Abuse Prevention Strategies to Keep Our Kids Safe (with Rosalia Rivera)


Rosalia Rivera, an abuse prevention specialist and consent educator, joins Janet to define how dad and mom and caregivers may help forestall sexual abuse by educating the kids of their lives about body security, boundaries and consent. Rosalia is the mom of three younger youngsters and is herself a baby sexual abuse survivor. She hosts the podcast “AboutConsent” and is the founding father of Consent Parenting, an online platform that gives courses, workshops, a support group, and a plan of action for parents to protect their children.

Transcript of “Abuse Prevention Strategies to Keep Our Kids Safe (with Rosalia Rivera)”

Hi, that is Janet Lansbury. Welcome to Unruffled. Today, I’m so excited, I’ve a really particular visitor with me. Her identify is Rosalia Rivera. She’s a passionate consent educator. She’s an abuse prevention specialist, a sexual literacy advocate, and a survivor turned thriver. That’s how she describes herself. She’s the host of the podcast About Consent. She’s additionally the founding father of Consent Parenting, which is a web-based platform the place she provides programs, workshops, and membership for grownup CSA survivor dad and mom, in order that they will learn the way to shield their households from abuse.

So welcome, Rosalia. Thank you a lot for being right here.

Rosalia Rivera: Thank you a lot for inviting me. I like all your work, so I’m tremendous excited to be right here.

Janet Lansbury: Thank you.

Well, I believe it can assist the dad and mom listening if we are able to focus in to start out with a minimum of on this very scary concern of kid sexual abuse. As you realize, and I solely know just a little bit about this, the statistics are daunting.

Rosalia Rivera: Very, and it’s the scary factor too is these are simply the numbers which can be reported. So the numbers are doubtless larger than what’s being put on the market. And dad and mom are surprisingly nonetheless unaware of how prevalent and what the potential is for his or her households. And it’s been elevated by the entry via on-line predators. So it’s now a twofold state of affairs.

Janet Lansbury: So what are a few of the fundamentals that we are able to do as dad and mom to arm our youngsters, or to assist them to develop that healthy sense of their boundaries, and asserting them, making it much less doubtless that they’re going to be victims?

Rosalia Rivera: So I at all times advocate to dad and mom to start as early as attainable. You can educate about consent from start. Lots of it’s extra about the way in which that we communicate to our youngsters and our intention, and the way we talk to allow them to know that we’re keen to talk about our bodily exchanges — every thing from altering a diaper to bathing them. Usually it’s across the time when dad and mom are beginning to potty train that this begins to come up as a result of they’re realizing that different folks might start to want to assist them with this course of. And the idea of “private parts” begins to come into play. So normally, that’s when dad and mom will start to give it some thought.

But you possibly can start from as early as attainable by instructing youngsters a few of the fundamentals of body security, which is instructing them the proper anatomical names for his or her non-public components — that’s a part of body security. Also in the truth that you’re instructing body positivity.

I used to be raised with not utilizing the proper phrases as a result of there was quite a lot of disgrace within the family round our bodies and sexuality. And my mother’s additionally a survivor, and he or she simply didn’t understand how to method it.

So if we are able to start with a few of these fundamentals of body security — of instructing the fitting names after which speaking about secure and unsafe contact.

There’s three, actually, that you may start with, which is the non-public components, right anatomical names, instructing about secure and unsafe contact, and privateness, proper?  Around these components.

And then the third piece is about secrets and techniques, and explaining the distinction between secrets and techniques and surprises, that type of distinction, proper? To assist a baby perceive. Because there are quite a lot of well-meaning adults who… quite a lot of occasions it may very well be grandparents who need to reward a baby one thing, they usually suppose it’s simply an harmless factor to inform the kid: “Don’t tell your parents, because they’re probably not going to approve of me giving you candy.” Or no matter it’s, proper? And once more, a well-meaning person. But it sets up the unsuitable precedent for having the ability to hold secrets and techniques.

So if we are able to make the excellence for youths about secrets and techniques and surprises, and encourage the adults in our youngsters’s lives not to ever ask our youngsters to hold even well-meaning secrets and techniques — educating the folks in our youngster’s lives who’re caregivers about the truth that we’re going to be embarking on abuse prevention training. You’re type of placing up a pink flag to potential predators to say: “We’re going to be on top of this. We’re going to be aware.”

And then, because the youngster develops, to layer the completely different features which can be just a little bit extra complicated, whereas nonetheless making it accessible for them.

