If you’ve looked at my website and seen glimpses of paper dolls or my ads to get a paper doll set free you might be wondering, What are the #PaperDolls for?
SOMETIMES you can just talk to your kids about what to do or not to do and they will listen. But little children, like my 4-year old, talk to a doll as if it is real. She actually shares more with her doll than she does with me! This is not just pretend play. It is #therapy. You can find out more about how your child feels about different people by watching them play with a doll that represents those people.
In my book, #RaisingPEARLS to be released Aug 14, are many activities. Some of them involve talking about possible scenarios that your child could realistically be involved in, such as a trip to the zoo, park, grocery store, or mall. Your child colors and uses one of the 6 dolls included in the book to represent your child, another to represent you or other person they are with as you play and act out those possible scenarios TOGETHER.
You can also include sleepovers, visits with family and friends, school, sports, music lessons, church, and more! This type of play with your child gives you the opportunity to teach your child confidence as they make wise choices, act out what might happen when they don't (such as hiding from you under a clothing rack at the store) or how to respond to someone who makes them uncomfortable. You should also make sure to act out how YOU would respond in each scenario.
If your child discloses sexual abuse, remain calm and only ask him or her to tell you (or show with the dolls) more. Listen carefully to find out if your child is just making up a story or if he or she knows too many details beyond what you already taught. Don’t get angry because your child may think it is his or her fault and may close up, refusing to talk to you about this subject anymore. If you suspect abuse, make a report to your local Child Protective Services or call 911. If you are not sure, you can contact the National sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) and they will listen to your story, and walk you through the process. Click here for more resources.
In my Raising PEARLS book there are pages of hair, facial expressions and clothes to color, that you and your child can change and put on the paper dolls to represent different people of different colors.
If your child doesn’t do more than scribble, hates coloring, or you don’t want to bother with laminating or putting packing tape on each paper doll page before you cut out all the pieces, I have many colored and laminated paper dolls of different #skincolors, facial features, #hairstyles and colors and clothing. All you do is cut them out and store them in ziplock bags when you’re not using them. Use mounting putty to hold the pieces together while you and your child are playing! Remember to have fun, affirm and praise your child, stay calm, and be trustworthy so he or she will want to play with you again rather than keeping secrets.
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God bless you and your children with perfect love and safety.