You have raised your child like a little prince or princess. You are aware of all their requirements and are there for them whenever they need you to be there. But you cannot be everywhere, at any given point in time. As your child starts growing up and learns to become independent, they will interact with others in different social settings. Be it at your family celebrations, their school, their hobby classes or their daycare centers, they will meet different people – in your presence or otherwise. And let’s face it, not everyone will mean well. Not everyone will mean to protect and nurture your child the way you do. In fact, some may try to cause harm and touch your child inappropriately. How do you provide them with a security cover that can also help them stand up for themselves? How do you make your child identify and differentiate between these good and bad touches? How do you help them take the right action upon encountering bad touches? Also read : Make Your Child Aware Of A Good And A Bad Touch
Why Is It Important To Teach ‘Touch’ To Your Child?
The grim truth is that we live in a world where pedophiles live and reside as one of us. And they are known to target kids and groom them to suit their sexual desires. A young child is innocent and does not know how to infer good from bad. Childhood sexual abuse always begins with a touch that either a child fails to notice or parents fail to acknowledge. By teaching the difference between a good touch and a bad touch to your child, you are essentially preparing him or her from getting groomed to be abused sexually. Now this could be a tough topic to broach, especially with young kids, nevertheless, it is very, very important that kids know their body and can differentiate and raise a alarm if someone touches them inappropriately. So how do you teach your child the difference between a good touch and a bad touch? Here you go!
10 Simple Tips To Teach Good And Bad Touch To Your Child
Take any newspaper and there will be a few pieces here and there pertaining to child abuse- from big and small towns alike. Social or family status, education or gender does not offer any protection from sexual abuse- babies, toddlers, male or female are abused and even raped- and this is the rude, harsh reality of the world we live in. With more than 50% of children being abused in India, it is a folly to assume that no one in our families has been abused. But can we prevent this? Yes. And it all begins with teaching a child about touch.
- Tell them that they can share everything with you: Building a bond of trust with your child is essential, right at a very tender age. You must tell them that you are there for them, you believe them and will trust them if they wish to share anything with you and confide in you
- Teach body parts to your child early: It is never too early to impart sexuality education to your child, at least at a basic level. And this part of education begins with teaching your child about the private body parts that should not be touched by others
- Tell them that their body belongs to only them: Give them the ownership of their bodies. It means that you tell them very early in life that their bodies belong to them, and only them. It also means giving them the freedom to refuse a hug, kiss or pat on the back, even, if they are not comfortable with it
- Use the right language: When you explain to them about their anatomy, use the right words and the right language. Let them know that there is nothing dirty or bad about their bodies, and that there is a difference between a female and male body
- Follow the swimsuit rule: The easiest way to teach your child about a good and bad touch is to follow the swimsuit rule of teaching. Tell them that the parts covered by a swimsuit are private and that nobody can touch you there. Also tell them that they need to report in to you about any incidence where a grown-up has tried to touch them at these private parts
- Teach them about safe touch: Help them understand what is meant by safe touch. When a child’s mother, father or the doctor touch them, they do so only to ensure that their bodies are safe and examine them during a routine check-up. This is safe touch. Nobody other than these three individuals can touch them, or ask them to lift their garments to examine them
- Tell them that they can and must say NO: You must let your child know that when someone tries to touch them inappropriately, they have every right to refuse and say a firm ‘No’ or ‘Stop’. Assure them that there is no shame in asking a grown-up to stop or call them out loud and clear. Children should know that screaming and attracting attention of others can put them in a safe spot and their molester in a tight one
- Teach them to get away from that place: You must teach your child to get away from that place as soon as they can. Also, they must know that they should not be alone with that person, whoever he is she may be, in the future. Being alone with the perpetrator of such a crime, gives them the confidence to commit the crime again
- Help them understand that they are not at fault: It is important that the child knows right behavior from wrong, and does not consider themselves responsible for somebody else’s wrongdoings. You must assure them that the one who touches them inappropriately is the one at fault, and that they should not associate and harbor any feelings of guilt with such an incidence
- Do not force affection on the child: You must, at your end, never force affection on your child. Be it your own or somebody else’s. A warm hug from a relative or a peck from a friend must be encouraged only if your child appreciates it and feels comfortable with it
You may also read a book on these topics or show your children videos to this effect. Children learn and grasp better when they read or watch videos. It is okay to practice a situation such as this with your child. Encourage them to say no, stop, scream or run away from that place.
Every precaution and apt preparedness can help your child avoid such scarring incidences and protect themselves in the future. It also prepares them to deal with the “not so positive” events in their life in a much better way so that it does not affect their growth and development in any way. Your role as parent is monumental in keeping your child physically, emotionally and mentally secure.