My sexual abuse prevention unit for third grade is comprised of three lessons, which focus on body safety, trusting “yucky” or uncomfortable feelings, recognizing grooming behaviors, and the importance of telling about uncomfortable, scary, or dangerous situations. These lessons revisit and build upon skills and concepts that I cover in previous grades, but prior knowledge is not necessary, so you can use them as a starting place even if your students haven’t already had lessons about safe touch.
For these lessons you will need the books No More Secrets for Me by Oralee Wachter, My Body is Private by Linda Walvoord Girard, and Mia’s Secret by Peter Ledwon and Marilyn Mets. You will also need some drawing/coloring pages Continue reading
My sexual abuse prevention unit for second grade consists of three lessons, which revisit and build upon the skills and concepts covered in first grade. For these lessons you will need the books Scoop by Julia Cook and I Said No! A Kid to Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private by Zack and Kimberly King, as well as scenarios from Teaching Kids How to Tell About Sexual Abuse and some coloring pages (linked below.) It will be helpful for you to familiarize yourself with the foundational information about how to teach sexual abuse prevention by reading the posts Teaching Kids How to Tell About Sexual Abuse and Teaching Kids to Recognize Grooming before you teach the lessons. You can link to all my posts about sexual abuse prevention lessons and resources by visiting A Collection of Sexual Abuse Prevention Resources. The objectives and ASCA National Standards addressed in this unit are listed at the end of the post.
There is nothing like kids teaching kids – it is engaging, powerful, and another kid’s words can often be more meaningful than an adult’s. It’s great to have role models visit a classroom to talk about how they learned to solve conflicts or stop bullying, but this kind of presentation is not possible when it comes to abuse prevention. Here, though, is a way to provide meaningful kid-to-kid teaching about this important topic. The video, Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse is an amazing, must-have resource. In it, four real kids tell their stories and share the importance of telling an adult about physical and sexual abuse, and how doing so ends the abuse and brings them to safety. See below for suggestions about how you can get a copy. Continue reading
Recently, McKenzie Roman, a community educator from the YWCA in Kalamazoo, Michigan contacted me to ask if she could use some of the ideas in my posts about sexual abuse prevention in a coloring book that she was developing for classroom lessons in Kalamazoo elementary schools. Of course, I said “YES!” The coloring book is now complete and the Kalamazoo YWCA has generously shared it with me so that I can share it with all of you! It was pretty much like my birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and a dance party all wrapped up into one magical moment when I received my copy this week! Continue reading
It has been deeply gratifying to hear from so many people about how they have used the sexual abuse prevention lessons and resources that I have written about in various blog posts. I am passionate about the topic of sexual abuse prevention – I have seen such amazing changes in children who are able to report and avoid abuse – and am so glad to be able to help others as they do this important work. To make it easier for people to more easily locate all the posts I’ve written about sexual abuse prevention, I’ve put them all together, with a little help from a friend. Continue reading
Most kids and parents would never dream of leaving their front doors wide open so that anybody could walk right into their homes. And yet, many unwittingly do just that. Strangers, advertisers, predators, unkind classmates, and bullies slip directly into homes, bedrooms, backpacks, and pockets, browsing through photo albums, diaries, activity schedules, and other personal details about kids’ lives. Sometimes they leave something behind – perhaps a taunt or threat – and sometimes they take something with them when they leave – a photo or information that can be used to hurt the kid. Continue reading
In the days after a student discloses abuse, I always touch base to see how things are going. I tell them (again) how brave they were and how proud of them I am. Unfortunately, not all of these stories have happy endings, but in many cases, telling helps kids find safety, and they feel protected, empowered, and proud of themselves. Some of the most profoundly moving moments of my career as a school counselor have come when kids have told me about how telling made such a difference in how they are feeling about their situations and about themselves. Here is some of what they have told me (and how I plan to use their words to help other kids too): Continue reading
When thinking about perpetrators of child sexual abuse, many people picture an image of a creepy stranger. Parents and schools generally do a pretty good job of teaching their kids about “stranger danger.” But this is not where most of the danger lies. The vast majority of sexual abusers are known to the children they target, so it is incumbent upon us to teach kids not only how to respond when an uncomfortable or dangerous situation arises, but also how to recognize when danger is approaching. Continue reading
Disclosing sexual abuse is difficult on so many levels. Kids may have been threatened or bribed. They may be worried that the abuse is their fault and that they will get in trouble. They may fear that they won’t be able to live at home any more, that it will cause divorce or the breakup of a parent’s relationship, or that someone they care about will be put in jail. Confusion, shame, and fear are powerful, silencing feelings. And children may just not have the words, know what to say, or how to say it. We need to teach kids the importance of telling, but we also need to teach them how to tell. Continue reading
It was the middle of summer, and all I could think was, “I wish I had all my fifth graders together.” This is not usually the kind of thought I have in July, but three things had happened: Jerry Sandusky had been convicted of sexually abusing ten boys, the NCAA had announced sanctions against Penn State, and a local couple had confessed to sexual assault against a 13-year-old. I knew that many of our students would have seen and heard lots about these incidents, from the media and from adult discussion around them. If school had been in session Continue reading