Janet Lansbury: I like that you just introduced up speaking to the adults, as a result of I believe that’s so necessary after we take into account the imbalance of energy between younger youngsters and adults. Especially if it’s Grandmother, or Uncle, or any individual that’s a part of their household. How exhausting is it for a kid to nonetheless overrule, in a means, one thing that this grownup is doing with them?

Rosalia Rivera: Yeah. And that’s one of many issues that I educate is how to talk with these adults. Because we have a tendency to have this concern, like we don’t need to insult anybody or make them really feel uncomfortable. Because it’s a distinct means of seeing and approaching youngsters, I believe, than quite a lot of our personal dad and mom had, proper? Grandparents, and even kinfolk. Sometimes it’s cultural. They’re simply used to having the ability to go in and provides a hug and a kiss. And I believe that that’s beginning to shift. There’s much more speak about giving children the fitting to select how they need to present affection and the way they need to greet somebody. But there’s nonetheless quite a lot of pushback from these adults. And generally they could strive to guilt a baby and make them really feel dangerous for not giving affection. And if we don’t talk with these adults and say that’s truly towards what we’re instructing… There are diplomatic methods of claiming it and having these conservations. All of it at all times comes down to communication.

But if we might be that frontline for our children, significantly after they’re so younger that they’re nonetheless studying this… We’re instructing via modeling. Because after we vocalize that on behalf of our children they usually hear us speaking about it, they’re studying that language they usually’re studying that they’ve the fitting. We’re encouraging them and backing them up. It’s being vocalized. And it provides them that reassurance that they will assert their rights to their boundaries.

When we do this, we create consent tradition inside our houses, inside our households, after which finally inside our communities. Because these adults will suppose twice about doing that to different children. Again, it’s all well-intentioned, however finally it sets up the potential for abuse and for grooming.

The statistics are that 90% of abuse occurs to children by people who they know. And extra particularly, it’s not simply by people who they know, however people who they belief, that they love, and that they’ve developed a bond with. So when abuse occurs, it may be actually complicated for a kid as a result of that is somebody that they discovered to belief and care for who’s now eroded a boundary or crossed a line, or violated a boundary. And if we don’t reassure youngsters that it’s okay to speak about it, to disclose it, and to do it in a means that’s honoring their instinct, their physiological response to an occasion like that… If we don’t educate these issues, we’re actually form of setting them up for not reporting. For feeling responsible about that is any individual that I like and I care for, I suppose it’s okay. Or I don’t know what to do.

And if that person has threatened or bribed them, that’s one other layer that they’ve to work out how to navigate. Because they could nonetheless love that person, however they only need the abuse to finish. And they don’t know what would occur in the event that they informed somebody. So us serving to set them up for having the ability to uphold their boundaries. And then in the event that they get crossed, that they will go to somebody to get assist actually goes a great distance between prevention after which a minimum of reporting so it doesn’t turn into a repeat state of affairs.

Janet Lansbury: Yeah. That is smart. And additionally you’re reminding me of a really highly effective means that may be form of natural for us to intervene, and mannequin, and have the boundary with the adults that we’re instructing — the grownup and the kid on the similar time. And this may very well be true with a tiny new child as nicely to form of interpret for the kid. So let’s say any individual desires to maintain my baby. And I have a look at my baby and I say, “Grandma would like to hold you now. Is that okay with you?” And then I’ll get a way proper there of whether or not my youngster is pulling again. Maybe not with a new child, however with a really younger toddler. You can inform after they’re form of hesitant or in the event that they’re open to it. So we are able to say to the grownup, “It seems like she’s saying no, for now.”

So proper there, you’ve taught so many classes. You’ve taught this grownup this can be a person with a standpoint, truly. What they suppose issues. And we’re instructing our youngster: You have a standpoint that issues, and I’m going to stick up for you and just be sure you know that and different folks know that.

So these alternatives the place we’re there I believe are actually, actually necessary as instructing occasions.

Rosalia Rivera: Yeah.

And one of many stuff you had talked about earlier than, and I need to simply form of circle again to for a second is that we have a tendency to consider abuse prevention training as one thing scary. And I believe that’s why lots of people have apprehension about the place to start or how to educate it. And the way in which that I method it, significantly as a result of I’m a survivor and I understand how nearly debilitating the triggers might be once you start to speak about sure issues that had been a part of your individual expertise, is that we would like to start by empowering our youngsters with data that makes them be ok with the rights that they do have and the way we’re going to honor them and assist them uphold them. Versus speaking about risks which can be potential issues that they’re going to come throughout.

So with the framework that I educate, I at all times start from this place of empowerment. And it begins with instructing children about their autonomy. And we are able to assist that idea with them by the way in which that we work together with them, apart from simply how we educate them how they will work together with others.

