Children’s Body and Safety Awareness & God Made All of Me Book Review

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As my daughter is getting older, I have been trying to find ways to broach the subject of body awareness and body safety. I know that as a parent and mother, this is my responsibility. My hope is that she won’t hear about it for the first time in school or from a friend, but rather from the safety of her home.

As a believer in Jesus, I want my daughter to have the framework of just how special her body is, and how sacred she is. I want her to fully understand that she can say “NO” to various forms of touch, verbal statements, and persuasions. Not only is this skill important now, it will become more important as she grows up and encounters various situations to make her own decisions about sexuality.

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Here is a startling fact from “God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies“, written by Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb:

One in four women and one in six men have or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. 

The sad truth is that most of these assaults happen by a “trusted” friend or family member.

This blog post is not meant to scare or shame, but rather to “empower parents to prevent, recognize, and respond to child abuse” (God Made All of Me).

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I decided to review this book, God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies, because it has made a profound impact on my daughter and I. It has given me the tools to speak gracefully and lovingly to my four year old about her private parts, her identity and value, appropriate conduct between friends and family, the right to say no, and modesty. It has opened a dialogue between us that these issues need not be embarrassing or shameful, but rather important to talk about. As she grows older, I hope she knows she can come to me right away if she feels unsure about a situation or if someone has harassed her. It also gives her the knowledge to treat other people with respect and to know to listen when people say no, or to look away if someone asks her to.

Some very practical times I have been able to use the wisdom in this book:

  • Bathroom stalls: My daughter likes to “look under” stalls. After reading this book, I was able to remind her to respect other people’s privacy and private parts.
  • Body curiosity: When my daughter turned three, she loved to show her belly and other various body parts. This book was wonderful to teach her that her body is beautiful and exciting, but that it is important to only show it during appropriate times for her own safety (with doctors, in a bath, with family members we have allowed, etc.).
  • “Rough-housing”: We all have that fun person in our lives who rough houses. While rough housing is fun and alright, and even good for building play skills, sometimes it can go too far. For example, if our kiddo says , “stop” or “no more”, over and over, it might be awkward to ask that fun cousin or even Dad to stop, but it is important in building a child’s confidence to be able to say no. A child who has the ability to say no at four is going to be more likely to say no at sixteen, and having parents who back him or her up instills a sense of value and trust that is priceless.

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I highly recommend this book for parents looking for a useful book to open up conversations in a sweet and meaningful way with a young child.  This book is wonderful because it is written in a way that captures a young child in a non-threatening way. It allows a parent to talk about subjects that seem difficult to talk about.

Click on the following link to order your own copy:  God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own. 

*This post may contain affiliate links. I do earn a small commission from product sales on my blog, which go back into my blog to cover various fees and software as well as provide me the ability to write more content. Thank you for purchasing items off of my blog! 

 

For all the momma’s feeling worn down

 

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Are you a burnt out momma? I am. I am not ashamed to admit this in my moment of honesty.

Today I had a chance to break away for a few hours without my daughter. I love her with all my heart. Still, here I am, recharging my writing a blog post about her. What gives? Where is the break? (Ha!)

I left my house in a frenzy. Behind I left a kitchen counter cluttered with peanut butter, dirty spoons, and some random objects… a necklace, screwdrivers, a dirty coffee cup. I had time to throw some fresh clean clothes on the bed. Then I literally grabbed my purse and ran away from my home as quick as I could to the nearby coffee shop. No dirty dishes to stare at and feel guilty. Nope. My alone time would be my alone time.

Yet here I am, thinking about motherhood, fascinated by how it encompasses every part of my life, every fiber, through my bones, and deep into my heart.

I think back to my twenties when I carelessly floated from one activity to another. Kickball, happy hour, shopping, haircuts, weekends in the mountains. Now I am running ragged and hardly making it to doctor appointments, swimming lessons, and work appointments.

I am so tired. Let me restate that. I am SO tired!

And guess what else? I am hardly doing “motherhood” well. I have a few books half read. A chore chart we never started. My daughter is starting to defy me, talk back to me, and do things I thought would never happen. It is mass chaos in our home! Our bedtime routine is currently completely off as my kid is almost going to bed at 10pm each night. The only decent thing we are doing right now is praying together (because man do I need to pray daily), and eat well. But, that is about it.

