SAFEchild empowers more than 6,500 first graders every year with the Funny Tummy Feelings program, in which children learn skills to protect themselves from physical and sexual abuse and how to make appropriate decisions in a variety of situations. The program is sustained by donations and volunteer support. Volunteers present the program in schools, daycare facilities and other organizations free of charge.
The Funny Tummy Feelings program includes:
- Discussions about pleasant and unpleasant “funny tummy feelings”;
- 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 and how to say “no” effectively.
One way to reinforce the important messages presented in the Funny Tummy Feelings program is to read the following 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 . . .
Contact Elizabeth Clark, Funny Tummy Feelings coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the program.