So quite a lot of occasions after I’m going via this training course of, we start with easy little issues that will look like not a giant deal, however they’re actually huge. And once you start to put all of them collectively, you start to discover what number of occasions we inadvertently simply handle our youngsters as a substitute of giving them the autonomy to learn the way to handle themselves.

A easy instance can be after we inform a baby to go brush their tooth and we’re commanding them to do one thing with their body. Versus asking them if they will go brush their tooth. That might look like a really minute shift. But after we start to apply that to all of the ways in which we discuss to our children, it actually makes you perceive how we cross boundary traces on a regular basis or we take away their autonomy regularly.

I at all times speak about that that is going to require you to make a giant shift in your parenting. Going from telling your youngster what to do to asking your youngster, so long as it doesn’t intrude with health and security. And now we have to even take into consideration these little caveats of if my youngster doesn’t eat, is {that a} health and security concern, realizing that they’d actually nutritious lunch? And they’re saying that they’re full now, do I push that I believe that they need to be eating extra? Or is it that I used to be conditioned by my very own dad and mom to end every thing on my plate?

There are quite a lot of shifts that occur simply from this one piece. But it’s the most important basis for consent since you’re instructing a baby about their body rights. And when we’re not congruent, we’re not matching our phrases with our actions to say: Your body belongs to you, however I’m nonetheless going to inform you how to run your life because it relates to your body. We’re giving them blended messages. So it has to start with this basis, which is actually empowering for youths. But it’s just a little little bit of a battle for fogeys.

But should you start with that stable basis of teaching them about their rights and layering it from there to boundaries, and consent, and all these items, it actually sets them up for this sense of empowerment. And from there, the scary stuff isn’t as scary as a result of they know that they’ve sources and instruments, and rights that they’re entitled to. And it takes quite a lot of that concern out of it.

At the top of the method that I educate, we speak about exit methods. So by the point they get to that piece, that studying piece of exit methods, they’re not fearful. They really feel like: Okay, I’ve some methods to get out of probably harmful conditions which can be empowering.

Janet Lansbury: That makes quite a lot of sense. And you’re talking to one thing actually necessary, I suppose it’s form of apparent, however we have a tendency to neglect that what we do issues far more than what we are saying. It will at all times be probably the most highly effective factor and at all times overrule when it comes to what youngsters are studying. We can learn books to our youngsters or speak about consent, and “this is your body” and all that. But the way in which that we method our youngster as early as attainable, and with the method I educate we’re, from start, laying the muse, it’s giving our youngster a message about the place they match on the earth, the place they’re in a relationship with us, if their standpoint issues, in the event that they’re in partnership with us, or if they’re passive and we do issues to them.

So that’s why with the RIE approach that I educate, we discuss to them instantly about, “I’m going to pick you up now. Are you ready?” But I believe folks misunderstand that you just’re ready for an toddler to inform you it’s okay to decide them up or change their diaper or one thing. And it’s not a lot that we’re ready for them to say sure, however we’re instructing them from the start that they’re part of this and that we’re open to their concepts about issues and their emotions about issues. And we’re not going to simply be those that do issues to them. That they’re part of a relationship and that they’re revered.

So earlier than this time period ‘consent’ turned a preferred time period, we simply talked about respect — that you just develop this relationship of respect together with your youngster. And meaning so many issues, like what you had been saying about brushing your tooth. We neglect as dad and mom generally this voice can come out of us that could be our personal dad and mom… It’s this sort of authoritarian voice perhaps that’s extra like, “Do this, do that.” And that’s how we predict we’re supposed to be with our youngster as a substitute of being actually well mannered, and heat, and caring. “I know you don’t love to do this, but we got to do it. Can you do it yourself? Or should we do it together?” Just these pleases and sort phrases about doing issues could make a giant distinction to present a baby that they’re revered, and that you just’re there to form of information them. Because they will’t make each determination themselves in fact. They do want us.

Rosalia Rivera: Yeah, precisely. And additionally that teaches them that their voice might be heard, proper? And quite a lot of occasions, if we did develop up with authoritarian dad and mom, which I did, I simply thought that my opinion about no matter it was that I didn’t need to do exactly didn’t depend. So I had to comply. And I believe quite a lot of dad and mom form of go into that default, such as you mentioned, the place they suppose the kid has to hear. And the kid primarily is being taught that their voice doesn’t matter or their voice shouldn’t be going to be heard. You do that always sufficient, and it shuts that down quite a lot of occasions for a kid.

