Teach them that they CAN say no to an adult. Role play how they might do that. One day, your words could save your child from harm.
The 14th Day for Daniel will take place this Friday, 26 October. It is Australia's largest child safety awareness day, and a great reminder to have a conversation or two with your children. Just talk. It's that simple.Kidspot caught up with Holly Brennan, CEO of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, to discuss her top five tips for keeping your children safe.
Holly said there's no magical protective 'thing' that parents can do to ensure their kids stay safe. What she does promote, however, is openness.
"All the research shows that if you're a family that can be together, talk together and can talk about a range of topics, you're actually increasing your children's safeness," Holly told Kidspot.
This important point ties in with the Morcombe Foundation theme for this year's Day for Daniel, which is "Talk early, talk often, keep talking."
Holly said we should talk directly to our children about the issue of being safe in a positive and protective way.
"Don't scare children, don't talk about monsters, don't talk about strangers all the time, and don't reinforce issues like abduction all the time," Holly said.
This means we must make sure our children are confident they are not going to get into trouble by speaking out to us, while not scaring them off in the process.
"It's being really positive and open that there are so many things you can do to help be safe, but the number one thing that your children need to know is that they can talk to you about being safe," she said.
You need to cover a wide range of topics for a child to have a full repertoire, but the main thing is to keep things practical and relevant to their own life.
Holly said talking about feelings and bodies including private parts and using correct anatomical names is really important.
"Even if your home language is different, that's OK," she said, "you still need to use the words, 'nipples', 'vagina', 'vulva', 'penis', 'anus' and 'testicles'."
"Research backs this up," Holly said.
"For people who may be perpetrators looking for children to harm against, they're less likely to communicate with children who have obvious strategies in these areas."
That is, those children who are better able to identify and articulate issues relating to their own bodies are less targeted than those who cannot.
Holly said all children should know about the three Rs. They are: Recognise, React and Report.
One example Holly provided about recognising signs within their own bodies is asking your child something like this:
"If you're watching a scary movie, or if we're going to the doctor, or if you think you're going to miss the bus, what would your body do?"
By giving examples like the way our tummy feels when we go on a ride, we can help our children recognise feelings within their own bodies.
"Your body is really amazing and it gives you these clues that you actually want to recognise what your body's telling you and then you react and report," she said.
By teaching our children to recognise feelings and understand their own bodies and their reactions to fear and uncomfortable situations, we can help protect them even when we're not around.
It's not something any parent wants to consider, but if your child does disclose that they have been harmed in some way, Holly said it is important to remain calm and listen.
"You need to believe and tell them that you want them to try and help them feel safe," Holly said.
"A lot of parents and carers do not want to believe, because 90 percent of children are harmed by someone the child knows and someone you know. So it's really important to take out that being shocked factor."
"Try not to have your emotions as the first emotion," Holly said. "They're important, but you need to keep them for later because you need to keep calm, you need to listen and believe and try and help them to be safe."
"For many children, they'll tell five times before someone listens, because they'll test it out," Holly said.
It is really important that as parents, we listen and believe our children in those first moments when they're seeking our help.
And after everything, Holly said parents should always seek help if they are faced with this situation.
"It's really traumatising for an adult to learn something has happened to their child," Holly said.
So if this is you, remember to look after yourself so you can better support your child.
When asked to provide an example about how we could start the conversation with our kids, Holly suggested we look for a teachable moment. This could be on television, in the newspaper, on social media or just something in everyday life.
"Try and relate it to something that makes sense to them," she said.
As an example, say you're watching your favourite Aussie soap alongside your child and something happens that you can relate to being safe.
Holly said she would ask, "Who would you talk to if you felt scared or worried?"
Have a discussion with your child and ask them questions in a 'what if' type scenario.
Then Holly explained how you can "extend it" by changing the situation and the setting. Ask "what if you're at school?" or "what if this happens on the bus?"
"There's a really easy activity you could actually do where people use their hands," she said.
"Draw around your hand and try to come up with five different people in different types of locations or roles."
See if your children can think of five people they can talk to in five different scenarios, representing each of the five fingers on the drawing.
"A lot of children would never say no to an adult," Holly said, reminding us of the importance of building our children's problem-solving skills and role-playing what if scenarios.
Who knows? This may come in handy for them one day.
