In today’s fast paced demanding world we try to spend as much time as we possibly can with our beloved kids. As they grow up and be more independent, they will start interacting with others in different social settings. Let’s face it. Our children are not safe in our society anymore. Not everyone will protect and nurture your child the way you do. Some may even try to cause harm and touch them inappropriately. The sooner we come to terms with that, the better. These are some of the key points which will help you prepare your child deal better with such situations.
- You know your child better than anyone else. Every child is different. They have different physical, mental and intellectual growth rate and hence there is no specific age to determine when a child can understand this one important thing. It is important for you as a parent to be involved to identify the right time for this. Earlier the better.
- "Your body is all yours”. Do not force your child to hold hands, hug or kiss anyone. Make them understand that they have the right to say “No” if they don’t like it. Even if it is from a person they love. That includes grandparents, siblings, uncles and aunts.
- Please use appropriate language. If your child is curious about body parts during bath time, use the correct names for their anatomy. Make it sound normal. Giving nick names only for private parts might give them the wrong idea.
- Do not laugh or make it sound too serious. They should feel comfortable talking to you about it. Keep the conversations light and easy. Open and direct communication at an early age about private body parts will help them understand what is not allowed.
- Tell them that they can share everything with you and you will be there for them. Establish a bond of trust. Make yourself a Safe Adult.
- Use the swimsuit rule. It is simple. Nobody should touch their body parts that is covered by a swimsuit. Even they should not touch others in those areas. Some adults such as parents or doctors may have to touch them but encourage them to say “No” if they feel uncomfortable.
- If someone touches them in an inappropriate manner, encourage them to talk about it.
Keep the communication line open and comfortable. Always!