Tips to help you read “Angel” to your child

Before you read “Angel” to your child, please read it first yourself. Does the book bring up any old emotions for you? If so, please honour those emotions; be with those emotions and work through them.

The best thing that we can do for our children when we’re approaching a sensitive subject is to remain calm and objective. We need not layer this conversation with our own judgements and experiences. Whatever you think and feel about those who abuse children does not belong in this conversation. Instead, it needs to be pushed to the side so you can talk calmly and objectively to your child about protective behaviours they can adopt to keep safe.

Next, pick the right time to read the book. You may want to read “Angel” with your child when you have some free time afterwards. Before bedtime is probably not ideal. You may also want to do some journaling or drawing with your child about ways to keep safe. This may include drawing a picture of your child’s body and then drawing pictures around it with ideas and ways that we look after our body and keep it safe (eg eating good food, exercise, sleep, rest, sport, friends, listening to our feelings etc).

This is also an ideal time to look at parts of the body that are “private”. Explore these parts using the correct terminology and who can touch these parts and when.

Explore with your child who is your child’s network? Who does it include? At school, sometimes we’d use to the hand of the body as a visual aid, with each finger on the hand representing a person they can go to if they need to talk. Please ensure there is a mix of adults including teachers, principals, family and maybe even Kids Helpline!

I hope this information is of help. In the weeks and months to follow, I’ll be posting some live tips and follow up blogs to help you further.

Please let’s educate our kids so that they know that it’s safe to speak their truth and tell their stories.

That we live in a world where 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused is not acceptable. Let’s try and be part of a movement that changes this.

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