BANANews: Week in Review & Fun Things to Do

Three cheers for Friday! It’s been a wonderful week at BANANAS and we’re excited to share everything that’s been going on.

THIS WEEK

April is such an important month for kids, and, in fact, it’s the Month of the Young Child! In addition to this designation, April is also noted as National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Poetry Month. With such relevant topics being highlighted, this week we posted a difficult but extremely necessary BANANA Bites column on Talking to Kids About Molestation. We recognize how tough it can be to address this with young children and hope that the ideas provided enable parents to teach kids what is appropriate and what’s not. We love responding to the questions of parents and early learning professionals, so if there is a subject you would like us to cover, send an email to elyce@bananasinc.org. To bring attention to the fun of poetry month, we created a whimsical Pinterest board called A World of Poetry filled with quotes from Roald Dahl, A.A. Milne, and Lewis Carroll, along with crafty ideas for little ones such as a Making a Poet-tree. Be sure to check out all the imagination inspiration!

NEXT WEEK

New parents will gain lots of helpful information at Thursday’s free Choosing Infant Care workshop, and Spanish-speaking child care providers will enjoy Aprender a través de las Relaciones con Bebés y Niños Pequeños, the first in a two-part series beginning next Saturday, April 18th. And, we still have four remaining slots for our CPR & First Aid Training on Sunday, April 19th, so call us today for registration forms or stop by to reserve your space!

IN THE COMMUNITY

There are some uniquely awesome events taking place in the Bay Area this weekend, including the free I’m a Performer Family Concert with the Berkeley Symphony. At this all-ages event, kids are invited to bring their instruments or raise their voices alongside professional orchestra players. On Sunday, families can watch jugglers, listen to children’s music, and indulge in local food items at a free Berkeley Bay Earth Day Festival. Get a jump-start on your Earth Day celebrations by checking out all the super fun ideas on our Earth Day for Little Ones Pinterest board.

Enjoy the sunshine and we’ll see you on Monday!

BANANA Bites: Talking to Kids About Molestation

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, so it calls attention to this extremely important subject. In this week’s edition of BANANA Bites we bring this tough conversation to the table and discuss ways to help keep children safe.

 Dear BANANA Bites, 

We would like to talk to our children about child abuse, and especially the dangers of molestation, without causing them extra fear. What are some ways we can help them protect themselves?

Parents Addressing Child Abuse Prevention

“Dear PACAP,

This is a subject that all parents worry about and yet it’s a topic that can be very difficult to address. We always want to protect our little ones from danger without destroying their basic trust of people or upsetting their view that this is a good world. We may shy away from the topic because we don’t think it’s possible to discuss the negative aspects of sexuality, such as adult exploitation of children, without giving disapproving messages about healthy physical affection or sex in general. However, children are exposed to media events and news stories about murders, burglaries, kidnappings, rapes, and molestations and we need to help interpret these events for children and put them into perspective.

Some facts to keep in mind are: Child molestation can occur in any neighborhood. The offender can be of any age, race, or economic level. In most cases, the offender is not a stranger, but a relative or acquaintance of the family. The victim can be either a male or female. Molestations very seldom take place in a child care program. They occur much more frequently in a home or neighborhood setting.

Six steps you can follow to help children protect themselves: 

1. Teach children their full names, addresses, and phone numbers. Also teach them your workplace number and the number for 9-1-1.

2. Talk to children about their bodies, including vagina, penis, and breasts. Teach them that these parts are private.

3. Tell your child(ren) that if anyone tries to touch or look at his/her private parts, shows them pictures of privates parts, or tries to photograph their private parts, then the child needs to tell you, a teacher, guardian, or caregiver as soon as they can.

4. Teach children that they should tell you if an adult asks them to keep secrets and emphasize that these kind of secrets are never allowed.

5. Let children know that people who want to do ‘secret touching’ might try tricks to get children to do what they want, such as offering candy or gifts or threatening them with punishment. Tell children that this is wrong and that people who do this will get in trouble for their behavior.

6. Give children specific ideas of what behaviors to watch out for and give them permission to say NO and to leave a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable.

For some examples of how to have these conversations, additional tips for keeping kids safe, and resources for children and adults, please read our handout How to Talk to Your Child About Molestation.”

Please share this information and visit the resources listed in the handout, including the Megans Law website and the Center for Child Protection.