5 Books for Teaching Your Kids About Body Safety and Consent
The Children’s Book Review | September 28, 2018
Body safety is a topic that, as parents and educators, we know we need to teach our kids about. But quite often we fall short because we don’t know where to begin. Not only do we want to keep our children safe, but we also want to teach them to respect the bodies of others. Mother, children’s book author, teacher, publisher, passionate advocate for Body Safety and Respectful Relationships Education Jayneen Sanders recently wrote an article that appeared on HuffPost: 10 Ways To Talk To Your Kids About Body Safety And Consent. She said: “Educating both our sons and our daughters in how to respect one another is not rocket science. But these small and yet powerful ideas can make a massive difference to our society and future generations.” Go ahead and read the article and also checkout the following books …
Written by Jayneen Sanders
Illustrated by Craig Smith
Publisher’s Synopsis: ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ is a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book that sensitively broaches the subject of keeping children safe from inappropriate touch. We teach water and road safety, but how do we teach Body Safety to young children in a way that is neither frightening nor confronting? This book is an invaluable tool for parents, caregivers, teachers and healthcare professionals to broach the subject of safe and unsafe touch in a non-threatening and age-appropriate way. The comprehensive notes to the reader and discussion questions at the back of the book support both the reader and the child when discussing the story. Suitable for children aged 3 to 12 years.
Ages 3-12 | Publisher: Educate2Empower Publishing | 2015 | ISBN: 978-0987186010
Written by Jayneen Sanders
Illustrated by Anna Hancock
Publisher’s Synopsis: The crucial skills taught in this book will help children to protect their bodies from inappropriate touch. Children will be empowered to say in a strong and clear voice, “This is my body! What I say goes!” Through age-appropriate illustrations and engaging text this book, written by the author of ‘No Means No!’ and ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’, will teach children the following crucial and empowering skills in personal body safety: • identifying safe and unsafe feelings • recognizing early warning signs • developing a safety network • using the correct names for private parts • understanding the difference safe and unsafe touch • understanding the difference between secrets and surprises • respecting body boundaries. Approximately 20% of girls, and 8% of boys will experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday (Pereda, et al, 2009). Parents, caregivers, and educators have a duty of care to protect children by teaching them Body Safety skills. These skills empower children, and go a long way in keeping them safe from abuse – ensuring they grow up as assertive and confident teenagers and adults. Also included in this book are in-depth Discussion Questions to further enhance the learning and to initiate important family conversations around body autonomy.
Ages 3-10 | Publisher: Educate to Empower Publishing | 2016 | ISBN: 978-1925089264
Written by Zack and Kimberly King
Illustrated by Sue Rama
Publisher’s Synopsis: Helping kids set healthy boundaries for their private parts can be a daunting and awkward task for parents, counselors and educators. Written from a kid s point of view, I Said No! makes this task a lot easier.
Using a simple, direct, decidedly non-icky approach that doesn’t dumb down the issues involved, as well as an easy-to-use system to help kids rehearse and remember appropriate responses to help keep them safe, I Said No! covers a variety of topics, including: What s appropriate and with whom. How to deal with inappropriate behavior, bribes and threats. When and where to go for help, and what to do if the people you re turning to for help don’t listen. Dealing with feelings of guilt and shame.
Ages 4+ | Publisher: Boulden Publishing | 2016 | ISBN: 978-1878076496
Written by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos
Publisher’s Synopsis: Every child has secrets, and many secrets are fun to keep–for instance, a surprise birthday gift for Mom, or a secret handshake with a young friend. But sometimes, children have secrets that make them feel bad, and these secrets are best shared with their parents, or with some trusted older person. A child who is bullied might be inclined to keep it secret, but it’s always best to tell parents about it. Or children who are touched intimately and improperly by an older person will soon feel better if they reveal the secret to parents. This book helps kids distinguish between good and bad secrets. Even very young children have concerns and anxieties, and Tell Somebody Books are written and illustrated especially for them. Parents are advised to read these books aloud while their preschooler listens and looks at illustrations of the boys and girls in each story. Many children in early grades will be able to read the stories for themselves. Tell Somebody Books encourage children to explore their feelings, and then to speak openly about things that trouble them.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: B.E.S. Publishing | 2005 | ISBN: 978-0764131707
Written by Pattie Fitzgerald
Publisher’s Synopsis: Siblings Katie and her little brother Kyle learn about personal safety, private parts, and “thumbs up & thumbs down” touches by talking with their mom in a loving and easy-to-understand manner. With an empowering dialog that is never fearful, parents can use this book to begin this important discussion with their children. Katie and Kyle’s mom also explains the essential “No Secrets” rule in their family, and that it is never their fault if they get an “uh-oh feeling” from anyone.
The story is written with a positive and engaging approach using child-friendly language and charming illustrations. A “Parent’s Guide with Prevention Tips” is also included to help parents understand their role in keeping children safe from sexual abuse. By learning how to interpret red flags and how to recognize possible grooming scenarios, parents can significantly reduce the risks and keep their children safe from predators.
“No Trespassing – This Is MY Body!” comes highly recommended by pediatricians, teachers and parents as a valuable tool in the fight against childhood sexual abuse.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Safely Ever After Media | 2011 | ISBN: 978-0984747207
Kirschenbaum, M. (2017, January 4). 10 Ways To Talk To Your Kids About Body Safety And Consent [Website Article]. Retrieved from http://www.easybib.com/guides/10-ways-to-spot-a-fake-news-article/
Header image illustration from ‘My Body! What I Say Goes! (Educate to Empower Publishing, 2016), written by Jayneen Sanders and illustrated by Anna Hancock