Saturday March 18, 2023 . I dread and love March 18 th every year. It’s my oldest sons birthday 🥳 we love you Joey he’s 34 years old today so that part is joyful. Ten years ago on Larch 18 th we lost a 17 year old son very unexpectedly. John Michael Richards was a beautiful blond haired blue eyed fellow who always had a smile and a joke. I had intended on pouting all day ( I had already given Joey his present ) but I had been invited by a friend to attend a mini conference called Protecting their innocence given by Adrian Lane an Atlanta artist and speaker. I’m glad I went.The statistics on children abused before age ten was devastating. The number of felonies committed by children under the age of 15 has quadrupled in the past 10 years. As a nation we have got to do better. 1 child at a time. Here are a few of the things I learned that can help. I also learned that children might not want to talk to you but they will almost always draw it out for you in art. If you think something is bothering a child grab some crayons and sit down with them it will come out.Protecting children’s innocence is a crucial aspect of parenting and caregiving. Children need to feel safe and secure, and they should be able to trust the adults in their lives to keep them safe from harm. Here are some ways to help protect children’s innocence:1. Monitor media consumption: Children are exposed to a wide range of media, including television, movies, social media, and video games. It’s essential to monitor what children are watching and playing, and to limit exposure to violent, sexual, or inappropriate content. Not only their media but yours too and I am guilty. I have driven my children to school with kid rock and rappers singing songs they should never hear. Know better =do better2. Encourage open communication: Children need to feel comfortable talking to adults about their concerns and fears. Encourage open communication and make time to listen to your child’s thoughts and feelings. Art can help children express themselves.3. Teach healthy boundaries: Teach children about healthy boundaries and personal space. Help them understand what is appropriate behavior and what is not. Always be the one they can tell anything.4. Be aware of signs of abuse: Be aware of the signs of child abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. If you suspect abuse, report it immediately to the authorities.5. Educate children about their bodies: Teach children about their bodies, including appropriate names for body parts and what is normal and healthy. Help them understand the importance of personal hygiene and self-care.6. Be a positive role model: Children learn by example. Be a positive role model and demonstrate healthy behaviors and attitudes. Monitor your music , tv and language you are their role model.In summary, protecting children’s innocence requires a proactive approach that involves monitoring media consumption, encouraging open communication, teaching healthy boundaries, being aware of signs of abuse, educating children about their bodies, and being a positive role model. By taking these steps, caregivers can help children feel safe, secure, and protected from harm.