It's a skill your child hopefully will never need, but is it worth them not having it if they really do need it one day?
Original article written by Claire Haiek and published on Kidspot: https://www.kidspot.com.au/parenting/parenthood/parenting-style/5-simple-ways-to-protect-your-children-online-and-in-real-life/news-story/89fff89f85e49f04ad804f3650691290
Bruce returns to Milton State School after 50 years to officially launch Day for Daniel 2018.
Denise said "Today we publicly launch Day for Daniel. I am moved by the effort and contributions of so many to ensure Daniel's legacy lives on. This Friday will see a record number of schools and child care centres participate in Australia's premier child safety day. Today we also welcome Kim Skubris as an Ambassador at the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. As a mother and respected journalist, Kim has been instrumental in a number of events to help bring our Daniel home and raise funds for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation".
Bruce added "50 years ago I was a student at this very primary school. At a quick glance I could say little has changed. But today the world has a very different landscape for us all. Teachers, police, parents and carers have new challenges to keep our kids safe. Day for Daniel bridges that gap and lays the foundation through evidenced based educational programs that reduce the incidences of child abuse. Get involved or simply join us online this Friday and watch Australia's Biggest Safety Lesson, it is sure to become a viral hit".
The Principal of Milton Sate School Mr Paul Zernike explained 'Day for Daniel' is such a timely reminder to all children, parents and the wider community about the importance of instilling in our children that they are in control of their own bodies and need to feel safe at all times. The work that Denise and Bruce Morcombe have done to highlight this issue and provide support, guidance and education to the children right across Australia is so critical to the ongoing safety of our children within the community.
'We are delighted to have Denise and Bruce, who is a former Milton student, joining our school today to officially launch 'Day for Daniel'' said Principal Zernike.
Day for Daniel is the Daniel Morcombe Foundation's national day of action to raise awareness about child safety, protection and prevention. It is the perfect opportunity for educators, parents and carers to talk to children about their personal safety. It is the largest child safety awareness day of its type in Australia. In recent years more than 1 million Australians joined with the Daniel Morcombe Foundation in protecting children.
This year we have invited all Day for Daniel participants to join our 2nd online broadcast of Australia's Biggest Child Safety Lesson. This year's lesson is suitable for children between the ages of 3 - 8 years. It will teach key personal safety concepts for early childhood in a fun and interactive way.
The Foundation urges parents, cares and educators to Talk early, Talk Often and Keep Talking about personal safety.
For more information about Day for Daniel, Australia's Biggest Child Safety Lesson and the free Keeping Kids Resources go to www.danielmorcombe.com.au
What: Launch of Day for Daniel 2018
When: Tuesday 23rd October
Where: In front of Milton State School, Bayswater Street, Milton
School presentation will take place in resource centre
Who: Bruce, Denise, Principal Paul Zernike, Kim Skubris
By arrangement with: Tracey McAsey
Mobile: 0420 300 737
Bruce and Denise said, "We are very happy to announce Sophie as our Ambassador today. Sophie has always supported us, our family and the Foundation with hard work and friendship. We are honoured she has chosen to support the Foundation even more, especially when she leads such a busy life. Sophie brings with her great ideas and a real passion for helping all children be safe."
Sophie is now really keen to help promote our 14th Annual Day for Daniel being held on Friday 26th October across Australia.
This year we have invited all Day for Daniel participants to join our 2nd online broadcast of Australia's biggest child safety lesson. This year's lesson is suitable for children between the ages of 3 - 8 years. It will teach key personal safety concepts for early childhood in a fun and interactive way.
For more information about Day for Daniel, Australia's biggest child safety lesson and the free Keeping Kids Resources go to www.danielmorcombe.com.au
With bullying and cyber bullying high on the COAG Education Council's radar, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation's CEO, Lesley Podesta, said the time for a coordinated plan to ensure all Australian children and families receive education on online safety is now.
"In some ways, Australia is a global leader in promoting digital safety. While there has been considerable work done around online safety education, it is fragmented rather than comprehensive. It often focusses on only one or a small number of broader online safety issues, such as privacy, cyber bullying or online etiquette," Ms Podesta said.
Significant population groups are underserved by our current arrangements, particularly children and young people in remote and regional communities, she said.
Daniel Morcombe Foundation's CEO, Holly Brennan, said that all the organisations work around Australia to build online respect and safety.
