Let's talk about role play for a minute!
If you missed my "kids body talk" highlight, stop and go watch that now! That's kind of the prequel to this post!
I incorporate role play with my kids - usually while they're eating a meal - and my favorite tip in parenting through the unpleasant (like cleaning, doing school, potty training...) - make it a game! We call ours the "what-if" game. They ALWAYS ask for more scenarios and they love playing, which is the objective here. Honestly, to NOT prepare our children for different difficult circumstances in the current times we live in is irresponsible as parents. We have a duty to nurture & protect, but also to prepare them for unforeseen events. The whole point is to make them think through these events and how they would respond before they actually play out. Yes we use the words vagina and penis in our home. No silly names for private areas.
During this game, I give my children a scenario:
Me: "what happens if you're playing at the park and someone with a super cute dog asks if you want to come see their other dogs they have in their car?"
Kids: "say no and come find you!"
Me: "but what if they offer you candy?!"
Me: "what if they try to grab you?"
Kids: "Kick! Scream! Bite! Don't stop yelling" (2) Me: "what do you do if you're at a friends house and their brother says he wants to play a game, but tells you it will be a secret game?"
Kids: "say no thank you, we don't keep secrets"
Me: "will you ever get in trouble for telling mommy if something happened you know shouldn't have?"
It's as simple as that. Your kids won't know the answers when you initially begin this practice, but that's the point! Give them the answers, so that eventually it's second nature! This can be applied to so many different scenarios. Kidnapping, porn exposure, fires, injuries, intruders, sexual abuse..... the list is endless. It grieves my heart that I have to prepare my children for things like this - but the possibilities of what could happen if they weren't prepared grieve my heart more. 🖤
Scroll down to see a video clip of how we casually incorporate our what if game into our breakfast time!