Purim is a really fun time for kids and adults alike, and it means lots of visiting family and friends! It’s important to keep in mind that 95% of abuse occurs at the hands of someone well known to the child, which makes it so important to stay educated and proactive while avoiding unnecessary panic or anxiety (which is detrimental to kids). Whether you’re away visiting others, or having lots of guests, safety rules are a must!
- Children need to know that if anyone offers them alcohol, they must tell you immediately. It is both illegal and dangerous for minors to consume alcohol. It is also important to remember that children are very small people, and the effects of even a small amount of alcohol can be magnified significantly. A child under the influence of alcohol, in an unnaturally uninhibited state, with decreased ability to resist, and with impaired memory faculties, is a high risk of being abused and hurt.
- Sometimes, as excited as we are about seeing friends and relatives, it’s easy to forget that our usual personal boundaries still apply. Remind your friends and relatives that if your child wants to skip the hugs and kisses this time, that should be their choice. Even the most loving and well-meaning family member can cause a child confusion about owning their body, by forcing them to give hugs and kisses when they don’t want to.
- While treats and sweets are an important part of Purim for kids, your children should be reminded that accepting treats should only be done with your permission.
- As always, pay attention to adults or older teens who are paying extra special attention to your kids. There are plenty of great, healthy adults who enjoy spending lots of time with children, but in general, adults and children should want to be spending time with people their own age. Trust your gut feelings, and your children’s instincts – if they don’t want to spend time with a certain relative or friend, don’t force them. Give them a chance to discuss it with you in a relaxed, non-pressured environment.
- As always, your child should be reminded that secrets should never be kept from parents. If anyone asks your child to come with them somewhere, without telling you, the answer should be NO! (even if it’s someone he/she knows well)
The staff and volunteers of Jewish Community Watch wish all of you and your children a happy and safe Purim!
Check out these important articles on our site for more information on how to protect your children: