Talking About Touching, again!


#1

Just received from our parish that they are going to have the Talking About Touching program. The letter states that the children will not be “exposed to specific sexual language or depictions of graphic situations or to anatomically correct language regarding private body parts.” According to what I have researched, this program is very explicit.

Has anyone seen these videos: Sam’s Story, Yes, You Can Say No, Katie’s Secret?


#2

Call the Parish, and ask to view the materials. After you view the materials, ask to meet with the presenter.

First hand information is the way to go here.


#3

Why wouldn’t they use the anatomically correct names for body parts? I don’t get that part…are we or are we not trying to prevent a repeat of the sexual abuse scandal here? Parents should be using those terms, and so should other people educating children on these issues. As for how “explicit” the program is…do we want our children to have the tools to fight pedophiles or don’t we? Euphemizing only clouds the issue. We should tell our children the truth.

Stop being so squeamish…it serves no one! I am GLAD that parishes are doing this now. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but it has to be done.

I agree with the recommendation of viewing the materials yourself. That is the best way to go in making a decision.


#4

I’m sure if I ask I can view the material. However, my mind is already up. Having gone through Protecting God’s Children, the only mention of anything spiritual is just in the title. We have good relations with our children and they don’t need to be exposed to more secular programming. As far as reviewing the material, I find it interesting that they don’t encourage wary parents to view the material. All they have is a post-meeting - a little too late. I hope those who choose to send their kids through this program preview the series.


#5

yes I have seen all 3 and if this program ever becomes mandatory in this diocese I start teaching CCD for the Buddhists. IMO these are completely inappropriate to introduce ad hoc to children in the age group to whom they are aimed.

the parish may not use this program with your children unless you give your permission, and you must be given an opportunity to review the videos and all other lesson plan components (and as well there is usually a parent guide) before it is implemented. If this is not done, your parish is in direct opposition to the bishops.


#6

Puzzleannie, can you tell us what age group they’re aimed to? I have to wonder why CCD programs need to be discussing these issues…don’t parents do that job? Maybe I’m naive.


#7

At our parish, it is as follows:

Grade 1-3 - Sam’s Story
Grade 4-8 Yes, You Can Say No
Grade 9-12 Katie’s Secret and Creating Safe and Sacred Places

Parent’s can view What Can I Say Now? The sad thing about our faith formation is they have cut classes from 14 to 12 per year. We meet every other week, sometimes once a month, if there’s a holiday. Most parishes meet weekly for about 24 sessions. One really has to wonder what their priorities are.


#8

Can anyone tell me what these programs are about?

I am teaching my first CCD class in a few weeks. First graders, 14 of them!

Are they about identifying sexual abuse?


#9

Never mind. I got my answers through a simple google search.

I only got a brief description but after that I’m all for it.

As the husband of a victim of incest, I know the damage childhood sexual abuse can cause.

The hardest part for a child is telling someone. Often they don’t know it is wrong. They are often being violated by those that they trust.

1 in 3 women were sexually abused at some point in their life. So many as children.

I can see no bad side to informing children what is right and what is wrong.


#10

Emphasis added–the point is that “other people” have zero, zip, zilch, nada right to ‘educate’ my children on the subject, and the only ‘tools to fight pedophiles’ children need are adults who WILL step up to the plate and make sure that children aren’t placed in such positions of needing to ‘fight pedophiles’. Teaching a child who believes that a blanket tied around the neck can make him fly like Superman that he can stop a pedophile by doing comic maneuvers like raising his hand in a ‘traffic cop stop’ signal and saying “No!” is going to put that child at increased risk for harm because he’s going to think that he can handle it until it’s too late, and harm has been done. In fact, as I’ll demonstrate–the program presents situations in which action is not suggested until after actual harm has been done to a child.

I did have the actual presentation materials (I insisted), but unfortunately, my hard drive had a melt-down, and I no longer have the material. However, I can say … whoa, way inappropriate, and did not permit my children to be involved in the class. We do not need to protect our children from pedophiles by prophylactically victimizing them ourselves.

And yes, I believe it is unacceptable to present a scenario in a mixed-gender class in which a second grader is told “Your mother’s boyfriend is helping you take off your wet swimsuit and puts his hand inside and touches [specific gender’s body part].” Erm, you’ve already gotten FAR past where the line should be drawn. Unless a 2nd grade child is developmentally disabled, no adult should be involved in the removal of a wet swimsuit. (I’m not even going to get into the ‘mother’s boyfriend’ element.) Or ‘your friend’s big brother comes over when you’re there for a sleepover and [graphic description of molestation]’… again, shouting ‘no!’ would not prevent harm, as the child has already BEEN molested in the scenario.


#11

In our Diocese, if you volunteer with kids you must take a Virtus course. I was under the impression that all Dioceses required a similar traning program for adult volunteers - I’d be asking your DRE about training.


#12

I used to agree with you, and from a certain perspective it seems like these methods would prevent abuse…but in reality they do not.

A pedophile uses many methods, many of them psychological. A small child or even an older child does not have the maturity to out-wit an adult and never will even if we give them “tools”. Many of the victims of the church scandal were teenage boys, not even small children. They were psychologically manipulated.

