It’s no secret that children all over the world will be gearing up to attend summer camps in a few months, and while that’s exciting, there are some things that we need to discuss when it comes to safety and preventative measures. On Wednesday, May 8, from 12-1 pm in Linton Hall (room 113), Dr. Megan Maas, assistant professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies, will present a session on keeping your children safe at summer camp. Ahead of that session, we have some helpful tips from an article that she wrote, Safe at Summer Camp: Talking to Kids about Sexual Abuse and Summer Lovin’:
- You never know who can have ulterior motives so please converse with your child on how to spot when relationships are inappropriate. Let them know that it is ok to stop interacting with others if they feel uncomfortable whether it is body language or otherwise.
- Did you know that sexual abuse perpetrators look for victims who are shy and don’t have the correct terminology for their genitals? Have conversations with your children on this taboo topic so that they are more aware of their body parts.
- Standing up to bullies - please let your child know that it is important to be an ally and stand up for others and intervening if they see someone being mistreated.
- Talk to your children about consent. Teach younger kids to say no and who to talk to if they are uncomfortable in a situation. Talk with older kids about relationships and intimate encounters. Prepare them to make better decisions and consider consequences.