Step 1: Approach
Let your child choose when to talk
Children choose their own moment to start a conversation. If you start a conversation with a child yourself, they often don't want to talk.
Try to recognize when there is an opening for a conversation. When you recognize this, respond immediately to start a conversation.
If children are under pressure to talk, they won't talk. Children will talk more easily if they are comfortable talking to you. They will be more open to communicate if they notice that you are a good listener and that you are serious.
Parents who have a good relationship with their children are available and willing to talk if their child needs to.
Not all children find it easy to talk about their feelings. Talking about their feelings is complicated. In order to do this with your child, you must first recognize these feelings in yourself.
Do not expect too much from it. Guide your child to express his or her feelings. Ask if your child understands your message.
Step 2: Communication
Make sure you pay attention to your child every day. Talk about the day, about school, about what you will be doing this weekend, or about anything else that interests your child.
A conversation with your child is easier if, for example, you are sitting in the car together, walking together or talking to each other in the dark. At these times there is less eye contact.
If you do not have to look at each other, it will be easier to open up and talk about difficult topics. These are good times to talk to your child.
Do not ask why
How the question is asked, is very important. This determines how the conversation with your child goes and whether the child is open to a conversation. Questions with 'why' often do not work.
The word 'why' contains an accusation, therefore start the question with 'how' or 'what'.
Step 3: Afterwards
It is very important to listen carefully to your child. While listening, do not immediately come up with solutions or advice. If your child is talking to you, keep quiet.
Show non-verbally that you are listening.
Take their feelings seriously
Children do not feel taken seriously if their feelings are not recognized. As a result, they will hide what they feel next time.
Understand your child's feelings, even if you think differently from your child.
Connect to their environment
Parents often want to talk about specific topics. Such as school, homework, bullying and friendships. The interests of the children are completely different. They prefer to talk about other topics.
The advice is to talk to your child about this interest. In this way you show that their story is important.
Although many years have passed, it still hurts me that I never realized that I had been a victim of defilement at the age of 6yr, until I joined a girls club at the age 12. By then the culprit was long gone. I was taught at the girls club that who ever touches you wrongly as a young girl takes away your dignity. This really broke me and this has affected me in many ways even as an adult.
Keeping it all to myself, I grew up with a really low self esteem. I thought that among my colleagues I had no dignity. I blamed myself for a while then I blamed my mum for a while; she had been so busy that she missed that part of my life when I needed her the most.
I stand for the SAFOA movement, I'm happy that this awareness will be a key and a proactive plan to make our vulnerable younger sisters and brothers open up about any sexual harassment they experience before it is too late. I STAND FOR THE SAFOA MOVEMENT!!
It was one Monday evening after she had closed from work, she had a call from the man who had promised to buy her a phone. Even though he was way older than her she thought he was her friend and nothing bad could happen between them. She was a teenager and through peer pressure she was desperate for a phone and while she was promised one she became happy little did she know nothing is free in this world. She hurried to his place of residence for the promised phone. Upon reaching the compound he asked her to come inside the house and immediately he closed the door behind her forced himself on her. She left, crying and ashamed of herself without the phone she was promised and did not tell anyone.
I believe this project SAFOA is going to help a lot of young girls to open up with their parents to tell stories about the experiences they have outside the home to help prevent such atrocities from happening to young girls. I also believe this project will go a long way to teach parents on the importance of being friendly and open to their their children for their children to confide in them without fear of being chastised in case he/she is sexually harassed or raped.
I think this project will work because of the dynamics of our society brought by various social media platforms as parents want to know more about their children and the necessary steps to take when situations of sexual harassment and rape occur.