So we would like them to at all times know that their voice does matter and that they will use it, and they need to use it particularly in the event that they discover themselves in unsafe conditions. So working towards that and giving them that means, it actually does want to be practiced. Consent has to be embodied. That means realizing what it feels like, looks like, appears like when any individual is saying no and that no is being revered. Getting children used to that being the usual.

All of that’s about that two means communication that you just develop together with your youngster. So as a substitute of it being a a technique the place you’re telling them what to do they usually don’t have a say.

Janet Lansbury: Right. But then there are occasions that we do have to insist bodily should you don’t need to maintain my hand after we’re on the sidewalk. But my youngster has proven me that they have a tendency to run off generally throughout this time of life, for no matter cause. So there, you possibly can nonetheless respect by encouraging them to share how mad they’re that you just’re doing that. “I know I have to do this thing that makes you really mad, but I’ve got to do it. You’re too important.” So we nonetheless want to be the grownup that’s guiding them.

Rosalia Rivera: For positive. That’s what I used to be saying when it comes to health and security, and people are conversations it’s also possible to have forward of time.

When you’re making this parenting shift, I at all times inform dad and mom you want to have this dialog with them to say, “I’ve been doing things this way, but this is some new education that I wasn’t raised with. So we’re going to transition to doing things this way. And that means you get more autonomy. And this is what that means. However, my job is to keep you safe and keep you healthy. So there are times when you won’t be able to say yes or no to certain things, because it’s a safety type situation.”

I say discuss to your children and get them to work out what may very well be some health and security conditions the place I’ll have to step in. So they could say, “Crossing the street.” Or, “if we are in the mall, we have to hold hands because you don’t want to get lost.” So issues like that. Right? And you possibly can set them up forward of time. Or if you realize you’re going someplace to remind them, “Okay, so we’re going to the doctors and we’re going to be doing this vaccination.” So speaking forward to say that these are the exceptions that now we have to be sure we’re maintaining you secure with.

It’s simply at all times a communication, you realize?

And I at all times encourage dad and mom to depart some white area to find a way to implement these issues with out it being a dramatic occasion. Sometimes it’s inevitable and it is going to be. But the extra we are able to talk and allow them to know what’s happening as a substitute of simply assuming that they know or that we’re simply going to do issues the way in which that we intend to do them and never embrace them in that dialog or that course of, the extra we may give them room to assert, but in addition to perceive that there’s conditions that require security. Then it makes it lots simpler to navigate that relationship.

Janet Lansbury: That’s an amazing level to put together them for that and permit them to companion in that, even considering of the concepts themselves. And then it’s like these tales that come true that youngsters love, even when it’s one thing considerably disagreeable like: You’re making me maintain your hand. We talked about this, and I knew this was going to occur. There’s an actual acceptance and form of confidence building that occurs there when youngsters are part of it.

I simply need to say yet another time, as a result of so many individuals that I discuss to, there’s this false impression that the primary 12 months or first two years for some folks is that this half that doesn’t matter. But if we are able to start this early (and this doesn’t imply should you didn’t, it’s too late — you can also make adjustments at any time), however the starting of life is probably the most impressionable time. This is when the muse is getting constructed. So I simply can’t encourage dad and mom sufficient to start partaking together with your baby as a full human being, from the start, that’s part of a relationship with you, and getting ready them for the issues which can be going to form of occur. It’s so necessary.

Rosalia Rivera: Yeah.

Janet Lansbury: I’m questioning what you concentrate on, I suppose these are type of scorching button matters: tickling, tough housing. How do these actions match with empowering our youngsters?

Rosalia Rivera: So do you imply between adults and youngsters or children and youngsters?

Janet Lansbury: Adults and youngsters.

Rosalia Rivera: Okay. The tickling factor is definitely one of many extra widespread questions that I get, as a result of there’s this entire concept that tickling is simply enjoyable. And should you’re tickling a baby they usually’re laughing, then that implies that that’s consent.

When they’re actually younger, we are able to nonetheless make it enjoyable and ask them, “Do you want to play a tickling game?” With my children for instance, they love me pretending to be the tickle monster. And we’ve truly turned it right into a consent sport. So I’ll fake to be the tickle monster chasing them round. And they’ve discovered that in the event that they don’t need to be tickled for no matter cause, it’s nearly form of a part of the sport that they’ll say, “No consent.” And then I’ve to cease instantly.

