SAFEchild reaches more than 6,500 first graders every year with this interactive program that teaches children skills to protect themselves from physical and sexual abuse. The Funny Tummy Feelings program also informs children how to make appropriate decisions in a variety of situations.
The program includes discussions about pleasant and unpleasant Funny Tummy Feelings or emotions; the differences between “good” and “not-so-good” secrets; how to identify and select special people in each child’s life that he or she can talk to and trust; when to say “no” and how to say “no” effectively.
The program is based on four key messages which are important for parents to reinforce with their children:
- Listen to and trust what your body is telling you about your feelings.
- If someone tells you a secret, you make a decision about whether or not to keep the secret.
- Special people can help you if you talk to them.
- You have a right to say no, even to a grown-up, if being asked to do something that makes you feel unpleasant or could be harmful to you or someone else.
Another way to reinforce these important messages is to read the following short story aloud to your child and let him or her fill in the blanks (underlined words):
- If we listen very carefully, our Funny Tummy Feelings will let us know how we should act when certain things happen to us. Some Funny Tummy Feelings are pleasant and some are unpleasant, but all Funny Tummy Feelings are our signals to be more aware of what is going on around us.
- We know that secrets can be good or not-so-good. If we have a pleasant Funny Tummy Feeling about a secret, it is okay to keep the secret. If we get an unpleasant Funny Tummy Feeling about a secret, we should talk to our SPECIAL PERSON, our support person, about that secret. It is okay to not keep a not-so-good secret.
- If someone asks us to do something that could be harmful to us or is wrong and we get an unpleasant Funny Tummy Feeling, we have a right to say NO, even if the person who asks us to do it is a grown-up. If the person does not listen to us, we have the right to talk to our Special Person about what is happening.
Another approach to this discussion with your child is to complete the following sentences:
- I get a “Funny Tummy Feeling” when. . .
- The difference between a good and a not-so-good secret is. . .
- Something I would like to talk to my Special Person about is . . .
- A time when I can say “NO” is . . .
SAFEchild will present the Funny Tummy Feelings program to 6,500 children in Wake County schools this year. The program is sustained by donations and volunteer support, and we are recruiting volunteers for the upcoming school year. If you are interested in volunteering with SAFEchild, please click on the “Volunteer” button on the home page. If you have questions about the Funny Tummy Feelings program, please contact Pilar Jennings, SAFEchild’s Funny Tummy Feelings coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a financial contribution to support SAFEchild’s Funny Tummy Feelings program, please click on the “Donate” button on the home page. Thank you!