There was an incident with Miss J at daycare today. An incident which has again highlighted for me just how important self protection and sexuality education is - Not just for children, but for their carers as well.
When I leave the kewl girls in someone else's care, there are lots of things I tell them.
When we get there I tell them about the people who are there to make sure they are safe.
I tell them when I am leaving and when I will be back.
I tell them to have lots of fun, do lots of laughing, and use their minds for thinking, their ears for listening and their eyes for looking.
I also tell them each to respect their body and to listen when it is telling them something.
There are also things I don't tell them.
I don't tell them to be good, I don't tell them to do what they are told and I don't tell them to play nice. In fact, I never say these things to them.
If someone is trying to do something unreasonable, something harmful or sinister to my child, I don't want them to hear my voice telling them to be good, do as they are told and play nice.
I want them to hear my voice telling them to look, listen, use their mind, think about what is happening and listen if their body is telling them NO.
The kewl girls may be toddlers but they are still people, and they are not stupid. If a request is reasonable, most of the time they are willing. If not, well, they have my permission to say NO.
Today, New Daycare Person asked J to go to the toilet. J said she didn't need to.
NDP insisted. So did J.
NDP tried to physically escort J to the toilet and make her remove her underwear.
J went ballistic.
When I arrived to pick the girls up at the usual time (and not more than 10 minutes after this incident) our favourite carer told me what had happened. Apparently, J said "no". Then shouted "No!". Then screamed "NO!" and when NDP invaded her personal space, Miss J got physical. At this point our favourite carer intervened. J would not calm down or talk to her until they were a good distance away from NDP. Then she said, "Help please. I need my mum now."
Try to say NO.
GO to a safe place as soon as you can.
TELL an adult you trust and ask for help.
No. Go. Tell.
This is what she has been taught to do when she is having a NO feeling, and this is exactly what she did.
I am so grateful that she was able to listen to her body, make herself heard and practice self protection. I am grateful that she was in an environment where she could succeed and where there were others looking out for her safety. I am also grateful that she was taken seriously by our favourite carer and that I arrived not long after this happened.
NDP may not be a predator and she may not have intended for her actions to be harsh, forceful and inappropriate. I don't care. I respect my children, I respect their wishes and I take their feelings seriously. When J says NDP makes her feel like there is hot sand in her chest and in her stomach, I believe her.
The kewl girls will not being going to daycare again on the days that NDP is there. Not until she changes her attitude and gets some better education, at least.
Miss J may be a child, but that does not give other people access to, nor control over her body. She is a person and she said NO.