Today I am going to share a book I found recently. Now I do not remember where I saw it and cannot find the original place I saw it in the last month, but this is a must read to your young children. The book is I Said No!: A Kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private by Zack and Kimberly King. This book came about after Zack and his sister slept over their best friends' house while their mother dealt with an emergency with the baby. The house was right next door and they had known the neighbors for years. Zack was in kindergarten. Yes, in kindergarten like Hazel. Zack's best friend tried to get Zack to show him his private parts and also tried to get Zack to touch the friend's privates. He used bribery, peer pressure, and threatened to not be his friend anymore to get what he wanted. Zack told the mother and she told them to go to bed. He told his sister and she talked to the mother and again he was sent into the room with the boy. He eventually came up with the solution of staying in the bathroom and telling them he was sick to his stomach. Kimberly is a kindergarten teacher and thought she had prepared her children for any situation they might find themselves in, but she had not expected a kindergartener to use bribery, threats and such. Writing this book together helped the family heal and be able to move past this horrible experience. It is also written as five-year-old Zack is talking to the child reading it. It is very powerful.
This book goes into detail about who should be allowed to look at and/or touch a child's private parts and when it is appropriate (parents, caregivers, doctors when another adult is present). Throughout the book there are places where suggestions are made to stop and let your child ask questions or talk about things. This allowed Hazel to open up and have her questions answered. As we read this book, I was asked things like, "Mommy, is this our book or the library's?" She wanted a copy for herself so she could keep reading it. She said it answered questions she has been wondering about. It also gave me a chance to talk to her about if she ever is in such a situation what to do. We told her to tell the parents or adults she doesn't feel well and that she needs to come home. I was also able to promise her we would take anything she said about such things seriously and believe her.
Now we had not spent a lot of time talking about such events. I have told her if anyone ever does something to her to make her uncomfortable I would want her to tell me right away. We have talked about what are private parts and that they should not be shown to everyone. At her doctor's office the doctor or physician's assistant is always very diligent in asking her or talking to her about looking at her privates before they do. I am always in the room with her when it happens thus far, and so far it has always been a female at the office. We talked about how some doctors inappropriately touch patients and that is why a parent or someone else should be in the room.
This book opened our conversation up to so many questions that I honestly didn't think she was ready to know about and obviously she was wondering about. I am so glad we read this book and yes, I am buying her a copy of it. She also insisted on having Steve read it to her the next day so all of us would know what it said.
In the book it discusses green flag people and red flag people. Hazel showed me today that she made a green flag and a red flag to be able to remember what the book said. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book and reading it to your child even if you feel it may be too soon. Let them ask questions and discuss things on their minds. I know I feel Hazel at least has some plans and ideas for what to do if something like this should ever happen. She also knows that she can and should tell me or Steve right away if this ever happens no matter what the offender says. To me this book gave us all a bit of peace of mind.