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Activity Discussion General Discussion How can we teach a child about good touch and bad touch?

  • Aashutosh

    June 4, 2021 at 10:40 pm
    Not Helpful

    Parents often teach their children about ways to keep themselves safe like to look both ways while crossing the street, wear seatbelts, not take anything from strangers, etc But they forgot to teach their children about good touch and bad touch. As a result, every one in four girls and one in thirteen boys are sexually abused in their childhood.

    Let’s discuss the ways in which we can teach a child about good and bad touch.

    1. Teach children that they are the boss of their bodies.

    Teach the children about body safety in simple ways. You can start this discussion as easily as possible but the right age will be two years old.

    Tell them about their bodies, start by addressing the means by which they keep your body clean.

    For example: Start by saying “Let’s think of ways to keep your body healthy and keep your body safe.” Then proceed further by labeling what you are doing in your daily routine.

    If you want your child to have the ownership of their own bodies and teach them to set comfortable boundaries.

    2. Don’t force any kind of touch.

    Parents are encouraging social skills by encouraging ownership of one’s body. This is important that kids see that they are in control of their own body.

    Children can feel uncomfortable sometimes at different times due to different reasons. Therefore we shouldn’t force them to use their bodies in a way they don’t want to. Give them options.

    For example, “Uncle is here! You can give Uncle a hug or a high five.”

    3. Use the proper words for certain body parts.

    All parents don’t use the correct language for bodies instead they sometimes use nicknames. But we should use the right names just as we would’ve done for other body parts. Kids may sense parent’s awkwardness around talking about certain body parts and think it’s something to be ashamed of. We need to get rid of that mentality.

    For eg: If you tell your children the proper names or biological names and tell them these are the words used by doctors, it will strengthen their ability to communicate about certain body parts. As a result, it will create more openness and less secrecy.

    4. Keep the right tone.

    Parents usually avoid the topic saying children are too young and the subject might be scary. But there are other ways to bring it up normally. Maybe it’s at bath time, on the way to a doctor’s check-up, or before swim lessons.

    Example: If you revisit your child to those places mentioned above frequently and briefly during those natural times, it doesn’t feel so heavy. It’s normal for kids to have questions related to that and it might feel silly to you. But, try to limit your own reactions to being supportive and matter of fact.

    5. Talk about good touch versus bad touch

    Teach your kids about different kinds of touches. Safe touches feel caring, like pats on the head or wanted hugs. Unsafe touches that feel scary or hurt your body or feelings, such as pinching or hitting. Kids should know it’s alright to say no even if it’s a family member or friend.

    For example: Tell you’re kids like good touches is a soothing feeling like they are helping, like a hug from mom when you fall down. Bad touches are ones that make you feel scared and you want them to stop.

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