It is never too late to tell!

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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 #12: Why Problems Should NOT Be Secrets. Child molesters don’t want to get caught, so they try to pick on children who they think won’t tell. Kids need to know what to say if someone asks them not to tell. They are safer if they know they can talk to adults they trust about problems, no matter how big, small, silly, or serious those problems might seem. This coaching conversation can help to prepare kids to not keep secrets.

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

Kids are safer when they understand that problems should not be secrets, even if someone you care about will be upset or embarrassed that you told.

They are safer when they can talk to adults about problems, no matter how big, small, silly, or serious those problems might seem.

Say, “Problems should not be secrets.” Coach the child to say this aloud, too.

Say, “If you already kept a problem a secret, you can still tell an adult. It’s never too late to tell about a problem. Talking about problems is the way we get help to be safe.”

Say, “Let’s practice. Pretend I’m your friend. Pretend I say, ‘I have a big problem. I’m going to tell you about it, but you have to promise not to tell anyone.’”

Coach the child to respond calmly, “Problems should not be secrets.”

With younger kids, you could add, “Let’s get help.”

With older kids, you can add practice saying, “I want to be a good friend, but keeping problems a secret is dangerous. That can make problems worse. Let’s talk about how you can get help from adults who will listen.”

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 12, 2019   |   Last Updated: April 12, 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.

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