"We believe that a national and consistent approach should be developed for online safety education for children and young people with input and buy in from industry, community organisations and government."
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted the need to invest in a national approach to online safety education, Hetty Johnston, Founder and Executive Chair of Bravehearts, said.
"This is not about ignoring the great efforts of many tech companies and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. It is about developing a coordinated plan. Our children have the right to grow up in a safe environment, to be confident and respectful online and to be equipped to keep themselves safe. Schools, community organisations, workplaces, libraries and the online industry all play vital roles but at the moment we don't have an agreed national plan too many of our children and young people are missing out."
A national coordinated action plan will ensure a unified message as well as addressing current gaps in relation to online safety education throughout Australia, said Sonya Ryan, CEO of the Carly Ryan Foundation.
"We are stronger together, this collaboration will benefit entire communities and I look forward to future discussions."
For more information, contact Deb Morris at the Alannah & Madeline Foundation on
0450 784 847 or at email@example.com
"Feeling safe and being safe is an activity booklet that has been developed specifically for Grandparent families." says Holly Brennan, CEO of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. "It will help Grandparents have conversations about personal safety with their grandchildren. As new Grandparents themselves Bruce and Denise know how much keeping kids safe means to all Grandparents."
Media are invited to attend the launch at Lake Kawana Community Centre at 10.30am on Tuesday 21st August.
For children and young people who have been through trauma, neglect or abuse, their experiences of relationships and being safe may not have been positive. Personal safety education helps to prevent child sexual abuse and supports the development of healthy relationships free from violence and harm. Children who receive personal safety education are more likely to develop skills that will promote health and safety into adulthood.
Grandparents can use the booklet at home with their grandchild to teach topics such as:
Understanding what safety is
For more information Tracey McAsey 07 5442 3678 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to resource
Holly is an experienced and knowledgeable child safety expert who continues to grow the Foundation and expand on current programs and services across Australia including; Day for Daniel, Australia's Biggest Child Safety Lesson and the Foundations Keeping Kids Safe resources. At present just over 10% of schools across Western Australia participate in Day for Daniel. In 2017 over 1 million people participated across the nation in what is Australia's largest child safety awareness day.Holly has 25 years' experience in child abuse prevention and respectful relationships education including working for Family Planning for 20 years. Holly received her Medal of the Order of Australia in 2012 for service to the community through organisations promoting the welfare and rights of children. She has also received numerous other child safety and protection awards.
"The Foundation is committed to helping all children and young to people be safe from abuse and harm. I really couldn't imagine wanting to work anywhere else." said Holly.ENDS
Holly is available for Media Interviews upon request.For more information contact:
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation is finally getting a home.
Bruce and Denise along with The Hon. Di Farmer will turn the first sod at a Groundbreaking Ceremony in Palmwoods on Wednesday 9th May at 2pm.
The building when complete will be named Daniel House. It will be the Foundation's Administrative hub and will include the "Walk Tall" Program which offers free counselling services for survivors of crime.
Denise said, "Supporting young victims of crime through the "Walk Tall" counselling service is a cornerstone of work undertaken at the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. Daniel House will support this important program in a modern, child friendly facility. This will significantly benefit the community on the Sunshine Coast and more broadly this will make a measurable difference to children, young people and their families from Caboolture to Gympie."
Based on the Sunshine Coast, Daniel House will be the Foundation's National Office as it continues to deliver its' Keeping Kids Safe programs and resources and coordinates Australia's Largest National Day of Action on child safety awareness Day for Daniel.
"This new office space will make a significant contribution to protecting all children across Australia providing improved capability to produce new cutting edge resources in-house" explained Bruce.
The State Government provided $900,000 in funding to help complete the build. Local Businesses from the Sunshine Coast have also been very generous in contributing to the project making this very much a community project.
Bruce said "The generous donations from local businesses, in addition to, the government grant is quite unexpected and very moving for us personally. We thank you one and all!"
House for Daniel is a very important and exciting milestone but the Foundation has also just reached another important achievement. $1million has been spent by the Foundation on assisting Survivors of Crime. "We are proud to say that all of this money has come from donations made by Mums and Dads from across Australia" says Holly Brennan (CEO).
Tracey McAsey - 0420 300 737
The Day for Daniel, a National
Day of Action raising
awareness of Child Safety,
Protection & Prevention