This topic needs sensitive and careful handling with your child as you want them to be safe and aware, but not fearful. It’s important during this process you emphasise that most adults are caring, loving and responsible. Protective behaviour is not just about Stranger Danger but any environments with untrustworthy people. Protective behaviour teaches children to recognise their body’s reactions and feeling and give them strategies to be safe.
Some Principles to teach young children
- A child has a right to feel safe all the time.
- Recognising and naming emotions and feelings and sharing them with you. Let them know nothing is too bad to tell you about. This also means you need to take care about being negative about ‘dobbing’. Better a child dob and you decide what, if anything needs to be done.
- There is a difference about secrets (which can make them feel uncomfortable) and surprises, (which are often fun).
- Saying no – even to you sometimes to practise.
- Private parts of their body and rules of touching.
- Five-fingers of people they can trust and can speak to about anything.
It is vital that young children be well-supervised, while still allowing them space to explore and learn independence. This can be a difficult balance to achieve. If a strong foundation is laid in recognising uncomfortable feelings and having an open communication with your child, as children grow, other aspects of Protective Behaviours can be handled.
Children at Angel’s Paradise Early Education Childcare Centre are well supervised by qualified and trained staff.