‘Watch out when you’re crossing the road!’
Words like these are commonly said every now and then by parents to their kids, with a view to keeping them safe.
The world out there is very much like the Big Bad Wolf in the tale of Red Riding Hood. ‘Never take anything from a stranger’, our parents would tell us. That’s perhaps only the beginning, of worse things to follow. Whenever we read about a case of child sexual abuse, we wonder, ‘What if it happened to ‘my’ child?’
Conversations around sexual abuse are difficult, but unavoidable. In this article you will find some invaluable advice on Good Touch Bad Touch for kids. We hope that at the end of it, you will be well equipped with the tools you need to prevent, or even confront, instances of sexual abuse.
Understanding What is Good Touch and Bad Touch
Good Touch Bad Touch awareness is critical in today’s day and age, where almost every single day one reads about cases of sexual abuse in the papers. Needless to say, explaining Good Touch Bad Touch for kids, is the ultimate need of the hour.
In simple terms, good touch is the one that lets an individual feel comfortable and protected.
To do: You must teach your child that gestures like gentle hugs, pats on the back or even a kiss on the forehead, are all right.
Conversely, bad touch is the one that causes a sense of uneasiness.
To do: The best way to teach children about bad touch, is to educate them about which body parts are ‘private’. They have to know that it is not acceptable for people to touch their private parts, as it violates their safety.
Note: Even if a simple hug, pat on the back or caress is unpleasant for your child, it is deemed as bad touch.
When to Introduce Good Touch Bad Touch for Kids
It’s around the age of 3 years that children start asking plenty of questions. These include queries related to their body parts. This is the best time to start talking to them, all about what is good touch and bad touch.
Teaching them the accurate names of their body parts, helps greatly with that ‘good touch bad touch awareness’ that they will need to stay safe from predators.
Strategies to promote Child Safety vis a vis Good Touch Bad Touch
Teaching ‘Good Touch Bad Touch’ for kids, when done right, will go a long way in helping to keep them safe. Here are some of the best ways to promote child safety, vis a vis good touch and bad touch.
Teach them that they are the ‘Boss of their Body’
Probably the best way for children to feel comfortable setting boundaries is by helping them take ownership of their bodies.
To do: Start by teaching them young that their body is ‘theirs only’, and they are responsible for its safety. This means eating the foods that will keep them healthy, and even buckling up in that car seat. This will go a long way in helping them prepare for the situation where a stranger might cause them harm.
Tell them to say an emphatic ‘No!’
For your child, simply ‘knowing’ what is good and bad touch, is not enough.
To do: Tell them they have to say ‘No!’ as loudly as possible, every time someone touches, or tries to touch them, inappropriately. This applies to their peers and even any other adult.
Note: It is absolutely imperative that after they have raised their voice, they tell you or another responsible adult about what has happened. You also want to lift their spirits, telling them it is not their fault they find themselves in this situation.
Use the proper words for body parts
A common mistake most parents make is using nicknames when teaching body parts to their children.
Tip: An effective way to get the proper names of body parts registered in the minds of kids, is to tell them that they are ‘Doctor Names’.
Teach them Safety Rules
Child safety, related to good touch and bad touch, has its own set of rules. Tell your children they have to follow the following instructions, no matter what.
- It is not okay to touch someone else’s private parts.
- It is not okay for someone to touch their own private parts in front of you.
- It is not okay for someone to ask you to touch their private parts.
- It is not okay for someone to ask you to take your clothes off. The only exception is, a doctor asking you to do the same when you are hurt or sick.
- It is not okay for someone to take photos or videos of you without your clothes on.
- It is not okay for someone to show you photos or videos of people without their clothes on.
- It is ‘you’ who has the power to decide who can touch and hug you, or even give you a kiss.
Keep the right tone
You don’t want to speak to your kids about what is good touch and bad touch, in a strict voice!
To do: You must be as gentle and supportive as you can, when talking about a sensitive subject like this. At the same time, the seriousness of what you are saying must come across.
Tell them to never wander off alone
It’s absolutely necessary to teach your child that safety lies in numbers.
To do: Tell your child that if they are out playing with their friends, or even on a school trip, they should never wander off alone. Tell them to stick with their peers and teachers, always.
At EuroKids, we regularly organise Good Touch Bad Touch sessions, to help firmly ensconced Good Touch Bad Touch awareness in those little minds. Apart from protecting them from obvious dangers, we believe that sensitising children about Good Touch Bad Touch, helps them grow normally and makes them emotionally stronger, too.