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9-year-old girl gives birth in Mexico

A 9-year-old girl is in good health after delivering a baby in Mexico. This case has understandably shocked parents everywhere, but it also leads to a discussion about how we can let our kids know that they can and should talk to us, as parents, if they are being abused.

Newborn baby

Puberty can begin as early as age 8 in girls, but most parents only have to worry about helping their daughter understand what’s going on with her body. The parents of a 9-year-old girl in Mexico were understandably shocked and surprised when she gave birth to a baby. Even though she and the baby are in good health, the rumor that the girl had a sexual relationship with her 17-year-old boyfriend are almost too much for us to compute.

A baby having a baby

The girl, who is named Dafne, reportedly didn’t discover her pregnancy until she was 7 months along, which was when her boyfriend, a teen of 17 years, suggested that she move in with him.

Upon her refusal, the boy decided to leave town, and authorities are still on the hunt for him. An investigation needs to be done, but he potentially faces child sex abuse or rape charges, depending on the circumstances.

Her baby was delivered safely via C-section on January 27, and mother and baby are reported to be doing fine. Dafne is one of 11 children in a family who lives in a poverty-stricken neighborhood called Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos. “Her parents work all day and were not watching after her and therefore didn’t realize what was about to happen,” said Lino Ginzalez Corona, spokesperson at Jalisco State prosecutor’s office.

How to talk to your kids

It’s so important to keep the lines of communication open with your children, no matter what their age is. Sex abuse is not a fun topic to discuss, but it’s necessary to let your child know that you’re always there to listen if someone is hurting them.

You do not have to go into specifics of sexual abuse to teach your children that they can come to you if they are being hurt, bothered, touched or spoken to in a way that makes them uncomfortable.

Educate them, from when they are small, with the proper names of their body parts. Explain that they are for their use only, and in private, when they are young — and when they grow closer to their teen years, you can explain that intimate relationships are loving and consensual.

Also, let them know from the get-go that you will never judge them for what they have to tell you. Let them know that you are there to help.

Child abuse can happen under so many different circumstances. You do your best to prevent it, but also make sure you’re there for your child if the unthinkable happens.

More on parenting

Proper or made-up names for genitals?
Signs of child abuse and neglect
Are sunburns the new child abuse?

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