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Monday, 31 July 2017

How Do We Protect Our Kids From Sexual Predators?

I tell my children at a very young age that their private parts are ‘private’ for a reason and what are “healthy touches”. I also refer to their genitals as vagina, penis, breasts, buttocks; and not “karipap”, “mei mei”, “kukubird” and “nenen”. Reason being, I was told that if your child were to tell you that “Uncle touched my “mei mei”, it would be less effective than, “ Mama, that Uncle touched my Vagina!” which would trigger a faster response.

Second, put your child first.

An activist had to make a difficult decision when she found out her father in-law had been sexually molesting her then six-year old daughter. Fortunately for her, her husband was “on their side” too. The safety and self-esteem of their child was more important than anyone’s embarrassment, inconvenience or offense. As Johnston mentions, the shame should not be on the victim or the family of the victim. The shame should be on the perpetrator.

Thirdly, listen to your children and teach them not to keep unsafe secrets. Communication is so crucial between a parent and the child.

Most abusers cultivate a strong relationship with their victims before doing anything sexual. Often, they start by testing a child’s boundaries by being inappropriate in other ways. I read somewhere that a parent should once in a while, in a calm, conversational way, ask the child if anything was bothering or worrying him/her.

Don’t tease, even if the child says something ‘silly’ and avoid (easier said than done) lecturing or scolding at that moment, even if the child has done something wrong.

According to, some pedophiles give alcohol or drugs as a way to get them to lower their inhibitions, molesting them while they are unconscious or asleep.

They might then threaten their victims by getting them into trouble if the child tells their parents. Make sure you tell your child that even if he or she makes a mistake or did something wrong, that you, as the parent will still love and help him/her. Ensure an environment that the child knows what sexual abuse is and that they have a safe haven to speak up and report it if it happens to him or her.

Finally, make sure you know who and what others is doing with your children.

Remember that anyone can be an abuser. Don’t just trust someone because they are part of a reputable organization or religious body or school. Check their background and trust your gut feeling about someone or something. “Watch our for someone who seems to single out certain kids for special attention and private relationships and who seeks social and recreational opportunities to be alone with kids without other adults there,” adds Irene van der Zande, Founder and Executive Director of Kidpower.

Combating Child Sexual Crimes is a collective effort and we need to start NOW to stop it.


Daphne Iking is an Award winning actress and TV personality. Co-founder of both Lebosi Sdn Bhd and BigIDIA, she is also an advocate for solar powered products and consults corporate leaders in Media Handling and Public Speaking.

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Thursday, 6 July 2017

Are You Truly Ready For A Baby?


Written by Stella Matilda, Editor of Parents Avenue Magazine

I may not looked like the “established” mom who has it all under control. Keeping the house clean, preparing meals for the family and all. But I think with a three year old toddler and another baby on the way, I’m pretty qualified to share my five cents on parenthood. At least some of it.

The truth is, my husband didn’t want us to have our first child so soon after our wedding. Some believe in enjoying the marriage first. I totally agree. But I wanted kids. I always have a thing for children and I knew that we were ready. So let me just share with you the few topics we discussed prior to having our first child.

1. To care for someone other than ourselves.
This isn’t a pet cat or a dog. Bringing someone to life and to be responsible for that tiny person is a big deal. We figured, ok - we are pretty independent and have been taking care of ourselves for decades. I mean, we still have food and clean clothes!

2. Willing to make scarifies for someone other than yourself.
Right. Like ultimately money, time and sleep. That’s do-able. We had a long talk on the money bit thinking if we are actually financially ready for a little one. I thought, money will come and go but time- we can never, ever get to reverse time. Period!

I believe in goal setting and working towards it. We discussed exactly how much we needed to survive with the first baby. We had a plan and wrote it down to review the pros and cons. It always goes back to money. Thankfully, we managed to save enough for a private hospital delivery and surviving through to our third year as parents.

Remember, money is everything but so is time. Of course, if you have money, it will pretty much sums it all up - then you have money to hire a maid, go to the best hospital in town, best day care centres and schools, best of all things like toys and food too. But, here I am sharing as a middle income person who doesn’t really have all that luxury. But we are happy and blessed above all.

3. Capacity to love.
Not everyone has the will to love a child. Loving a child is about patience. This is that little person that keeps you awake all day and night. Vomit and poop what may feel like every hour. When they learn to crawl or walk, your house is no longer yours. It’s theirs.

Expect your feet to feel the pain from stepping onto toys and lego bricks (presents from your family/friends). Expect jumping and dangerous stunts from your child. Expect screams, cries and tantrums. Expect forgiveness and to love without limits by you as the parent. To always bare in mind, their childhood years are so, so, so very few. So treasure them while you can.

4. You are open to learning, changing and growing.
Motherhood is just like your mobile phone software, it needs to be upgraded once in a while. What we thought we knew could be so back dated, it doesn’t even make sense anymore!

Motherhood will change us as a person. Same goes for the daddy. You cannot stop the changes in your life. Once you enter parenthood, there is no going back. And guess what? Nobody is truly ready to be a parent. Nobody. But you have to be willing to say YES. YES. YES. Yes to the changes, yes to learning new things and yes to growing.

5. Be responsible.
You want to be someone’s mother. Your life will affect another life as deeply as it possibly can. Our choices, words, attitudes, experiences - all of it! Whatever you do will affect how your kids develop, forming the structure of their own central narratives.

How can we ever be ready for something like that? Good news is, you can clean up your act. You can be responsible. Like, today. Right now. Are you ready?