Thursday, March 04, 2010

Talking to your child about sexual abuse

Sexual Abuse. You may think that this is a very difficult topic to discuss with your child. However, it isn't really all that difficult and I think that it is very important to talk to your child about personal safety and their bodies.

If you have a daughter, you may be even more worried about her in this aspect but in this day and age, you should be just as worried about your son.

I believe that inappropriate touching by adults are more common than one realises. Quite often people just don't talk about it at all, unless they open up in a very close sharing. I, personally, have had the very unpleasant experience in childhood. When I spoke to a few relatives and close friends, each could name an unpleasant incident as well. That led me to believe that it is even more common than you realise, it is just not talked or spoken about. It also increases my determinance to talk to my children about it.

This is how I did it. I spoke to them about personal safety in general. Things like not accepting gifts from strangers, what to do when they get lost at the mall etc. At the same time I spoke to them about their bodies.

Since they are still young, about 5 and 7, I used terms and examples that they are familiar with. It is also best to keep it very simple.

"Imagine how you hate to share your toys and how you think that your toys are yours and yours alone? Well, it is that way with your bodies. Your bodies are your private property. "Private" means it belongs to you. No one can touch your body without your permission accept mummy when mummy is bathing you. No one. Even if the person is not a stranger and someone you know.

Remember those signs we see when there is a land with a house and a fence around it? It says "No tresspassing!" Well, that means you cannot go into that land because it is private property. It belongs to someone. It is the same with your bodies. No one can tresspass. It belongs to you. It is YOUR private property.

If any adult tells you they want to touch your body and they will buy you toys and gifts and you should not tell your parents, tell them "NO." and run away. You don't have to say anything more to them. Just say "NO". Even if they don't say anything and just touch, you can push their hand away and run away. Then tell mummy and daddy about it."

Of course the kids had a lot of questions but none of them were embarrassing. At this age, their questions are usually very innocent and more cute than embarrassing.

Later, I heard the boy asking the girl. Cheh Cheh (Elder sister), which part is private? and Cheh Cheh replied. "All the parts that is covered by your clothes." :) (They do know all the terms for all the body parts like penis, vagina, breasts etc so we can use them freely in our discussions with no embarrassment).

I think they got the message and it wasn't that hard at all to talk to them about it.

Next: How and when to talk to your child about sex.

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1 comment:

  1. At, the source for kid-friendly answers on how the world works, we’ve partnered with qualified experts to help parents discuss tough topics like abuse with kids ages 4-7:


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