Since We started the CSA program, there have been many brilliant tips pouring in for parents on how to teach their kids about Good Touch Bad Touch, experts have taken chatson the topic. But one question that still comes back everytime is
When do we start teaching our children about the Good Touch Bad Touch, how soon is too soon? OR I would say How late can be too late sometimes
My personal answer to the above is ASAP, as soon as the child starts to understand what you are telling him/her. I started talking to Ojas about it when he was 1.5 years, yes you heard that right and we have seen how he reacted recently, false alarm I agree but better than no alarm if God Forbid something happens. When can you start speaking to your child ofcourse will vary from child to child and also on how one approaches the subject. There is a very fine line between scaring the child and getting the message across and starry talks about it beautifully in her post
Through the month we have read many stories and now heard it all and I don’t think by now anyone would doubt the fact that talking to your kids, educating them and giving them confidence is the biggest way to deal with this. Prevention is truly the only cure in this case. So when I say I started to talk to him about this when he was 1.5 years old let me tell you what exactly did we follow.
1. The first time I spoke to him about good touch bad touch, it wasn’t really talking about good touch bad touch. It was talking about private parts of your body. Since he was about an year old we have been taking bath together, both me and him in his under garments. So one day while taking bath I started by telling him gently that the parts we have covered now while taking bath are our private parts and no one should see or touch them unless they want to clean. Make it light and age appropriate and tell them while doing an activity as a matter of fact, keep repeating it everytime you do the activity
2. There is no shame in your private parts they are just private. I know this one is a little tricky but one needs to tell them there is no need to be ashamed of their private parts but there is no need to flash them around. Explain to them the reason of keeping the private parts covered and why we just can’t run around naked. Explain to them in terms of cleanliness and also in terms of the fact that it belongs to them. Give them an example again, have u ever seen mumma dada naked running around so similarly you shouldn’t either, according to me letting them run around naked just confuses them when you try to explain them the concept of private parts but don’t say “che che hoooo”
3. ArtNavy in her post says “Let kids get a lot of touch at home from their parents. Daily. Especially from the parent of the opposite sex. Even mock wrestling, cuddling, whatever. Only then will you empower them and they can instinctively tell when it is good or bad touch.” I couldn’t agree with it more. The best way according to me for teaching your child Good touch bad touch is to make your child aware of a lot of good touches only than the child will be able to understand what a bad touch is. I from the starting made sure to play a lot with Ojas tons of hugs and tons of kisses
4. Name the people who are allowed to touch the parts for cleaning purpose specially if you are not going to be around all the time. When he was about 2 we started telling him who all can touch his susu place for cleaning and even in that case we told him if he doesn’t feel good about the cleaning he can tell the person, please don’t clean like that. Its very important according to me to make them aware of their feelings and we all know and we have read in the stories that most of the times kids do the gut feeling that what happened was wrong. Don’t make it a big deal and scare him just tell him as a matter of fact that like he doesn’t like food he tells, if he doesnt like the touch he should tell.
5. Respect his need for privacy and stand up for him when needed. Since he has been 2.5 years we likes to do his complete pee routine by himself and likes to close the door like we do and we let him do that just telling him he should not shut it fully because he is small and might not be to able to open it. There was this one incident where we were visiting someone and he did the same thing, the old aunties started laughing on why does he want to close the door, I could see his expression changing and just jokingly told them back like you close the door he does too. I am sure I was labeled as snob post that but I could see his confidence raising. Never let the kids down when they do what you have taught them.
The above things have more or less worked for me but the key acording to me for teaching kids anything is repetition repetition and more repetition :) Keep re-enforcing the rules, the confidence, the love and hope that they will stand up against what we couldn’t and God forbid if time comes we stand up against what our parents couldn’t