Educator + Performer = Eduformer*
Miss Valerie Parker’s Mission
Make the world safer for children of ALL ages (and adults)
#ConversationChanges Everything ???
Ways that conversations are helpful:
+consent conversations can help people feel safer
+sharing about vulnerable topics can build intimacy
+humans have a need to feel seen and heard
+asking about or offering gender pronouns help people feel seen and accepted
+hearing resonant experiences of others can give people a sense of connection, strength, and hope
+humans use storytelling to make sense of the world
+most therapy is based in talking
+breaking the silence of secrecy helps
people accept trauma and begin to heal
+secrets not noticed have the potential to be
repeated in inter-generational trauma
+breaking patterns of unhelpful behaviors requires conversation to find solutions. If one can’t talk about it, they likely can’t fix it.
+research proves that conversation with real people is the most effective form of activism, to get people to change their minds
+teaching conversation starters give people tools for communication
There are tons of topics that many avoid because they aren’t sure HOW to talk about them honestly, especially with children: sexuality, addiction, mental health and illness, domestic violence, death, suicide, gender identity, etc. I write and perform about these topics in a way that helps people think about and start talking. With the hope of inspiration and change.
I want to remove the taboo around many complex topics like sexuality in general and specifically about child sexual violence. It’s the first step to solving problems like rape culture. Consent MUST be taught starting with children. It’s NOT just about sex. It’s about negotiating permission within the boundaries and comfort of everyone involved. It must be taught and practiced.
Let’s take sexuality out of the closet, practice the language of body safety and empowerment through song, and see clowny consent shows to learn how to talk to children (including our own inner children) honestly about it, so there is no need for fear or shame.
For the love of Little Ones of ALL ages:
whether your Little Ones are your children, your students, your pets, or your SELF you’re (re)discoverying through recovery work or a spiritual journey.
(Conversation lessons topics:
1 emotional intelligence:
people must know that their feelings matter, be able to identify their feelings, and talk about them.
Nonviolent Communication (developed by Marshall Rosenberg),
Conscious Discipline (by Dr. Becky Bailey), and
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High (by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler)
are my preferred methods to communicate feelings.
2 safety network:
have a safety network of people to talk to regularly
If you want a safety plan to work, you must practice it.
3 regular conversations about the people in children’s lives with families
Think about it: After I drop off my niece Anaya, I WANT my sister to ask her:
“So, what did you do with Auntie Valerie today?”
(Wait and listen)
“How do you feel about that?”
And, I want her to really listen because when something complicated happens (like the time I scared her with a game that she didn’t like), I want her to be able to help her navigate tricky emotions and situations.
4 talk about body safety language: consent, sexuality and abuse
-know that their body belongs to them
-know what safe and unsafe feels like in their bodies
-names of body parts, especially the names of the genitals
Think about it: if a child doesn’t even know the anatomical or common cultural ways to talk about those body parts, how do you ask a child if someone ever touched them there IF abuse is ever suspected?
-who can touch and in what situations?
-Practice asking for consent
-practice giving and receiving yes, no, stop, and maybe responses
-know body language and facial cues to check for consensual alignment
-know about safe secrets and what’s unsafe
SMART goal: Eliminate child sexual abuse by ____ (date) as measured by ____??
NOT by rape data reported because it’s already underreported.
How do we know that children are safe?
We can assess children’s awareness and comfort in reporting it. In schools, we practice for fires, lockdowns due to violence, and for inclement weather like hurricanes. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have non-consensual sexual experiences before adulthood in the US according to RAINN. That means that children need to be taught about it too, so they have the empowered language and awareness to hopefully prevent sexual abuse and have strategies already practiced in an emergency.
It’s a scary thing to admit that globally, we don’t have all the answers yet because these problems are too complex. I’ve done a lot of research and survived personal experience, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned so far to help others. In a 100% volunteer way–everything I create and resources that I gather. I’ve volunteered in all stages of my life since age 14 and consider my Eduformer* work as volunteer work as well.
*Eduformer- an activist who hopes to inpsire through performance, arts, and writing. It is a portmanteau of educator and performer invented by Valerie.
Eduformer, survivor, coach, teaching children of all ages, writing a children's musical about emotions, consent, and safety. www.MissValerieParker.com
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