How do I make my kids strong? How can I help you to be resilient in the adversity of life? How can you help children to say "no", to be self-confident about their bodies and to show them behaviors that can protect them from things like sexual abuse? With these questions I looked around the current children’s books.
The topic of “making children strong” and prevention against sexual abuse should run through the entire childhood if possible and should not start shortly after primary school. This is what children’s books for ages 3 to 7 are all about.
Protection of children through stories and fiction?
I believe in the power of fiction and the gift of human imagination to gain experience through stories that can channel our emotions and support awareness. Even if we have only heard or seen something in the film, but have not felt it ourselves, this can prepare and shape us for our future life. This also applies to children and children’s stories.
Children can learn from stories and thus expand their (self) awareness. However, and this is particularly true when it comes to protecting against border situations and abuse: reading books is not enough. Here we are parents, educators and other caregivers asked to show children every day how valuable they are and to encourage them to set their limits.
Such natural limits include, for example, that children only kiss when they want to. Supporting self-confidence also includes knowledge of your own body, your own feelings and that children (and adults too) can trust their feelings, in order to then take the courage to say "No" in case of doubt – and get help.
No! My body is mine – children’s books against abuse
1. My body belongs to me. per familia. Loewe publishing house
Content: On the inside front page: "Protection against abuse for children from 5, with a foreword to the adults from pro familia Darmstadt.
Saying no is important! Saying no means standing up for your own needs, likes and dislikes. Self-confident children find it easier to say no, they can clearly say what they want and what they don’t. It is therefore important that children become aware of themselves, their feelings and their bodies. This is the only way they can set limits themselves.
Awarded the Children’s and Young People’s Book Award by the German Medical Association. V., "The Silver Feather"
Conclusion: A good book! We like how the children are encouraged by the reading aloud to say and try out the sentence loudly and clearly: “Don’t touch me! I don’t want it! ”It is shown from the age of 5, but the 3.5 year old was able to understand it thanks to the beautiful illustrations and simple sentences. Different situations are described in which adults can be physically assaulted, be it the aunt or grandma who wants a kiss, or someone who holds the child, even though it struggles if you are tickled without being asked or actually the worst idea from in the example a man who wants to be touched even though the child doesn’t want to.
2. I don’t know you, I don’t go with you! Three stories that make you strong. By Susa Aabenraa. Arena Verlag
content "I don’t know you, I don’t go with you": two friends play in the garden and talk to passers-by. One tells of puppies that the children want to see. Hannah goes along and notices after a few steps that something is wrong. When she finally gets home safely, she knows that strangers are not going with you.
Content: "I am strong, I say loudly no": Lea has to assert herself against a big boy, a nice neighbor and the beloved aunt so that she doesn’t have to do things that she doesn’t want.
Content: "Don’t get lost, Michi": Michi learns to perceive the surroundings exactly so that he can orient himself well. He also learns where to get help, for example from a police officer.
Conclusion: I find the first two stories very well described and true to life. It is clear that examples can never take up and grasp every situation in which children have to say “no” in order to preserve their own limits. But I have the feeling in my 5 year old that the principle has become clear to her. In principle, I also like the last story. Of course, five-year-olds can already find their way home or be encouraged to start orientating themselves in a foreign environment. For me is this but a little too much content for a story. But it may be a matter of taste.
3. I am strong, I say no out loud! This is how children become self-confident. Arena Verlag
Content: Three storybook stories "I’m strong, I say no", "No fear, I can do it" and "Together we are just strong". The first story is also in the anthology "" I do not know you, I do not go with you ". The other two stories fear and independence, that is, finding solutions for yourself, helping yourself. For example, if the child is afraid of thunderstorms, wakes up at night etc. As well as a story about child conflicts and cohesion.
Conclusion: For all stories and episodes, readers are asked what the protagonist should do now. This stimulates reflection and discussion – and also gives you the freedom to interpret your own.
4. Lena doesn’t like anything. Stories of troublemakers and strong friends. By Achim Bröger, Hans-Günther Döring. Arena Verlag.
