The question as a mom I often ask my self is that how can and will I be able to protect my kids ......... I know this one is a long one... but do read on I know THIS IS THE IMPORTANT THING for all of us as parent.......
As an adult its still difficult for me to tell my very loving caring parents a few things that I have faced as a child.... now that I am a grown up, happily married, a mother, a person who has come to terms with a lot of demons of the past... its still difficult to talk about a few things... Now its more because I don't want them to hurt over something that is now just a bad memory and cant be altered.... but in the past the reasons were different.... it was FEAR, a sense that no one will TRUST me... and then the thought that WHAT will happen if they do??
and the Anger... and Hurt.... and Hatred I felt every time someone even mentioned the Name !!!
Those terrible years when I didn't know what to do and where to look for and how to stop him from coming to our house... UFF khiar its a long story and the story itself is not important now.
what is important is the fact that now I know a lot others like me, much more than I'd ever want to know, Its almost the every other person who feels comfortable enough to talk to me about it but almost every one who can talk to me in private wont want to discuss the issue in public. And that is what makes it the most hushed up thing in our society...Yes I am talking about child abuse...ranging from an ugly touch to dirty looks,,, obscene gestures to the full range molestation. And the sad thing is that its everywhere... from you cozy ( you think ) safe family homes to schools to shopping centers to parks. And from my own experiences I know it can be anyone not just the servants or the Jahil Drivers or Qari sahiban and bad mean strangers....
The question that my husband and I discuss often as parents is that how can and will we be able to protect our kids. we just cant shut them up in the house--- alone or to be with them 24/7 ( if someone can manage that how unhealthy that would be) So what can I do....other than praying of-course
To me the only solution so far is to build a bond with them, a relationship where they know they will be trusted....
we need to foster a sense of mutual trust by trusting them and not pushing aside their complaints as "lame" or "childish" or "only in their head". I've noticed that we make this mistake a lot more than we think we do esp when we are talking to the other grown ups. (even school administration make these mistakes by the way)
Also I think we kind of confuse our kids a lot ( totally unintentionally) when we try to teach them manners -- especially about being "Tameezdar" in our society means greeting every one with a big smile and a hug. Sitting nicely in front of all the rishtadaars and talking to them ever so politely even when you have all the reasons not to. Also on "helping" other our instructions are usually pretty vague. what does it mean to help others? and when they have to say NO is also important!
In our house we honor their judgment and their decision about whom they want to greet with a hug and with whom they don't want to shake hands....
We also talk a lot about the Good Touch and the Bad touch. Also what they should do if someone tries to touch them in a bad way...
Just imagine how easy it would be to threaten an already scared child... and even the one who appears to be brave and tells them that he/ she will tell mommy. have you ever imagined the horror the child will face when the abuser say that If you tell anyone I will kill your mother??? or the horror if the molester is a trusted friend?
following are some of the things I tell them again and again
1. Absolutely NO one is aloud to touch them in a bad way ( there is an explanation and a demo of the bad ways) be it any Chacha, mama, bhai , uncle, aunty, any one
2. No body is aloud to show you their own private parts.. even that comes in bad contact.... ( she asks how will it hurt her...and I tell her honestly That i dont know how to explain this at the moment but trust me its totally forbidden by Allah Tala and our Prophet (pbuh)
3 Again It is not a bad stranger that they need to stay away from. even their Favorite uncles and aunts are not aloud to do these things (mentioned above). Allah has forbidden us from this so their cant be any excuse. ( this one has a link to being helpful--- will you please help me and hold "this" from me--- scene from Ice Cand Man)
4. Seeing or touching anyone private parts does not come in any kind of help, If anyone needs that help tell your baba and he will help them.
5. Don't trust anyone who is telling you to keep things secret from your Mommy and Baba. Nothing will hurt us more than letting anyone hurt you.
6. If there is a need run to a safe place where there are more people ...to me or you baba or the teacher If in school.
7. Shout and scream if you cant run but don't get into a verbal fight or discussion with them. ( some kids just have a tendency to start lecturing and getting into the trap)
8. Don't even tell them that you will tell mommy later on but in real come and tell mommy and baba anyway
9. Mommy and Baba will always believe you
10. Even if you dont like some one picking you up in their lap or kiss you on the cheek or on your hand trust yourself and stay away from them ... better tell Me or your baba.
Even after all these reminders I know that I cant sit and wait for them to come and tell me on their own. I need to ask them in an nonthreatening way time and again and to tell them that "NO MATTER WHAT, I DO AND WILL BELIEVE THEM"