It is important to find the right time and place to talk with children about abuse and its prevention. Sometimes parents hear a frightening report on the news and fueled by their own fear, put on their most serious faces and call a meeting with their children. While this method isn’t always harmful, it isn’t the best way to help children learn abuse prevention strategies. Talking about abuse prevention can be incorporated into everyday life situations. Educators call these “teachable moments”. Parents can begin short and promising discussions with their children by using cartoons and other children’s television programs to talk about abuse. They should point out to children that hitting isn’t right, that children have a right to be safe and not to be hurt by adults or others.
Bully situations at school or in the neighborhood, or stories children read also present opportunities to discuss prevention. As children grow, they begin to take on independent activities which provide moments to reinforce safety skills.