Pay attention anytime something seems wrong to you.

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our global efforts to help protect kids from abuse, bullying, and other harmful behavior, each day this month, we will share a time-tested skill from our Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Skill #26: Trust that ‘Uh-Oh’ Feeling. Sometimes called a ‘gut’ feeling or ‘Uh-Oh’ feeling, our intuition is the part of us that can warn us ahead of time if something might not be safe, or that “something just doesn’t feel right.” You can help kids be safe and strong by teaching them to notice, trust, and act on their Uh-Oh Feeling – and to leave and get help when they feel it. Here’s how to help a child learn to recognize and trust their intuition.

This full practice is a part of the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Our intuition is the part of us that can sometimes tell us ahead of time if something might not be safe, or that something is “just not right”. It’s usually a feeling, like a flutter in your gut or as if the hair was standing up on the back of your neck.

The “Uh-Oh Feeling” is what we often call this feeling of our intuition telling us that something might be wrong. It’s our body saying “Uh-Oh! Something isn’t right”.

You can help kids be safe and strong by helping them learn to notice, trust, and act on their Uh-Oh Feeling–and to leave and get help when they feel it.

To discuss, explain, “Our intuition can help us be safe. We also can call it the ‘Uh-Oh Feeling.’ It tells us, ‘Pay attention, there might be a problem.’ We all feel our Uh-Oh Feeling in different places. Some feel it by the little hairs on the back of our necks or arms standing up. Some feel it as an uncomfortable feeling in their stomach. Some suddenly feel a little worried or sad. This is your body saying, ‘Uh oh, something doesn’t feel right, I need to leave or make a plan to keep myself safe.’ How do you notice YOUR Uh-Oh Feeling?”

To practice, say, “Pretend I’m a friend. Imagine I want to show you something in my parents’ room. Imagine your ‘Uh-Oh Feeling” says something isn’t right.”

Coach the child to say, “Tell me, ‘No thanks, let’s stay here.’”

Say, “Great! And, if you still felt uncomfortable, what could you do?” Brainstorm some ideas (call your grownups, go get the friend’s adults, etc.).

“And, no matter what happened, whenever you feel your Uh-Oh Feeling, it is important to tell an adult you trust about it later.”

See online article: The “Uh-Oh” Feeling: Teaching Kids to Use Their Intuition

For a FREE explanation on the simple methods you can use to teach children to use each of these skills, download the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook on our website –this ebook will be FREE of charge in English, Spanish, and Arabic in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please share this skill with others. Let’s work together to teach young people to take charge of their safety, increase self-confidence, and develop healthy, positive relationships! 

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Published: April 26, 2019   |   Last Updated: April 26, 2019

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.