So I believe that we simply have to shift the way in which that we method it. We can nonetheless have interaction in these enjoyable actions, however we would like to ensure that they know they will at all times say cease. And we cease instantly as a substitute of pushing that boundary, which is tempting to do when children are actually tiny they usually’re so cute, and also you simply need to tickle them. We are instructing them that we honor that vocalized no.

And even adults who might not know our children all that nicely, perhaps a member of the family who desires to go in for a tickle, we are able to on behalf of our children allow them to know: “this is something that we’re exploring because we’re doing consent education.” So tickling is provided that that permission has been granted.

So quite a lot of occasions, it’s simply speaking with all of the adults in our children’ lives after which letting our children know, “All of these activities are fun as long as you feel that they’re fun. And you always have the right to say stop because consent can always be withdrawn.” And I believe that that half about consent and studying that consent might be withdrawn can be actually highly effective as a result of predators might reap the benefits of that. And if a baby thinks, “Well, I consented to being tickled, but now it’s turned into something else.” And the grownup is telling me, “Well, you said it was okay.” They can actually mess with a baby’s thoughts about that.

So instructing a baby that consent can at all times be withdrawn in any state of affairs, it may be taught as a part of that play. Part of studying about bodily interplay is thru play and thru exploring communication kinds.

Lots of occasions we’re additionally instructing children that communication is nonverbal as nicely, proper? So if my nonverbal communication is that I’m out of the blue closing up, or my face isn’t completely satisfied, then these are additionally alerts that ought to be paid attention to.

So we would like to give children as many communication instruments as attainable, after which honor that, and educate different folks of their lives to honor that.

I’ve one thing referred to as “consent letters.” These consent letters, they’re a communication device for the adults in my youngster’s life. So there’s a medical consent letter which explains that when they’re in a health care provider’s appointment, my youngster’s expectations are that they’re asked for knowledgeable consent. So that implies that the physician wants to inform the kid of what they want to do, why they want to do it, and the way they want to do it, after which truly ask for the consent to do it. And then the kid has to say sure or no.

So we went to this new physician and we gave him the letter. It’s somebody that my husband truly has identified for all of his life. So we all know that this can be a good physician, secure physician, to my information. So we gave him the letter, and he’s like, “This is really cool. I think this is really an awesome thing. And I’m actually glad that you gave it to me because I have a tendency of just wanting to tickle kids. It’s obviously a well intentioned thing, but I always kind of go in for this tickle.” And he’s like, “But you’re absolutely right. I shouldn’t just be doing that just because it’s my patient and it’s a cute little kid.”

So this actually shifted the way in which that he’s now going to method his sufferers which can be little.

I imply, would you do this to an grownup? We have a tendency to suppose simply because they’re little, we get to have these interactions. But in the event that they had been adults, we actually wouldn’t go in and pinch somebody’s cheeks, or pet them on the top, or go in for a tickle, proper? So why are we okay with doing it to children?

We can actually at all times be playful and all of that, so long as we reinforce to our children that after they say no or they verbalize a no, or have body language that claims no, that we honor it, and hold confirming that in order that that turns into their expectation.

Janet Lansbury: Also it helps the father or mother not to have to be so confrontational. It’s a lot better to give the physician the advance discover that’s respectful. And it’s useful to your youngster to know that it issues that a lot that you just’re doing that when your youngster is sufficiently old to know these issues.

Rosalia Rivera: Right. And it helps them additionally after they’re older to know that they’ve rights over their bodily health and the way to work together with the practitioners of their lives, proper? So anybody who has a uterus, after they get to that stage of reproductive health, that they really feel empowered by these interactions as nicely.

Janet Lansbury: Right. And this once more, begins with the toddler. We’re altering their diaper, and it’s widespread to distract and say: Look over right here and don’t pay any attention to what I’m doing. What is that instructing our youngster?

What you’re speaking about with the physician, it looks as if there’s two points which can be getting in the way in which. One is that we’re not seeing the younger youngster as a person. We’re seeing them as an object for us to do issues to or no matter, which is comprehensible and, once more, the way in which I used to most likely take into consideration youngsters.

And then the opposite half shouldn’t be actually recognizing the ability imbalance. You mentioned one thing in your Instagram web page that I like. Something to the impact of, “It’s not consent if your child is afraid to say no.” And that may occur even with Mom or Dad which can be getting so enthusiastic about tickling you or roughhousing with you. Sometimes we are able to get, particularly with the roughhousing, we are able to form of lose management just a little. Like we get so concerned in it that we’re form of out of ourselves.

