the topic, and the teacher is compelled to respond in a way that is honest and meaningful, then I know he or she is more likely to be a safe addition to our team.
And of course, I also try to jump on any teachable moment that presents itself with the children, so that they always remember they are the Boss of their Bodies.