“Reinforce with your kids not keeping any secrets, and push for that open communication.” Kimberly King
Children worldwide are prone to suffer insidious forms of violence, exploitation and abuse. The key to stamping out these vices lies in educating both adults and kids on prevention and management of cases when they occur. Our guest today, Kimberly King, is no coward of conversations that center around tough topics on sexual abuse in kids. She believes that having these conversations protects children and families by getting ahead of problems before they happen.
Kimberly King, “The Tough Topics Mom,” is the author of the best-selling, most highly recommended book for children on prevention called “I Said No! A kid-to-kid guide to keeping private parts private. https://amzn.to/3F1CjQE” Kimberly is a mom of three children, a survivor, a Sexual Abuse Prevention Facilitator with D2L.org, and a Sexual Assualt Crisis Counselor with The Rowan Center. She spends her time training adults and children on prevention strategies and sharing her expertise as a consultant, advisor, and media source.
Kimberly holds an M.S. in Education from Wheelock College and a B.S. in Child Development and Family Studies from the University of Maine. King is a kindergarten teacher in Westport, Ct and lives in Coastal Connecticut with her family and therapy dog, Alfie. Her award-winning books for children on tough topics have sold over 300,000 copies across the globe. King is the owner of Safe and Sound Kids Collaborative where she provides proactive parenting coaching and consulting. King specializes in helping parents gain the confidence to talk about tough topics before issues occur.
Her prevention-based, kid-friendly educational resources are available via books, online parenting classes, online kids classes, private zoom Family Safety Chats, Body Boss Bootcamp for Kids, Simply-Safe Camp Training, Author Visits, Book Readings, and Speaking Events. Her work has been featured in various magazines, podcasts, and blogs, including; ABC, NBC, Ticker News, The Chicago Tribune, Stop The Demand, Women’s Fitness, Child Mind Institute, Social Work Now, US News and World Report, The Health Journal, Modern Mom, PopSugar, Child Life Mom, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Thrive Global, Medium, Dads Divorce, Split, Consent Parenting, Pretty Wellness Podcast, iHeart Radio, and is highly recommended as a resource by national prevention organizations.
In today’s episode, Kimberly will discuss about the importance of training and educating children on their sexuality from a young age. She also provides insights on the role of adults in preventing and managing sexual abuse in minors.
Social media handles;
- I call myself the tough topics mom because I do talk about a lot of tough topics. [3:27]
- I help parents get comfortable talking about really tough issues in a collaborative, authentic way so that they can get ahead of problems before they happen and protect their families. [3:31]
- I do that with my books and my online classes. [3:46]
- I had trained my kids in the basics about like your body’s private which saved my five-year-old on this night that I was away. [4:11]
- What’s interesting is that 70% of kids don’t tell about abuse because they’re not educated on the topic. [5:57]
- My son’s experience triggered a lot of things for me and I developed the book with him. [6:17]
- As a military wife, I had that problem of always moving so I decided to just write children’s books and teach people how to keep their kids safe. [6:29]
- When it happened, I was angry at everybody and myself and had to do something to cool the anger so I started journaling. [7:23]
- My son also wanted to talk and write about it and in doing this, I realized there were so many things that we could teach other people that would help them. [7:53]
- We put my journal and his together and we used his voice and I tried to weave that into the book that has talking points with little goofy things and a little sass that make it kid friendly. [8:06]
- Most of us were not educated properly on normal sexuality or normal child development, consent or boundaries. [10:09]
- We’re in a different place now where it’s okay to talk about those things and one of the critical things is for kids to know their body parts and their correct names of their private parts. [10:23]
- In reporting, every single person knows the word penis or the word vagina and there’s no confusion about it. [11:25]
- Knowing those words is a detriment to abusers which protects the kids. [11:28]
- During potty training is a good time to start teaching and modelling the terms, privacy and consents. [11:12]
- Commercial break. [14:04]
- A lot of the advice I give people even if they don’t have kids is to learn the facts on this topic so that you can reduce the risks. [16:20]
- One of the biggest mistakes everybody makes is assuming that this type of thing only happens in bad neighborhoods or only with strangers. [16:32]
- 90% of child sexual abuse happens within the inner circles of the people we already know where 40% of child sexual abuse happens from older, more powerful children. [16:46]
- Another huge risk category is children of divorce, because they are exposed to different situations. [17:24]
- Once you learn, you start talking to it with other parents and your kids start talking about it with their friends which causes a ripple effect. [18:14]
- The other thing is, once your kid is educated in this, it’s really important for parents to reduce the risks by being very upfront about what your kids with new people and your policies. [18:46]
- When I did in person parent trainings before Covid, every single person indicated an awareness of someone they know who was sexually abused. [21:32]
- There are so many tools for parents now and you can start really early and then have open communication with your kids, when they’re started. [21:55]
- Empowering your children and educating them absolutely can prevent abuse. [23:24]
- Even with some of this stuff, abuse can still happen but if your kids know that it’s okay to tell, you have a chance of them telling you which will prevent more abuse. [23:39]
- Try to find five adults that your children can call in all emergencies no matter what and train those five adults in receiving a report. [24:32]
- You have to teach that person a few steps like, listening to the child, thanking the child for telling you telling them they’re very brave, telling them it’s not their fault and then just having a calm conversation about it. [25:06]
- This will encourage them to talk more and give you more details without feeling judged. [25:19]
- It is really important to do a real quick body safety review and talk about your body parts and the private part rules. [26:49]
- Reinforce with your kids about how you don’t want them to keep any secrets, and then push that open communication. [27:00]
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