Two weeks ago, we had the opportunity to participate in a “When You Should Tell” session organized by our Brownie troop leader and the parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center. I am truly grateful this session was set up because it is important for children at an early age to know that everyone is not “nice” and to give them tools to protect themselves. There were lots of different role play scenarios. For example, a grown-up runs up to you and says: ” I lost my puppy, can you help me find it? What do you do?” They taught them to “Stop! Check first!”
To refresh your memory, Megan’s Law is an informal name for laws in the United States requiring law enforcement authorities to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders, which was created in response to the murder of Megan Kanka. Source: Wikipedia
To summarize the content in the “When You Should Tell” flyer: The focus of this workshop was to EMPOWER young children by teaching them that they have rights, choices, and can say STOP to anyone even a grown-up if that person makes them feel “yucky”. It also explores what it means to be “in charge” of your body, and that each child gets to decide about who touches or does not touch them and how.
Other skills taught include:
• Understand the difference between good and bad touches.
• The NO-GO-TELL policy of saying NO if something feels “yucky” and then going to tell a grown-up you trust.
• How to say NO if someone wants to do something or wants you to do something that you don’t like (feels “yucky”).
• Who are the grown-ups you trust?
• The 10 Rules of Safety.
• A thorough explanation of what it means to be in charge of your own body and feelings.
• What feelings are (happy, sad, mad, confused) and why OUR OWN feelings are the most important.
• Every person has BATHING SUIT/ PRIVATE AREAS and no one is allowed to touch you in your bathing suit private area unless it is to keep you clean or healthy.
• The meaning of certain words such as: friend, stranger, family, danger, safety, comfortable, uncomfortable or “yucky”.
• Understanding that it is not a child’s fault if someone bigger makes them feel uncomfortable.
For more information:
Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center
P.O. Box 145
Stony Brook, N.Y. 11790