Tuesday, September 22, 2015

God made all of Me by Justin S. Holcomb

Talking to little ones about their bodies can be an incredibly daunting task for parents. Most parents have no idea where to begin, what terminology to use, or at what age to even begin discussing it. Unfortunately, to keep our children safe from sexual predators, it is absolutely necessary to do the uncomfortable thing, and talk to children about it at their level. Justin S. Holcomb has made this uncomfortable talk so much easier with his brand new book, "God made all of Me: A book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies."

The beginning of the book starts with an introduction to parents, explaining why he decided to write this book. Did you know that one in four women and one in six men have been or will be assaulted at some point in their lives? 15% of those are under the age of 12, and 29% are between the ages of 12 and 17. Girls between the ages of 16 and 19 are FOUR times more likely than the general population to be victims of general assault.

Education is the best defense in protecting little ones from sexual predators! How will a child know what is appropriate or inappropriate if we as their parents, fail to speak with them about it?

The first page in the story is Genesis 1:31 in bright bold colors... "God saw everything He had made. And it was very good." The next page is a picture of a mom and dad sitting in the living room with their two children talking about how God is the One who created each of them. The story proceeds as Dad asks the children other questions such as "What else did God make?" and then they discuss the different body parts God created and that there are certain parts that are not for sharing. We can share a hug if we want, but we do not HAVE to if we don't want to. And that is okay. We don't even have to offer a high five if we don't want to, because our bodies are our own and no one else's.

Mom goes on to explain that if someone doesn't listen when you tell them no, you must go tell someone right away. You can tell your parents, a doctor, a teacher or anyone else who can help you. She then explains that private parts are the parts covered up by our underwear or bathing suits. (They use the proper names for body parts here.) Mom explains that sometimes kids need help in the tub, or a doctor needs to check your parts at a doctor visit, and that's just parents and doctors trying to keep kids healthy. There is also a special side note here that tells children that if they aren't sure what is a safe and healthy touch they can always ask, because touches are never secret! The rest of the book pretty much reiterates these important truths and it concludes with 9 ways to help protect your child from a sexual predator.

I loved this book! It seems to be geared towards children between the ages of 3 and 8, which seems like the perfect age to broach this subject. I know some parents may scoff at the idea of teaching their children the proper names of body parts, but I think it's important to remember that it may be difficult for a child to come to an adult regarding inappropriate touch if they do not not the proper names.

The illustrations were bright and colorful and didn't show any pictures that might be embarrassing to a child. Everything is covered up by an undershirt or underpants. This book is very tastefully done! I would HIGHLY recommend it to all parents. I rate it as 5 stars!

I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Justin Holcomb, PhD, is an Episcopal priest and professor of theology and Christian thought at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. He is the author ofOn the Grace of GodKnow the Heretics, and Know the Creeds and Councils, as well as the coauthor of Is It My Fault? and Rid of My Disgrace. He also serves on the boards for REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade) and GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments).Lindsey Holcomb, MPH, counsels victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and is the cofounder of REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade). Lindsey has provided crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and conducted a variety of training seminars to service providers. She is also the coauthor of Is It My Fault? and Rid of My Disgrace.

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