What is Grooming?

Hello Carolina,

"Grooming in and of itself, is actually a neutral term to convey the aspect of training or conditioning someone towards a certain aim. Grooming should be carried out in tandem with protecting and nurturing a child's ability to listen to his or her survival instincts.

Unfortunately, some authority figures, parents and teachers may not know that they are accidentally training a child to go against his or her basic instincts. Without realizing it, these parents, teachers, doctors, leaders in society are conditioning the child to become the perfect prey of the abuser." 

To learn more watch our latest video: 'Protect Kids from Harmful Grooming'

(In English with Spanish subtitles)


"More than 85 percent of children

who experience sexual abuse know their abuser."

- Facts on Child Abuse and Neglect - Canadian Red Cross

To help keep kids stay safe one of the most important things we can do as adults is teach them how to trust their own instincts.

We can all help by teaching kids how to 1) identify their own needs, 2) identify when they don't feel comfortable with something and, 3) know how to ask for help.

The "uh-oh" feeling


Talk to your children about their β€œuh-oh” feeling, which can be described as β€œan uncomfortable feeling in the tummy that tells you something might be wrong.” The importance of teaching kids to trust their gut - Today's Parent (todaysparent.com)

It is important to teach children about the "uh-oh" feeling and how to talk to a grown-up about it. Help children identify five adults they can go to when they need help Safety Hand (worldhuggroup.org) , and explain that, if someone harms or touches them in ways they don’t like, they can tell as many people as they need to in order to get help.


How to talk to children

The phrases we tell children can have a significant impact in how they learn to deal with uncomfortable situations.

5 common phrases parents should avoid telling their kids:

1- "Oh! You don't really feel that way"

This is one of the worst things parents can say to their children, says Karen R. Koeing, MEd, LCSW. It is important for parents to validate how a child is feeling, even if the parent wishes the child felt differently.

2- "You are OK"

Saying "you're okay" when someone is hurt or crying can often feel like an automatic response. Whenever possible, avoid uttering this phrase to your kids.

"Telling kids that something does not hurt when it does challenges their reality". "Kids need permission to exist, to be who they are, to think, feel, and make mistakes."

3- "I don't believe you"

"When you make this kind of statement, you initiate distrust by assuming your child is lying, and this can severely damage your relationship"

4- "There is nothing to be afraid of"

"Not only you are dismissing their feelings, but you're sending the message that something is wrong with them," says therapist James Killian, LPC

5- "You have to give ___ a hug and a kiss"

It is important not to force children to do things that they do not feel comfortable with. Instead of hugging or kissing as a way to greet someone a child could instead choose to wave their hand to say hello, shake hands or greet politely from a distance. It is important for children to be able to express if they do not feel comfortable with physical proximity.

Source: 25 Things Parents Shouldn't Say to Their Kids β€” Best Life (bestlifeonline.com)



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