I know this is a highly sensitive subject to converse about, but let’s face it, in today’s world and age, where child molestation and abuse have become disturbingly prevalent, it is super important to empower and equip our children with all the knowledge and awareness!
The dialogue on good touch vs bad touch must be initiated at a very young age, to help kids understand the basic difference between the two things! We need to actively create such opportunities for conversation with our children.
Here are some tips on how you can educate your child about the difference between good touch and bad touch:
Don’t indulge your kid in the ‘poo-poo’, ‘pee-pee’ talk
Gone are the good old Elizabethan days when mushy words like ‘pee-pee’ would be encouraged! Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for so we should incorporate more direct ways to initiate the good touch bad touch conversation. Kids as young as 2 years of age are smart enough to understand the privacy of body parts, so we should hand them the information exactly how it is. Your child needs to know that it is WRONG for strangers to touch other people’s body parts.
It is also equally essential for your child to understand that touching somebody else without their consent is also wrong.
Tell your child that his body belongs to ‘ONLY’ him/her!
Your kid needs to know that it is okay to refuse a kiss, hug, or even a pat on the back if you are not comfortable with it. They have full ownership of their bodies and anybody who disrespects boundaries set by them is a problem.
Teach them the concept of safe touch
Your child also needs to understand that when parents and doctors touch you, they’re doing it for your safety. This is entirely different from a stranger or any other grownup asking to do the same. This concept is called safe touch and it is highly important for kids to understand!
Tell them that it is okay to say ‘NO’!
Tell your kid that it is okay to call a person out loud and clear if he/she is trying to touch them inappropriately! The ‘hush-hush’ silent culture is simply an enabler and a thing of the past! Teach your kids to be loud and vocal about their comfort zone, and encourage them to scream and shout as a method of self-defence. Teach them that there is absolutely no shame in telling your parents if somebody has been acting inappropriately with you – the best way to do this is to establish a zone of trust with your kids, by listening and understanding to all their stories. You must NEVER shame your child or make them feel uneasy about having been touched inappropriately. Children should know that tactics like screaming for help can put the perpetrator in a tight spot and that they can trust you for help at any time.
Implement the undergarment rule in your family!
Implementation of the undergarment rule will teach your kids about the good touch vs bad touch rule from their bodies’ perspectives. Let your kids know that any body part that the undergarments cover is a complete ‘No-zone’ and they should not let anybody touch them (not even parents!). Normalising this basic rule will not only increase your kid’s awareness but will also act as a gateway to establish further conversations about good touch and bad touch!
Reading a book about good touch vs bad touch or watching an educational video with your child could also help them understand the concepts better.
Every precaution that you take towards your child’s safety today will help prevent him/her from being scarred by any incidence in the future! If you guys have other tips to add, please do so in the comments below.