Content: This is about self-confidence and assertiveness for children among themselves. It’s about aggression, strife and sharing, anger and cooperation.
Conclusion: The illustrations are very beautiful and child-friendly. The little one in particular looks at the pictures and can immediately start doing something and tells about his kindergarten friend who (supposedly) hits his head so often. The stories show good, peaceful and also loving solutions for the “aggressor”. But I find the story a little bit too pedagogical. My children still listen carefully.
5. I take good care of myself! Picture book anthology with “Take care. When a stranger speaks to you ”. Albarello publishing house.
content "Take care of yourself": Philip and Katharina are alone in the playground. Then a strange man appears who wants to drive the children home. Fortunately, Katharina knows that you should never go with strangers! At home, the children discuss with their mother how to behave correctly in this and other situations so that they do not endanger themselves.
Content "A guardian angel for road traffic": Katharina and her siblings are introduced to the most important traffic rules by a small guardian angel. However, since the guardian angel cannot always watch over the children, he teaches them to be careful how to avoid accidents and how to behave properly in traffic.
Content "If you get lost": Jonas and Mama go to the market to shop. But suddenly Jonas doesn’t remember where mom is. He got lost! Lots of ideas on how children can find their parents and how they can help themselves.
Conclusion: Excellent! My children totally jump on these stories and always pray down how to behave if you get lost and the parents are lost in the bustle. This story and that about road traffic are currently very topical for us, apparently something that Kind1 is particularly concerned with. In the back of the book there are also handicraft templates for the traffic angel, which the child absolutely wants to work out with "10 x walking home alone and error-free" ….
6. Don’t go, Jasper! by Annette Langen. Arena Life Junior.
Content: "Get in quickly, something happened to your mom – I’ll take you to her!" Calls a man from a car to Jasper. He panics and would almost have driven if his sister Jasmine hadn’t rushed to his aid. This story tells why you shouldn’t go with strangers, even if they claim that the parents sent them.
Conclusion: It is a pure reading story in 12 chapters, without pictures. My child1 is not interested in it yet, it is obviously aimed at older children. I would say elementary school age. But then the story is exciting and comprehensive. Because the children then go to security training and learn about the police investigation.
7. Little heroes – huge rage. Stories that make rororo red fox strong
Content: A book that even small children can understand, because it’s about anger, ticking off and feeling helpless. However, it is not a picture book, but a reading book and appeals to children’s understanding. Therefore, it is also suitable for older children from 5. The story of Rudi, who gets so angry that he takes off, is imaginatively told, Rudi experiences because of anger and freaking out some exciting adventure.
Conclusion: My daughter is not quite as enthusiastic about the book, maybe it doesn’t address them that way. It also seems to me to be a little bit pedagogical and endeavored, maybe it makes it seem less lively. On the other hand, the stories Rudi experiences are not very realistic and drift a lot. Actually, I find something good, but so far it has not sparked at Kind1 and me.
8. Little heroes – great courage. Stories that make you strong. rororo red fox
Content: The little princess Schlotterinchen is very scared and trembles all over. Her father the king gets the help of the wise Jau Jau, who tells Schlotterinchen imaginative stories that make you strong.
Conclusion: The stories are good, as are the approaches. The story is about accepting your fear, overcoming it and becoming able to act again. That is told with funny stories.
More book recommendations from Mama notes
Literature lists of children’s books on the prevention of sexual violence
- Zartbitter Köln e.V .: Children’s books and comics
- pro Famila "List of literature on the subject of sexualised violence / sexual abuse (children’s books from page 3)
- Child protection in Lower Saxony: books and educational materials for children
- Regenbogenwald – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V .: A personal selection by Ute Heidorn without rating. Children’s books on “sexual abuse”
- Stube: Children and young people’s books on abuse
- Amazon list of children’s books on preventing sexual violence
- Police Commissioner Hemmoor – Prevention clerk: List of literature “Making children strong
- Wildwasser e.V. Marburg e.V. Specialist advice center on sexual violence in childhood
And now you: do you know any other books on the subject that you particularly liked? Then very much like it! Thank you.
Cooperation: I have thankfully received the books from the publishers as review copies.
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