We want to understand that our youngster is geared in direction of pleasing us. Our youngster is inclined to need to have enjoyable after we’re having enjoyable. So it’s not simply that they’re afraid of us. It may very well be simply that they so need to be a part of with us there, that they’re not listening to their very own discomfort. They’re simply not ready to separate it out that means and communicate for themselves, particularly in the event that they’re an toddler. So simply maintaining these two issues in thoughts, I believe is actually necessary: the imbalance of energy and that this can be a considerate person who may be very conscious and impressionable.

Rosalia Rivera: Yeah. And I believe one of many different features of that, too… I form of talked about this just a little bit earlier than, the place you might get an grownup like an aunt, for instance, who goes in and desires a hug, and the kid simply desires to give a high 5. And they could make a face of unhappiness as a result of they didn’t get the hug. Lots of people don’t understand that it’s not in poor health supposed in that means. But quite a lot of that may finally lead to a type of coercion, which making an attempt to clarify this with out making folks go, “What, what do you mean?” Emotional manipulation nearly, however…

Janet Lansbury: Yeah. Like, “You’re going to make me sad.”

Rosalia Rivera: Exactly. I do know that that’s not the intent of the aunt to manipulate the kid, however quite a lot of occasions that’s simply how we’ve grown up on this tradition the place if we’re not proven affection, then now we have other ways of exhibiting our disappointment for that. And I believe with adults, they’ve a lot energy and affect over youngsters. And youngsters finally are so empathetic. They don’t need to make somebody unhappy. Right?

And now we have to bear in mind as adults that it’s actually our job to handle our personal feelings and emotions about one thing. So if we’re disillusioned with Johnny’s not giving us a hug, that’s one thing that we’d like to kind out on our personal and handle ourselves. Because in any other case we’re sending this message that they owe different folks affection. And we don’t need to harm folks’s emotions. I suppose I’ve to give them a hug, proper?

Janet Lansbury: It’s codependency is what it’s, proper? I’m chargeable for everybody else’s feelings.

Rosalia Rivera: Exactly. And we’d like to be extra conscious of how that’s internalized by children. I at all times say this to dad and mom too. We have a tendency to be afraid of, “I don’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings if my child doesn’t want to hug them. And then they’re going to feel really sad or disappointed.” I at all times say, “When you have these conversations, remind them ‘my child loves you.’ And, ‘We’re giving them these options because just like you, they may have an off day and they don’t really feel like doing a hug right now or doing a kiss.’ For whatever reason, we should never have these forced expectations. And ultimately: ‘Do you really want my child hugging you when they don’t really want to hug somebody?’ That’s just really forced affection anyway.”

So it’s simply little issues like that, they make a giant distinction, and having these conversations with these adults. Because it’s not simply our youngsters’s accountability to talk this stuff. As dad and mom, we’re their first line of protection. So if we make the most of our voice on their behalf they usually see that, once more, you’re serving to to mannequin what that feels like when somebody is establishing a boundary in a form and delicate means. It doesn’t have to come off as defensive or my guard is up. For me, respecting boundaries is the way in which that we present love. So after we are doing that, we’re being respectful. And that’s the tradition that I’m making an attempt to create is that consent tradition of implementing and upholding these boundaries. And then respecting that of others.

When we’re instructing abuse prevention within the early stage, we’re additionally creating consent tradition for the long run by instructing these youngsters how to respect the rights of others as nicely, and never coerce one other person into owing them affection both, proper? So after we’re instructing that to the adults in our lives to not do this to our children, these children at the moment are going to develop up to not do this to different folks.

Janet Lansbury: Right. And that holds true with us as nicely. That’s why it’s so necessary for us to have boundaries with our youngsters that we categorical respectfully. If we don’t need them to be throughout us in that second, that we’re ready to get just a little distance with love, that we do this, that we’re not victims to our personal youngsters. Because then we’re modeling that they don’t have to respect different folks’s boundaries.

Rosalia Rivera: Exactly. People suppose that abuse prevention is that this algorithm. You do that, this, this, and this. But it’s actually an entire shift in considering after we’re speaking about creating consent tradition. Because we presently reside in a tradition that’s always crossing boundaries. Our traces are blurred. And there’s this sense of I don’t know what’s proper and what’s applicable. And there’s this entire type of pushback even with the #MeToo motion of, “Now everybody’s so sensitive. And now I can’t even talk to women because I’m afraid of what they’re going to say.” And it’s as a result of this hasn’t been a part of our lexicon of considering. Lots of that is very new, each to this technology and the prior technology.

We are speaking about rights and liberation, and thru that’s how we shield children. It’s not simply concerning the set, this guidelines of studying sure books and instructing about non-public components. That’s all a part of it. But the larger image is how we’re instructing via that every day interplay with our youngsters and the way we empower them with their rights. And that’s a giant parenting shift for most individuals.

