While we’d like to think that children are safe from sexual assault, the sad reality is that many of them face this threat. Every 9 minutes, child protective services find evidence for child sexual abuse.
We can’t prevent sexual abuse from happening 100%, but we can teach our children ways to decrease their chances of being victims and how to properly report it if it does happen.
In this article, we’ll show you how to talk to a child about inappropriate touching so they know how to set their own boundaries and can tell you if someone oversteps them.
Enforce the Fact That They’re the Boss of Their Own Body
It’s true that they’re minors and they should respect adults. But they shouldn’t ever do anything they’re not comfortable with, even if it’s an innocent hug.
Your children should know the importance of being in control of what their body does and who gets to touch it.
Explain the Off-Limits Zones
For a simple way to explain the off-limits zones, tell your kids that no one should ever touch or look at any place that’s covered by their swimsuits.
On this note, take the time to explain each body part to them. Make sure you don’t use slang terms, but instead, the proper names. This will help your children be more comfortable in coming to you if anything inappropriate happens.
Let Them Know They’ll Never Be in Trouble for Telling Secrets
If your child has been inappropriately touched by either another child or adult, the other party might threaten or coax them into keeping it a secret. They may feel pressured to hide this fact for an indefinite amount of time.
Let your kids know that they’ll never be in trouble if they disclose these secrets. In fact, you should make sure your kids know you’ll always be on their sides regarding inappropriate touching so they feel completely secure about confiding in you.
It’s Never Too Early
You might think you have to wait until your child’s older to have this talk. However, you can have this discussion with them as early as when they’re 3. This is the age when many kids start going under the care of others, so it’s important they know about boundaries before then.
Learn more here about how kids have been sexually abused by those entrusted with their care.
Know How to Talk to a Child About Inappropriate Touching
By knowing how to talk to a child about inappropriate touching, you’ll be able to set up a comfortable and safe space for your children. As a result, they’ll feel more inclined to confide in you if anything inappropriate happens. This will enable you to have a closer relationship with your kids, which will let you keep them a lot safer.
Teaching children about abuse is a great start, but you shouldn’t stop there. Read more of our blog section to learn more tips on talking with your kids about difficult subjects.