Mom & daughter

Among several challenges that parents face, teaching body safety rules is a major one. Given the rise in the number of child sexual abuse cases and teen pregnancies, your children must have adequate knowledge about body safety. This knowledge will help them to understand safe touch-bad touch and the value of consent from a young age. Usually, 3-5 years is a good age to introduce them to body safety.

Though such conversations can be difficult, they need to happen to safeguard your children. Here are some useful tips to teach your kids about body safety rules:

  1. Name Private Body Parts Correctly

Just the way you teach your children about nose, eyes and ears without using any pretend names, you should follow a similar approach with private parts. Use the correct anatomical names such as vagina, breasts, nipples and penis. The easiest way to teach is to tell them that these private parts go under a swimsuit or a bikini. This will help children to not treat their private parts as something shameful.

  1. Explain the ‘No Touch’ Zone

The private parts as well as the mouth fall under the ‘No Touch’ zone. Your children should know that if someone asks them to touch or see their private parts, they should refuse. Similarly, if someone shows or touches their private parts in front of children, it is also not right. It is also inappropriate for someone to take photos or videos or show photos or videos of naked people to children.

If someone does, children should immediately confide in trusted adults and not keep any secrets out of fear or threat. Give names of 3-5 people your children can talk to whenever such an incident occurs.

  1. Talk about Safe Touch and Unsafe Touch

Safe touch and unsafe touch talk will enable your children to understand the difference in their emotions related to such situations. A safe touch doesn’t hurt or make you feel uncomfortable. However, an unsafe touch may not make you feel good or cause some pain. An only exception here might be a doctor’s touch which is safe but might feel uncomfortable at times.

  1. List the Warning Signs of Unsafe Touch

It would be easier for your children to identify unsafe touch when they know some physical and emotional signs. Let them know that unsafe touch might cause feelings or experiences such as sweat, nervousness, fear, rapid heartbeats, vomiting sensation, etc.

  1. Teach the Right to Say ‘No’

Tell your children that they have complete right to refuse anyone from kissing, hugging or touching them, even a friend or a relative. They can run away or scream for help if they feel unsafe with that touch.

Body safety rules help your children to respect their bodies and maintain healthy boundaries against unsafe touches. Make sure that you reinforce these rules every few months and give continuous reminders about safety practices so that children don’t forget them. Most importantly, encourage your children to speak up if something feels wrong with their bodies and not keep any secrets.

About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.


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