Janet Lansbury: Absolutely.

Can you simply discuss just a little about a few the small print? When we should always have our antenna up, what sort of behaviors from folks we should always take discover of?

Rosalia Rivera: Yeah. So primarily, what that’s referred to as are grooming indicators. I believe that that’s a horrible time period. When I first discovered about it, it’s like, “What do you mean grooming? Like when you brush your hair?” It ought to be actually referred to as manipulation or luring, as a result of predators have nearly a set of methods or techniques that they use so as to achieve that youngster’s belief and develop a bond with them, a relationship. And that is one thing that isn’t simply achieved to the kid, but in addition to the household, to the dad and mom of that youngster, to get them to additionally belief, proper? To achieve their belief.

What these indicators are, these grooming indicators, once you put them collectively and also you start to see that there’s greater than two or three mixed from a sure person, that’s when your antenna ought to go up.

But I at all times advocate in case your spider senses, in case your instinct or your intestine is telling you one thing’s off, then pay extra attention, restrict the quantity of one-on-one interplay with that person and your youngster. There’s a cause that you’re sensing that.

And the indicators that you ought to be in search of are, sometimes: you should have a person who’s requesting one-on-one time together with your youngster. So they could supply it in methods like, “I can do some babysitting, or I can take them off your hands for a couple of hours.” That could also be wonderful as a result of it’s a grandparent or a member of the family. But should you start to discover that they’re requesting it extra usually than what has appeared regular previously, that’s one thing that you must pay attention to.

If they’re gifting your youngster with issues that may very well be costly or not costly, nevertheless it’s not at an applicable time, like a birthday or Christmas, or another form of particular occasion, that’s one other potential signal of grooming.

If they’re asking your youngster to hold secrets and techniques, even when they’re thought-about good secrets and techniques, that’s one other attainable signal. Because predators type of check or vet their attainable victims via harmless issues like maintaining a secret about one thing that appears benign. So if it’s: I gave this youngster sweet, or I handled them to ice cream and I asked them not to say something, I need to see if they’re truly going to hold that secret. And then in the event that they do, that’s one thing that I can use towards them later to say, “Well, you kept that secret. And if your parents find out,” or no matter menace or bribe they use. So that’s type of proof to them that the kid is keen to hold a secret they usually can proceed to erode a boundary. So if the kid does say, “So-and-so gave me this, but they said not to say anything.” That’s a possible pink flag.

Again, that is together. So like you might say: Well, my mother gave him some ice cream and I’m fairly positive that that ought to be wonderful. It doubtless is that if it’s that one factor. But if it’s together with a bunch of different issues, then it’s one thing to pay attention to.

I’ve even had a father or mother who mentioned, “My mom was doing all these grooming things, and I know she’s not an abuser, but she is a narcissist. And she was kind of using my child in a manipulative way because she was trying to access this other thing or this information about the family.” So it’s like, nicely, you possibly can have grooming that occurs for a particular cause. It doesn’t at all times have to be abuse. But these are nonetheless the standard indicators {that a} predator will use.

So these are three.

Another one is that if they’re making an attempt to get extra of that one-on-one time, however they’re asking the kid to ask the dad and mom.

And out of the blue then the kid is making an attempt to not hang around with that person if they’ve abused them already. And out of the blue when the kid initially was at all times wanting to hang around with that person and now they’re out of the blue not wanting to hang around with that person, that’s one other particular pink flag that you ought to be paying attention to. And significantly if that person retains insisting on getting extra one-on-one time with them.

Janet Lansbury: And then I’m positive there are methods that you may broach these topics together with your youngster when it comes to discovering out extra, asking them the fitting questions and —

Rosalia Rivera: Yeah. With the kid, should you can have the communication of letting them know that they will at all times come to you, that there’s nothing that they might ever do that will make them unlovable. I believe this is likely one of the largest ones that folks don’t understand is the factor that will forestall a baby from truly reporting —  that in the event that they really feel that they’d be unloved due to what occurred. And among the finest methods to preempt that, and I speak about this lots when it comes to telling your youngster you probably did one thing dangerous or you probably did one thing good, and we do that with Christmas, proper? You’re on the naughty record otherwise you’re on the great record, proper? Are you going to get coal or items? That entire idea will get actually ingrained into children’ minds. They suppose in the event that they did one thing dangerous, that that makes them dangerous. And so if we reinforce to our youngsters that they’re at all times good, that there’s nothing that they will do that will make them unlovable, that your love is unconditional.