Example. The other day I was the hot mess mom running into swim lessons 15 minutes late. My purse falling off my shoulder, my daughter trying to keep up with me as I run in, “We are here, so sorry!”. All the other moms staring at me. Why did I come so late? There was only 15 minutes left. My daughter didn’t even have her swimsuit on!

But this is the dirty little secret: I know I am not alone. I have authentic friends who will tell me their kids drive them crazy. They scream into pillows. Most days they are juggling and dropping balls. Some cannot wait until that glass of wine after bedtime, or the quiet drive into work after dropping the kids off.

I get it.

No one gives us some handbook on parenting when we leave the hospital. We train hard for jobs and careers which hardly press us the way these little ones do. They pull on our heartstrings and hammer us purely mad.

But the catch is this: this crazy, messy, sometimes terrible season is just a season. A glorious, messy, fantastic season. A season in which my emotions are on some wild rollercoaster. Up, around, upside down. I’ve never cried so much, laughed so much, or slammed the door so much.

Parenting is hard. Of course it is. It is sacrifice at it’s finest. It is collaboration, constant brainstorming. It is in the moment teaching. It is in the moment training, too. Every bit of it monumental and fleeting. Each thing I do or say leaving an imprint in my child’s heart and mine.

Not too long ago I ran a half marathon. The training was awful. I hate running. Every time I ran I wondered what the hell I was doing. I slowly grew to love it. I fell a few times, swallowed mouthfuls of bugs, ran in the rain and mud, strained my muscles, and got overheated. Some runs were beautiful, the weather was perfect and playlist spot on and I felt just right. The day of the half marathon came, and I was all full of nerves and felt like I was going to throw up. I ran it, and all my training had paid off. And just like that it was over. And guess what? I missed the training. I missed running! I was actually so sad.

In a teeny, tiny way parenting is much like this. The day-to-day seems unbearable. The sleepless nights, the days of changing diapers over and over again. The time-out’s that never seem to end. The tension headaches. The fighting with your spouse over how and why and when to discipline. The practices and driving here and from. The food and crap everywhere, always… the dirty socks all over the floor… when will it end?

And then it will. Just like that. My daughter will be packing up her car to drive to school out-of-state. Or another scenario. But it will be done. And I will miss it. But I will always have those special memories and more importantly, a new special relationship with her and a new season.

So, I try to always remember the big picture. Relationship trumps rules. Love never fails. Yes, the day-to-day is grinding. But it is all so very important. And everything is happening for a reason, shaping and molding me to be more patient, more tolerable, more kind, and less controlling. Parenting is the best crash course in growing my faith and character I’ve ever had.

My little girl turned four!

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It is official! My little girl turned four a few days ago. Seems like just yesterday I brought her home from the hospital. I still remember sitting in the back sit next to her, marveling at her tiny fingers. My husband drove us home ever so caustiosly and were listening to Mumford and Sons. Time seemed to stand still that day. Everything seemed brand new. The whole world lit up with so many different sights, sounds and colors. Playgrounds came alive to me. My imagination sparked anew.

Wonder, joy, and adventure is exactly what this little girl has brought into our lives. Along with many sleepless nights, moments of fear beyond comprehension, and a new recognition of many emotions I never thought I had. The past four years have been delightful. They have gone too quickly. They have been hard. I have lost my patience too many times to count, but laughed more than I have in my whole life.

Full. That is the word I would used to describe my heart today. Full. Of joy, love, and hope.  Full of plans and dreams. Full because when I step back and look at all that we have, the most important things I have are not things at all. They are the two people in my home that bring wrinkles of joy to my eyes and cause both tears of happiness and sadness to flow out. They keep me on my toes, keep me real, and keep me pushing on throughout the days I wanna throw in the towel.

Miss Lillian- you have brought delight into this momma’s heart. Every day watching you grow has been amazing. From your first day in our home, to the many nights I rocked you to sleep, you have stolen this heart. I look at you and see such immense beauty my eyes can hardly take it all in. God created you perfectly and wonderfully. He has crafted your heart in such a lovely fashion. Watching your emotions grow more complicated each day is like watching a garden of wildflowers- beautiful, unique, and ever changing. Four years could not have gone faster or changed me more. I look forward to each passing day I get to be your Momma, read you bedtime stories, play My Little Pony in our living room, and watch you try on dresses and high heels. 

With Love, 

Mom