As parents we often face this dilemma, whether to talk to our children about the sexual abuse that is commonly prevalent amongst young kids or not. I am sure most mothers would agree with me when I say that we worry about how to bring this topic into our conversations with our little ones while maintaining their innocence and also not scaring them away. Well here are few pointers I learned and am still learning as a mother of a five and a half year old son.
Yes, it is always better to start early. In fact your three-year-old kid is already learning the various body parts so do show him the private parts as well. However, ensure that when you are about to have this conversation there are no distractions of any sorts and you have ample time at hand to sit and discuss it with your kid. I know it is little awkward in the beginning but believe me it becomes easy, as you keep repeating the names and teach him or her that no one is allowed to touch them there. No adult, no ayah, no one. Period! Their little minds will ask questions – no one can touch this? Pointing out to their private parts. NO – stay firm in your answer. What if someone is bathing me, then? Don’t panic with this question and remember he or she is just a three-year-old trying to understand the information you have passed on. Approach this answer in this way – when somebody is bathing you they are trying to clean off the dirt and not touching you. Ok! They will use soap and water and clean you. No need to explain further at this age.
Explain bad touch or improper touching
Always ensure that you are holding the hands of your little ones while talking to them about a touch that is good or bad. Support your talk with loads of examples because that’s what will remain with him while judging whether the touch is appropriate or not. Give examples of good touch, like hugging, back-slapping in appreciation of a job well done or parents ruffling their kids’ hair. Similarly give them examples of inappropriate touches like hitting, kicking, touching of private parts, rubbing the back in a manner that makes kids uncomfortable. This apart, tell them when a touch is good, one feels loved and cared for whereas when something makes you uncomfortable and you want to put an end to it, then that’s a bad touch.