Ask Auntie Artichoke

Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Ask Auntie Artichoke - Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Empower Kids To Say NO! Sexual Exploitation (EXPERT)

Our challenge as a community of caregivers, teachers and parents is to prepare children for any eventuality of sexual exploitation without scaring them to death.

It is our job to teach them that is OK to say NO! and to have the power to speak up when they feel uncomfortable.

We have to counterbalance their natural deference to authority by providing them with a strong sense of what other people should and should not be permitted to do to them under any circumstances.  They must know that they will be supported in their efforts to act and speak out against being victimized.

"Sexting"  is a form of bullying and sexual exploitation.  Find tips for helping empower your child at

“Sexting” is a form of bullying and sexual exploitation. Find tips for helping empower your child at

Emotional Signs of Sexual Abuse



  • An unusually quiet and fearful disposition, especially when in the company of one person.  For instance if your daughter leaves the room whenever Grandpa comes or sits through dinner when he is present, with her eyes downcast or seems more anxious when she hears he is coming to visit, be suspicious.


  • The child may exhibit a series of stress symptoms; fear of a particular place or person, fear of the dark, stomachs, or headaches.


  • An outgoing child may become shy or vice versa.  A child who has up till now usually been obedient, but now is rebelling, may be asking for help in setting boundaries.


  • Sleep disturbances, nightmares, bedwetting, fear of sleeping alone, needing a nightlight.


  • Lots of new fears, needing much more reassurance than in the past.


  • A return to a younger, more babyish behavior.
  • Withdrawal—usually into a fantasy world, exhibiting infantile behavior; may even appear retarded.


  • Irritability, excessive crying, visibly emotional.


  • Easily intimidated by older children, fear of male adults; often manifested in cowering, crying, being easily startled.


  • Low self esteem.


  • An offender may become extremely protective of the child and jealous of the child’s social life for fear of losing the child’s allegiance to others.


If, for whatever reason, they are not being protected within their own homes, they need to know that there are other supportive avenues of help available.  In that regard, school personnel and other adults who have contact with children must be alert to the visual signs and halting messages of children in trouble.

Thank you for joining our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all.  Please sign up for a free 15 minute coaching session with Judy Helm Wright, best selling author and life educator at  You will be glad you did.

Phrases to Build Confidence

When you build confidence, both in yourself and others, use strong words that evoke a sense of movement.

For instance; “I can do it” is certainly stronger than “I can’t do it.” Contrast that to “I choose to do it” which sounds more powerful and sure. The strongest is “I am going to do it! I will start right now and practice it every day until it becomes automatic action.”

Commit to Confidence

Making a decision that you can do something is great but making a commitment and an action plan is even better.  The Universe rewards action.  When you move forward, you will find assistance, guidance and doors opening for you.  Life actually becomes easier once you move in a forward direction.

In my many books and articles available at  you will find the words to say to bring about positive change.  I do this because sadly, many people have told me that they need the specific words and phrases because they have never heard them.

Phrases To Increase Self-Esteem and Confidence

Here is a list of 15 encouraging words and phrases that will assist you or your child to keep trying and increase self-esteem and confidence.

  1. “I like the way you handled that.”
  2. “Wow, you really thought out the solution to that problem.”
  3. “I have faith in your ability.”
  4. “I appreciate what you did.”
  5. “You are really showing improvement.”
  6. “I know you will figure out a good way to do it next time.”
  7. “You don’t have to be perfect. Effort and improvement are important.”
  8. “I trust you to be responsible.”
  9. “It must make you proud of yourself when you accomplish something like that.”
  10. “You are a valuable part of the team.”
  11. “It is okay to make a mistake, we all do. What do you think you learned from it?”
  12. “How can we turn this into a positive?”
  13. “I’m proud of you for trying.”
  14. “I’ll bet by next year you will be able to handle it, you just need to grow a little.”
  15. “I know you are disappointed that you didn’t win, but you’ll do better next time.”

Say Your Encouraging Words With Emotion

The stronger the positive statements spoken with emotion and deep meaning, the more the sub-conscious mind believes you and works to make it come true. That is why affirmations work. You are repeating positive statements with feeling and emotion.

Claim a copy of the audio book Affirmations For Abundance  at and listen to it daily for 21 days as you commute to work or walk around the park.  You will see a big difference in your belief system and inner confidence.

You deserve the best and I am confident in your ability to impact the world by influencing others to make wise choices through the use of encouragement and attracting the positive.


Join our community of kind, thoughtful people who want respect for all at

May I Have This Dance -Committed Parents

Many people do not know what committed and loving parents say and do on a daily basis. If you have grown up in a dysfunctional family or never had a stable family life, how would you know? This article tells the story of a foster daughter who first saw my husband and I dancing together in the kitchen and it changed her life. Sharing the story has also changed the lives of those who have heard it. May you enjoy the dance? You will also enjoy the affordable and effective parenting books available at