As a parent, our children’s safety is always our number one priority. As Children grow up, we teach them valuable lessons about life that we hope will keep them safe.
There are things I discuss with my children on a regular basis. I’m sure you have all had a conversation with your children about stranger danger, bullying, or crossing the road safely. But what about sexual abuse?
Reading through newspapers on a daily basis, you just can’t escape some of the awful things that happen around us. As a parent, it can be quite terrifying, and I’ve recently started to wonder, if the unthinkable happened, would my children know what to do? It’s something I’ve never spoken to my children about because I just couldn’t find the right words. It’s a scary topic, and quite a grown up subject, so how do I talk to my children about sexual abuse in an age appropriate way, without frightening them?
The NSPCC have recognised the difficulty a lot of parents have approaching this important subject, and are encouraging parents to talk PANTS to teach their children about The Underwear Rule to help keep their children safe from sexual abuse.
The underwear rule is as simple as it sounds, no one should touch you in a place that your underwear covers. PANTS is a simple set of rules to help children understand that their body belongs to them, and teaches them about speaking to a grown up if anything makes them feel uncomfortable. It has designed to be appropriate for children age 5-11, and it’s a way of talking to your children without having to mention ‘sexual abuse’ or using any other scary words.
To help children remember the underwear rule, we need to talk PANTS…
Privates are private
Always remember your body belongs to you
No means no
Talk about secrets that upset you
Speak up – someone can help
When the NSPCC contacted me asking if I would help promote this campaign, I immediately said yes. If I’m being honest, I’d never heard of ‘The underwear rule’ or ‘PANTS’ before, so I’m guessing there are lots of other parents who don’t know about it too. It’s such a simple way to speak to your children about an important topic, and could help keep them safe from the unthinkable, so I feel it’s important to spread the word to parents across the country, and make PANTS as well known as the green cross code.
If you would like to know more about ‘The underwear rule’, head on over to the NSPCC’s website, where you can download guides, with tips on how to talk PANTS with your children. They also have guides on how to discuss the underwear rule with a child who has autism or learning difficulties, which I thought was brilliant.
Help spread the word about this important campaign by tweeting: I’m talking PANTS! The @NSPCC Underwear Rule helps keep children safe. RT and #TalkPANTS today www.nspcc.org.uk/pants
and lets get families across the country talking PANTS!