Hello My Friends!
Let’s talk about the importance of speaking to your child on what is a right or wrong touch to keep their body’s safe and what to do if they are touched inappropriately. It’s so important to talk to your child about their safety and body protection because as parents we have an obligation. Our children are number one and a top priority. Have you had your safe talk lately? It’s ok if you haven’t but it’s important that you plan to do it soon.
Body safety and inappropriate touching.
I must admit talking to your children about body safety and inappropriate touching can be quite uncomfortable. I call this SAFE TALK. But when you weigh the pros and cons of NOT talking to your child, the cons definitely outweigh the pros. So how do you talk to your child?
I am so glad you asked. You see it is different for each family because we live in a diverse world with different cultures. So, I think using a “cookie cutter” (a one size fits all) approach will NOT work effectively when talking about body safety. I recommend to keep it simple.
Talking to your child about body safety may be with a direct tone while another family may communicate with a passive voice. Here are two examples: DIRECT- “Don’t let anyone touch your body and if they do please tell me right away!” PASSIVE- “Honey, do you know that its not okay for anyone to touch your body. It’s best to tell mommy if it happens.”
The main thing is that you communicate this message and begin to have those conversations when they are able to understand and communicate with you. It’s best to use words that are age appropriate.
In another post I will break down those conversations by age in greater detail. But for now, it’s important to have a simple “SAFE TALK” conversation with your children. Keep it simple and see where it leads. It is critical and in their best interest that you take the time. This is a big deal.
It opens up the door for you to have deep conversations on many other sensitive topics too! You begin to build rapport and a deep sense of trust. Trust is a big deal for children. Again, keep it simple. To start out, it can be just one sentence.
The earlier you start, the easier it gets!
The earlier you have your Safe Talk conversation, the easier it gets! The later you start, the tougher and more uncomfortable it can be as they get older (in most cases) because it is new for both of you. But regardless, I want to emphasize that there is no magical time to start.
It doesn’t come knocking at your door and to tell you that…HELLO, TODAY is the DAY to talk to your child. NOPE. It just is a quick decision and then plan the day. How about TODAY? Really, it is not that hard. I recommend talking in a place where your child is comfortable, such as, his/her bedroom, play room, or outside play yard.
Just DO IT!
Please don’t over think it. Your words will eventually flow from your heart and spill out because of the love you have for your child. I challenge for you to be the one to educate your child on what body safety is and is not. Don’t let them find out through another source or experience it under the wrong circumstances.
It is really helpful to talk in a comfortable place with minimum distractions and interuptions. When you both talk about this topic they should feel very comfortable to speak their mind even if you do not like what they tell you.
Some general body safety rules:
Their body belongs to them and no one else.
No one is allowed to touch their body. Basically, this means under the places that cover their clothes while pointing to their shirt and pants. Even a child as young as three should understand this simple concept.
Your reaction is vital to the growth of the conversation. If you appear tense and uncomfortable they may sense your feelings and may be too scared to talk. Develop a strong close relationship with your child. Your children should feel they can trust you. This will help create a safe environment in their precious little minds.
Here are a few statements to tell your precious children during your SAFE TALK discussion (in a calm and sincere voice):
“mommy will never be mad at you”
“mommy will always help you”
“please tell me when someone asks you to keep a secret”
Just to recap, here are some tips:
Start with SAFE TALK earlier than later
Start with SAFE TALK when your child is able to understand
Don’t wait for that PERFECT time because it will never happen
Don’t overthink it, keep it simple, just DO IT