I admire your passion because I beleive you feel this way because you are concerned for our children and want to protect them. I just think that teaching a young child some of these things is not the most effective way to go about it and can even cause damage in my opinion, because it teaches children they should say “no” when most of the time they cannot because it is their father or uncle or someone close.


#13

Well, in all honesty I have not seen the specific materials in question, so it may be that I am misjudging them and others’ reactions to them. I should probably take a look for myself.

And, yes, I am concerned both for our children and our Church. I just never, ever want that to be able to happen again! I went through a period where I questioned whether I was doing the right thing by raising my children in this Church, or was it immoral to even consider doing so, as they failed so miserably, so purposefully in some cases, and for so long to protect children from the monsters within their own ranks.

The real shock came about 4 years ago when I found out my own great-uncle was one of the priests who had been molesting boys for decades…:blush: Maybe that is part of the reason I have so much passion about this, along with the fact that I have five children to try and protect from all this, and I want the Church to help me, not hinder my efforts or be part of the abuse.


#14

I am a former DRE in my parish in the Archdiocese of Boston - “Ground Zero” as Father Corapi calls it, as the epicenter of the clerical abuse scandal. I left the job right before the scandal broke in the news, thank God.

I have no personal experience with sexual abuse myself, but I did know priests who were accused and found guilty. Both situations, as were most of the accusations, involved same sex partners.

I think it is absolutely LUDICROUS for the Church to implement this progarm as a way of protecting children. The problem iwas and is not with children being seduced by adults. The problem was and is homosexual priests seducing teenaged boys.

What amazes me is that we get no teaching from the priests at Sunday Mass regarding the Church’s teaching on human sexuality, and in confession we are told ABC is a matter of “conscience” and not sinful.

Which leaves us with a bunch of volunteer catechists who are CLUELESS about what they are supposed to teach, and do not practice it themselves. These are not the people I want teaching my children about sexuality, chastity and morality.

I would absolutely refuse to have my child exposed to this garbage and teach them at home if necessary.

Dom Bettinelli did a good expose of the TAT program on his blog last year. Do a Google search for Bettnet and you will see links to it there on his blog.


#15

Right on. Why don’t we train adults how to behave sexually according the the teaching’s of the Church? Why do we have to “sexualize” our kids? It is our duty as adults to protect the children, not for the chilrdren to defend themselves. My feeling is that this program was created by Dr. Ruth and Joycelyn Elders wannabes.


#16

“However, my mind is already up.”

Then why are you even bringing it up here?


#17

MargieOH,
I was going to write pretty much what you did, but you did a lot better job than I could have.
These sex education programs are another example of political correctness gone amok. If the church would have been doing it’s job in the first place instead of sweeping everything under the rug and covering up for perverted priests we would’nt be faced with having to teach our children about these things.
Where are our bishops and leaders?? It’s past time that you start showing some backbone in this area.


#18

Just because my children are not going to participate, doesn’t mean that they won’t be affected. By posting here, I draw on the experiences of many people who can provide both the pro and the con. Who knows? Maybe I am being too harsh in my judgment. Perhaps I haven’t considered all angles. For instances, I have already reconsidered watching the videos. Since I’m a catechist, it would be beneficial to see what the other children are exposed to and perhaps I may be able to incorporate a spiritual angle and emphasize the appropriate Church’s teachings.

I’m also curious to read about those parishes who implemented TAT, have there been any improvements? Do children respond to sexual abuse like the program teaches? Are sexual predators fleeing your diocese because they feel threaten by kids who are newly armed with the techniques of sexual defense? Can parents relax and leave the children with a babysitter while they folic in the sands of Jamaica, confident that if the occasion should arise, Johnny knows the proper sequence of how to handle unwarranted sexual advances? Or is this, as I suspect, more to do with providing false security, alleviating guilt and having a future defense of “at least we tried.”


#19

I disagree. I don’t necessarily see it as sexualizing our kids. I can tell you with certainty that most children who are sexually abused do not know it is wrong. They will not tell. Any program that informs children that this behavior is wrong and might get them to come forward, is a good program in my opinion.

Very often the abuse is coming from the very adults who are supposed to be protecting our children.


#20

Ok, so for those who don’t believe the diocese should be educating their children on what to do if they find themselves in a situation where they are abused, I’d ask:
(1) What you are teaching your children and is it substantially different from what is taught in these classes?
(2) Are you teaching your children anything about inappropriate touching? Some of the posts indicate a belief that young children don’t need to be exposed to this. Should the first “exposure” be when they are alone with a molester?
(3) Do you object to the content of the training (if so, why?) or just the fact that you should be doing it yourself vice the church doing it.
(4) Are there negative effects of the training, other than “usurping” what you view as a parental responsibility?

These classes may help with preventing abuse; a child saying “no” or “I’m going to tell my parents” can be pretty effective on somebody who does not have violent intent (i.e., non-sexual bodily harm) like maybe a priest or teacher. But, I think the primary goal is to make sure our kids know they can and should report it. A generation of children who were abused and said nothing until recently speaks volumes toward the failure of parents to recognize there was a problem and educate their children appropriately.

Of course, the best way to safeguard our children is to provide an environment in which they could never be approached by a potential pedophile. However, until we can figure out how to ensure that every minute of every day there is no chance of a one-on-one encounter between an adult and a child, I think we have to train our children on what to do if they are in that situation and it goes south on them.


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