6 Things Your Child Needs To Know To Protect Their Body

Photo by Yousef Espanioly on Unsplash

 

With so many inappropriate content being shown in school, media, and the entertainment industry, there has been a negative flux of child sexual assault.

We need to arm our children with the knowledge of right and wrong when it comes to boundaries with their bodies.

Use these six simple rules of protection to teach children how and when to protect their bodies from improper talk and touch.

 

1. Teach your children the proper names for their body parts.

Hearing the cute nicknames little kids give to things is adorable, but not always very clear.

We may know that our toddler is asking to nurse when they say ta-ta, but when they get older it is important they learn the correct names for the areas under a bathing suit commonly referred to as our “private parts.”

If another child or adult is discussing inappropriate material to your child, or touching them in inappropriate areas, they need to be able to relay that to a parent or trusted adult in a clear and concise way.

 

2. Make your child aware of what the word “private” means.

Mother-ly lets us know how we should start the conversation about private areas with our child:

Explain the terms ‘private’ and ‘public’, i.e. ‘private’ means just for you. Talk about a toilet as being a private place but the kitchen, for example, is a public space because it is shared. Relate these terms to both spaces and body parts.”

Point out areas on their body and in the home that are private, and tell them how those areas are boundaries no one else should cross.

Also, let them know what they can do if those boundaries are violated, such as screaming, asserting to the other party how they are in violation of their space, and immediately telling a trusted adult.

 

3. Give your child a list of trusted adults they can talk to.

When your child feels unsafe it is important they have a trusted adult they can turn to for security.

Go through a list of those adults often when you talk with your child so they always feel they can tell someone if boundaries were crossed with their space or body.

Some good examples to cover all environments would be parents, grandparents, school teacher, or counselor.

 

4. Discuss feelings with your child.

Labeling feelings is important so a child can relay what they are going through appropriately.

Provide scenarios that would elicit certain feelings so they can relate to what you are teaching them.

For example, explain how they feel happy when their grandparents come to town, or uncomfortable when they were left at the church daycare for the first time.

 

5. Teach your child that secrets should never be kept from a parent.

Almost every scenario with a child that begins with “Let’s keep this between me and you” or “Don’t tell your mommy or daddy” is not good.

Secrets should be for family affairs only for a child, not between friends and never between an adult and your child.

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A predator will likely be deterred if a child is assertive about how they don’t keep secrets from their parents under any circumstances.

 

6. Empower your child to trust their gut.

When a child is aware of their feelings, and you have given them the confidence to trust those feelings they can help protect themselves from those who wish to do them harm.

Let your child know that someone doesn’t have to be touching or talking about their “private parts” to be a danger, and how they should leave a situation if they feel uncomfortable.

In addition to creating boundaries with a child’s body and their space, they should know their mouths are also an area no one should touch or talk about.

The digital age has brought in many more cases of children viewing sexually illicit material on the internet.

Children don’t need to be made aware of that deranged industry, but they should know that anyone showing them pictures of private parts is also inappropriate and should be handled the same way as an invasion of their body.

We pray no child ever has to come into contact with a sexual predator, but statistics show us that the chances of an encounter with inappropriate behavior, speech, or digital material is likely at some point.

Follow these guidelines to give your child the tools they need to stay safe, and be sure to trust your own instincts as a parent even when it’s uncomfortable.

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