Things you can do to help prevent sexual child abuse

Psychologist Sheila Kamen, PsyD, shares advice for parents on what can be done to help prevent sexual child abuse and how to teach your child to make right decisions about their body
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Things you can do to help prevent sexual child abuse

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There are many things that parents can do to prevent sexual child abuse. The first thing is to teach your child that they have a right to make decisions about their bodies. From an early age, you can teach them how to say "yes" and "no" to certain types of touch and play. That will get them used to being able to set limits about themselves. It's also really important to teach them, when they are able, to take care of their own private body parts. When they use the restroom or to bathe, they can do that independently and not rely on an adult to do that for them. It's also important to teach them the difference between good secrets, like, "We're having a surprise party and don't tell anyone," that's a temporary secret; and to teach them about bad secrets that you keep from someone forever. You never want your child to agree to keep a secret for the rest of their life. Also remember, with all this emphasis on stranger danger, most often, the person who is sexually abusing a child is someone that is close to them. Trust your instincts. If you are uncomfortable leaving your child with either a man or a woman, that you know or is a part of the family, or sitter; do not leave them alone with that person.

Psychologist Sheila Kamen, PsyD, shares advice for parents on what can be done to help prevent sexual child abuse and how to teach your child to make right decisions about their body

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Sheila Kamen, PsyD

Psychologist & Sex Therapist

Sheila Kamen works with individuals and couples in La Jolla, California.  She works with individuals and couples as a coach and therapist. She specializes in couples therapy, sex therapy, and relationship coaching. She also offers premarital and family building counseling. While she no longer works with children, she does help parents with issues related to children.  Sheila lives in San Diego. 

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