by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz - 6/20/11
In response to dozens of emails from community leaders and parents alike asking us to record the Project YES safety initiative, “Speaking to Your Kids about Personal Safety,” we are pleased to share with you the professional video taping of one of the sessions. It is available in its entirety on http://vimeo.com/25322132.
Studies have found that children who participated in an abuse prevention education program were six to seven times more likely to demonstrate self protective behavior than children who had not. Research on abuse prevention has consistently found that parents can play a critical role in safeguarding their children. This can be done in an effective way that conveys key points about successful protection to even very young children. A knowledgeable approach can be carried out in a manner that will not provoke undue anxiety in your child and can, in fact, strengthen your parent child relationship.
The basic building blocks of an effective child safety program begin with the simple process of sitting with your children and engaging them in conversation assisted by the information you’ve obtained from the video. Keep in mind that talking to children about safety is an ongoing process -- not a single event. A parent child relationship that is characterized by warmth and open communication, where the child knows that there is nothing he can say or do that will lead to the loss of his parents’ love, is probably the most effective means of preventing abuse.
By far education is the best way to keep our children safe. This is something you can do. But, in order for it to be most successful, think of this program as a vaccination. It is most effective when everyone does it together, so please pass this message on to your friends and neighbors.
I look forward to your comments and suggestions.