Teaching kids about their rights

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Teaching kids about abuse and assault is critical in helping them avoid becoming a victim… either at a young age or later in life. KIDZ Have Rights is a prevention program at the Children’s Assessment Center in Grand Rapids.

The KIDZ Have Rights program is available to all schools in Kent County. It includes body safety presentations for students in kindergarten through fourth grade. It teaches the differences between good touches and bad touches and where kids can go for help if they feel uncomfortable.

Tanya Muehlbauer, Children’s Prevention Program Manager and Educator with KIDZ Have Rights, says there are some key things every parent should talk to their kids about, and explains the best ways to bring up the sensitive subject.

Key topics for parents

  • Trusting their feelings
  • Body safety
  • Safe adults
  • Bravery and courage

How to talk to your kids

  • Setting the stage
  • How to begin the conversation
  • Reinforcing your relationship
  • Updating and adjusting as your child get older

Any parent can check with their child’s school to see if they are offering a body safety program. For information on how to schedule KIDZ Have Rights presentations, call (616) 336-4265 or visit their website.

Tony Jolliffi is a coordinator for Strong Fathers. The program’s goal is to reunite and strengthen families by encouraging fathers to take a more active and nurturing role in their children’s lives. He says, as a father, he teaches his kids to focus on live values in life: faith, responsibility, community, and integrity.

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