Committee for Children Blogs

Welcome to our own little corner of the blogosphere! This is the place to read about all things social-emotional learning related from the points of view of parents, teachers, and school psychologists. Happy reading!

Published on Friday, April 07, 2017

Keeping Kids Safe with Conversations

prevent child abuseChild sexual abuse is prevalent yet silenced.’ These are the words that most stuck with me after listening to an introduction of the play Telling, which unveils stories from adult survivors of sexual abuse. The ‘silence’ part of this is even more jolting given that 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 20 boys will be sexually abused by the time they are 18, and that it is usually by someone they know.  Because it can happen to anyone, including someone close to us, we all need to be willing and prepared to unsilence child sexual abuse through our communications. One way to do this is by listening and talking; having regular conversations about safety and abuse with other adults and your children.

There are many free resources available to guide these conversations, on where to begin, what to say and how to say it. Start with the Early, Open, Often ‘Talk About it’ resource, for which videos are available in both Spanish and English. These are just a few of the important highlights, and remember that although it may feel like bumbling at first, it gets easier with time and practice.

Ask me, tell me, no secrets
This video on ‘How to talk with kids about sexual abuse’, reminds us to tell them to ask us before spending time with another adult, and tell us and not keep secrets if anyone tries to touch their private parts. 

Use everyday moments
Use books to help teach and talk about private body part safety, and take advantage of teachable moments when questions or opportunities arise, such as during bedtime or before going somewhere with another adult.

Teach the safety rules
Talk about the 5 ‘it’s never okay’ safety rules for private body parts, regularly mention them as part of the other family safety rules, and tell kids never to keep secrets that break these safety rules.

Talk to kids of all ages, and adults
Kids - It is never too early or too late to talk with kids about child sexual abuse. Check out these guidelines for how to vary conversations for kids of differing ages. Keep asking questions

Adults - If you tell others you have talked to your child and one of those people is a potential offender, this person may be less likely to act, knowing it will be easier to get caught. Still wondering what to say and when and how to bring it up? This resource on talking to other adults will help.

No matter how uncomfortable it may feel to have these conversations, remember the payoff: talking is the best way to keep kids safe. Talk about it, a lot-------Listen-------Ask questions. 

Talking is not a one-time thing. It is something you do, always.


«May 2017»

Committee for Children Applauds Bill to Combat Chronic School Absenteeism

Committee for Children recently commended Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) for introducing legislation to combat chronic school absenteeism, a widespread problem nationally and particularly in Washington State. 
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Keeping Children Safe: Reporting Child Sexual Abuse

All states have a law that requires us to report when there is reasonable suspicion that child sexual abuse occurred, yet child sexual abuse is underreported by both children and adults, including teachers. There are many reasons for this. Children are often afraid or ashamed to tell. Adults may not know about all the signs of abuse, may lack knowledge about reporting, or may worry about making inaccurate reports.
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13 Reasons Why Teachers Are Appreciated

May 9th is National Teacher Appreciation Day, a time to show our thanks to teachers for all they do. In honor of this day and of teachers in general, I asked others about why they value teachers. I interviewed children, parents and grandparents, including Joan Duffell, Executive Director of Committee for Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the safety and well-being of children through social-emotional learning and development. Of course, I added in my thoughts too. In total, 13 of us share why we appreciate teachers, and we mean every last word!
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Mothering Yourself: Making Self-Care a Win-Win

It is critical that the needs of the parent come FIRST for everyone in the family to thrive. CFC's parenting expert Melissa Benaroya explains why.
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CFC Sponsors PSBJ 2017 Corporate Citizenship Awards Luncheon

On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, Committee for Children had the privilege of being a Gold Sponsor at the Puget Sound Business Journal’s (PSBJ) 2017 Corporate Citizenship awards luncheon. It was an inspiring and well-attended event at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.
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Committee for Children Launches Mind Yeti App for Kids and their Adults

Get your mind ready on the go with Committee for Children's new Mind Yeti iOS app, available to download for free in the iTunes store.
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Your Child’s Golden Ticket to Success in the 21st Century Job Market

CFC's parenting expert Melissa Benaroya explains how social-emotional skills are vital to your child's workplace success down the road. 
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NEW Second Step Middle School Program: Sneak Peek

Coming fall 2017, the new Second Step social-emotional learning (SEL) program for middle-schoolers brings together today’s technology, the latest in developmental research, and real classroom feedback coming from two years of field testing. Get an early look!
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