Today, we are moving on to older children between the ages of 5 – 8 years. You will agree with me that crucial things happen within this age range.
“A preserved childhood is better than a repaired adulthood” — Pastor Nike Adeyemi
Let’s welcome Praise Fowowe again to Mind and Mouth as he delivers the 4th part of the series on stopping child sexual abuse!
For parents with children between the age range of 5 – 8 years here are the basic traits you may likely experience with your children
– Unpredictable mood swings
– Becomes competitive and wants to win
– Feels very guilty about mistakes but may have problems admitting his mistakes
– Interested in same sex relationships at 7- boys want to play with boys and same for girls
– Desires to do things right and perform well
– More likely to complain than rejoice
– Could be introverted but becomes extroverted at 8
– Wants a little bit of independence and respect for privacy
– Nothing seems difficult for her and often overestimates her ability to get things done.
– Has strong need for love and understanding
– Hates being criticized
– Loves to be part of a group
– Becomes involved in boy-girl relationships at 8
– Understands sexuality very well and could learn the wrong values from friends if not well explained.
As a parent or a teacher you will have to cover about 5 different areas with your children and they include the following:
1. World changers – You will introduce them to positive role-models who started very early and were able to positively affect their world. Examples can include – Thomas Edison (electric bulb), Bill gates (Microsoft), Jesse Owens (4 Olympic gold medals) and Wilbur and Orville Wright (Aeroplane). From a Christian point of view, the stories of Joseph, Daniel and Samson are very good biblical stories that you can sandwich into this teachings.
2. Me and my identity – Many children here compare their body parts with others so you will have to teach them about their real identity. Your child is a star, leader, world champion, world changer, a king, and ultimately a ‘CHILD OF GOD! (Psalm 139:13-14)
3. Me and my values – Teach them that their values are those qualities and characteristics that people see when they meet them and it determines what I do and how I live. Get them to select 5 major values that best describe who they intend to become in the future. The most important lesson here is the power of one that says:
“That everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right and that he is the only one doing it doesn’t make it wrong either.”
You must understand how powerful the influence of peer pressure is, and prepare your children to stand up for themselves. A good understanding of values will help them.
4. Me and my friends – Teach them how to differentiate between good and bad friends and let them understand that they must choose their friends based on their values.
5. Fire on the mountain – This is important because your children are most susceptible to child sexual abuse at this age. You will need to take your children back to what they previously learnt especially the golden rules at the 2 – 5
Here you will go ahead by defining child sexual abuse as a situation where an adult or a fellow child tries to touch your private parts or show them bad pictures to get pleasure.
Define a predator as the person that tries to touch your private parts and tells you not to tell anyone.
Expose them to some of the lies of the predator which include the following:
– You will die
– Your father will die
– They won’t believe you
– I won’t play with you again
– You will not have more sweet
– I will not take you out
Teach them who to avoid as well:
– Anyone that shows you bad movie
– Anyone that tries to remove your pants
– Anyone that ask you to touch them
– Anyone that locks the door and wants you to be alone together
– Anyone that wants you to come to a dark place
– Anyone that wants to give you what you should not show your parents
– Anyone that tries to touch your private parts
– Anyone that tries to kiss you.
– Avoid touching other people as well
Teach them some of the effects of abuse:
– Bad dreams – nightmare
– Low self esteem
– Bad future
– Sickness and disease
Let them understand that abuse is not their fault but the fault of the predator and finally teach them about what to do if they ever get to meet any predator:
– Say No
– Report to your parents and teachers
– Run away
– Shout or bite the person
– You can report to the police
I also teach that it’s high time we started stigmatizing predators as well to serve as a lesson for other predators. (This is already happening in western countries with a sex offender’s list.) In Africa however, it is not yet happening due to denial.
Many children are currently being sexually abused but if we will ever become the most desirable nation we need to kick out child sexual abuse so that we can also kick out the effects of child abuse with HIV/AIDS being one of the effects.
– You need to be more open to your child about sexual abuse at this age
– Teach them about Values and reinforce their value systems with godly values
– Define a predator and teach them what to do if they find themselves in uncomfortable situations
– Be calm when dealing with cases of sexual abuse