Teaching your child about the 'wrong' touch – Part 2
Showing affection to children is undeniably acceptable, but there's always a limit. Here's how you can get your child to differentiate the right from wrong.
Let’s recap the points we talked about in Part 1:
- Give your child ownership of their body
- Equip your child with the right names to their private parts
- Keep the conversation light hearted
- Use the Swim Suit rule to map out the boundaries and
- Explain what Safe touch is
If you haven’t read the article, you can read it here.
Now, lets discuss the big issue here – how do we explain to them what a wrong touch is?
Read to them books on good and bad touch
Personally, I find that using reading materials when teaching your kids about their personal space and private parts, to be easier. Having visual aids on hand really helps to explain and put emphasis on where the boundaries are especially when you’re finding it hard to approach the subject.
These children books are also written so that it is light reading and easy to comprehend. Here are some educational materials, whether it is a workbook, story book, or a complete teaching kit that you need.
Do not force affection
Some parents may want their kids to be that friendly one that everyone just absolutely adores and everyone gushes about how sociable the kid is. Do not force a child to give out hugs and kisses if they are not comfortable. Allow them to refuse and respect their boundaries. By doing so, you are again giving them ownership of their bodies.
Help them trust their feelings and also their instincts
Kids should be taught that any touch that makes them feel bad or uncomfortable is a bad touch. Teach kids to trust their own gut feelings and if anything was bothering them that they could always come and discuss it with you.
Practice or role play
To switch things up and make it more practical, sometimes we would role play with the kids. We practice when and how they should say “NO” and, “STOP! I don’t like that,” to get away from the situation, and tell me or a trusted adult. Other times I would ask them which parts of their body is private and what are bad touches.
But most important of all is to BELIEVE your child
If a child trusts you enough to tell you about abuse, you must remember that they rarely lie about such things, even if the sexual predator is someone we trust or care about.
Handle disclosures with care because the pressures on the child to keep silent are enormous. It takes a lot of courage to speak out and talk about abuse, so be supportive and always keep the communication channels open.