When it comes to discussing topics related to sex with children, the conversations, as well as situations, become really awkward for most parents. It can be a really tough subject to talk about but it really needs to be get addressed more often. Children need to be more aware of sex education, whether they are getting it from their parents or at their schools. The stigma attached to sex education should be removed, allowing people to get past the discomfort revolving around it.
Often, kids, especially younger in age, do not know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching. They may be subjected to sexual abuse without them knowing. When someone touches them on their private parts, they’re not able to know whether that is right or wrong. Their lack of judgment is poor in this case because they have not been educated on this issue. This is the very reason why heinous crimes like rape and sexual assault have taken a toll on younger children.
We should put aside our differences as parents, teachers, counselors, and community members and unite together to talk more about how our children can learn more about sex education and understand to differentiate between good and bad touching.
To help parents make their kids understand how to distinguish between good and bad touching, we have listed down a couple of important and helpful tips for them. Let’s briefly discuss them one by one.
Let Kids Own Their Body
Parents should start telling their kids, especially when they’re younger around 1-2 years old, that they have ownership and control over their bodies and that nobody else, apart from their mother and father, has the right to touch them.
When a kid is about 2 or 3 years old, he/she knows that their bodies only belong to them and that they have certain ‘private’ parts which are not supposed to be touched by anyone apart from their parents. Nobody can touch them unless they’re okay with it. Even if someone wants to just hold their hand or embrace them in a warm hug, they should learn to say them no if they don’t feel good about it.
Use Names for Body Parts Correctly
When kids start growing, they seem to understand more about their bodies and become curious to know more about them, especially the names of their body parts. It is the duty of every parent to teach their kids the correct names for their anatomy, no matter how uncomfortable they may feel at that point.
When kids know the correct names of their body parts, they may be able to talk about them a bit more openly with their parents if or when required. In case they’ve experienced someone touching them inappropriately, they can tell their parents exactly which body part was being assaulted.
Make Use of the Swim Suit Rule
Mostly in the Kindergarten classes, children are taught by teachers that the area covered by a swimsuit on your body is private and nobody should be allowed to see or touch that area. Similarly, younger children, as well as preteens and teens, should also be taught to distinguish between good and bad touching through the swim suit rule. This rule works really well for younger kids because it’s easier for them to understand which parts are deemed to be kept private.
Explain About Safe Touching
Often kids can’t tell which touching is safe and which is unsafe. This is where parents or teachers can step in and explain to them about safe touching by giving them concrete examples. For instance, when a doctor is giving them an injection shot, he/she would be getting in touch with their arm’s skin. That’s a safe touch.
On the other hand, if a stranger pulls them out of the street in case a speeding car is coming ahead then that’s also another example of safe touching because that stranger is trying to help the child. However, when a child is alone in a room with a stranger and the latter tries to benefit from the situation by touching them inappropriately, in that case, the child should understand they’re not safe.
Empower Child to Say No
A child should be empowered enough to say no when he/she doesn’t feel good about someone touching them inappropriately. They should rightly stop another person if they are not comfortable with the way they’re being touched. When they know they have control and ownership of their body then they wouldn’t let anyone touch them in a wrong way.