And for lots of fogeys they’re like, “Well my kid knows that.” Well, do they realize it as a result of it’s in your thoughts and also you’re expressing it via your actions, or do they realize it as a result of you have got taken the time to reiterate this?

And this truly was one thing that I not too long ago discovered about with my youngest. They had drawn on the wall or one thing with crayons. And they might see that I wasn’t very completely satisfied about the truth that they did that. But I’ve discovered at this level it’s detachable. I don’t want to freak out or something. So that had occurred and we had been, I believe he was going to the toilet and I’ve to go together with him as a result of it’s via this darkish hallway, so I’m at all times having to stroll with him there. And I don’t know why, I simply taking a look at how lovely he’s. And I mentioned, “I love you so much.”

And he’s like, “You do?”

And I mentioned, “Yeah, of course I do.”

He says, “Even though I drew on the wall with the crayons?”

I mentioned, “Yeah, of course I love you even though you did that.”

And you would see the wheels delivering his head as a result of he knew that I used to be not completely satisfied about it, proper? But on the similar time, I had not realized how he had internalized that perhaps this by some means made him much less lovable.

And he’s like, “I thought I was bad.”

And I mentioned, “You’re not bad.” I mentioned, “What you did was not good, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not good.” You know?

That’s a very huge a part of how children will decide whether or not they inform us one thing based mostly on what a predator would say to them. “Your parents aren’t going to love you.” Or, “After they know what you did, they’re going to be ashamed of you.” There are quite a lot of manipulative methods that predators use.

We have to repeatedly reinforce this concept with our children via not simply our actions however via our phrases to allow them to know regularly that it doesn’t matter what anyone ever tells them, it doesn’t matter what they do, that they’re at all times unconditionally beloved by us.

Janet Lansbury: Absolutely.

Rosalia Rivera: And the older they get, we might have a tendency to suppose that they don’t want these reminders, nevertheless it’s truly after they want them much more. Because we aren’t as bodily affectionate with our youngsters as they become old. And they form of have extra of that independence, particularly as they’re going into the teenage years. This is after they want to hear it. They want to be reassured a bit.

Janet Lansbury: And that they’re going to make errors and that all of us do.

I at all times informed my children, “I’ve done worse than whatever you’re going to do. So you can always tell me, don’t worry. I’m not going to judge you. I’m not going to shame you,” in maintaining these traces open. So necessary. Because, yeah, as children become old, we anticipate extra of them. It’s tougher not to be judgmental, as a substitute of simply judging the habits and serving to them with the habits.

Rosalia Rivera: Yeah. And after I consider what are a very powerful issues that we should always educate about abuse prevention, that’s one of many high three, I might say. Because that may at all times allow them to know that they’ve a secure place to land. And it doesn’t matter what, we’ll at all times imagine them. And it doesn’t matter what, we’ll at all times love them. And there isn’t something that they will do that will make them much less lovable.

Unfortunately for lots of survivors, that is likely one of the the explanation why they by no means disclosed. So we all know that based mostly on that, it’s actually necessary for youths to know that they’ll proceed to be worthy of affection no matter what occurs to them or how they could have been manipulated to imagine that by some means they had been complicit.

Janet Lansbury: Wow. Well that is heavy, heavy stuff. This is a very good be aware to finish on. I hate to finish since you’re such a wealth of knowledge. I actually meant it — I might discuss with you for hours and hours, and perhaps we are going to do one other. I would love that — to discover a few of these different matters that you just concentrate on. But within the meantime, thanks a lot in your work. I like that it’s ardour pushed. I’ve listened to your story about how you got into this. And it was fascinating, all of the completely different careers that you just had and completely different pursuits you had, and the way you stored coming again to this necessary therapeutic that you just wanted to do your self. And now you’re providing it to others. So kudos to you and have an amazing remainder of your day.

Rosalia Rivera: Thank you.

Janet Lansbury: Along with all of Rosalia’s different sources at Consent Parenting (HERE) that I’ve linked within the transcript of this podcast, she’s additionally reopening her membership group for grownup youngster sexual abuse survivors. And I’ll have the link for that (HERE).

And each of my books can be found on audio, please verify them out. Elevating Child Care, A Guide To Respectful Parenting and No Bad Kids, Toddler Discipline Without Shame. You may even get them free of charge from Audible by following the link within the liner notes of this podcast, or you possibly can go to the books part of my web site and discover them there. You also can get them in paperback at Amazon, and in e-book at Amazon, Barnes And Noble, and apple.com.

Thanks once more for listening. We can do that.


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