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A must for your family summer bucket list

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Summer is the perfect time for parents to get formally trained on personal safety and abuse prevention for your kids. I understand you want to have fun with your family and go on vacation and not think of anything ever happening to your kid. Unfortunately, pretending something doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away, it allows it to continue to fester.

Learning how to prevent abuse will prepare you for the school year and the extracurricular activities your kids attend, including summer camps. Having time to practice using the conversation starters with your kids throughout the summer will set the foundation for communication during the school year and empower them to know when they need to remove themselves from a situation, how to speak up for themselves and tell you when something is bothering them.

The odds are extremely high that your kid will experience some form of bullying, abuse, or internet misconduct before the age of 18. No child is safe from the vulnerability of being preyed upon. We can’t be there all the time to protect them. Help them learn how to protect themselves. Empowering your kids with the knowledge to set boundaries, speak up when they are crossed, and know they are in control of their bodies are valuable lessons they will use the rest of their lives and in all areas of their lives including college, career, and personal relationships.

Formal training is necessary because there are too many widely held beliefs that are misleading and give you a false sense of security putting your child at greater risk. Training is meant to empower you, not depress you. You can choose to be prepared and not scared to discuss this topic. In the book, The Socially Skilled Child Molester, author, and psychologist Carla van Dam, says child predators deliberately target families and organizations that are too uncomfortable, too polite, or too shy to discuss inappropriate behavior or have not been trained in child sexual abuse prevention.

Every time I conduct a training, even those who think they are helicopter parents, or have been abused themselves and feel like they know enough, are all shocked at how much they learn. I have been training people on this topic since my daughter was molested by her third-grade teacher eleven years ago and I still learn new stuff.

Abuse is by far the #1 safety threat to your child even if you home school your kids. More than 90% of abuse is at the hands of someone you know and trust, more than 30% of that is your own family members. I get so many people that come to me after abuse has happened. I would like to change that and prevent it from happening in the first place. The best statistic I can leave you with is that 95% of abuse can be prevented through education. Just by taking a class and informing others that you have taken the class you will deter predators from even considering your child. You will set child on a path of self-confidence and intuitive intelligence that will be instilled in them and guide them when you are not around. Trainings are 2 – 3 hours long, you can make the time when you make your kids safety your #1 priority. You will be glad you did!

Christy Heiskala is a mom of three who became a certified facilitator of child sexual abuse prevention 11 years ago when using the skills Christy taught her, her daughter was able to stop a child predator who had been molesting his third-grade students for seven years. She is on a mission to train 1 million people how to prevent abuse. For more information on the non-profit she founded go to

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