Children are inherently sociable and jovial by nature which makes them welcome people more easily into their lives. But the sad reality is that not everyone they are friendly or acquainted with is going to come with good intentions. However, that is no reason to fill the young minds with suspicion about the people that they meet nor can you ensure that you never leave your children out of your sight. Thus, one of the biggest challenges for the parents these days is to make sure that their little ones understand the basics of personal safety without losing their natural flair for friendliness and cordiality. We, at the Lotus Valley International School, a prominent English medium school in Noida, suggest that while keeping children cooped up is not an option, what you can teach them is the basics of good touch and bad touch so that they are at least in a position to identify the possible perils and take steps to protect their own selves.
We understand that conversations like these are uncomfortable to discuss for most parents. There is also the general idea that kids are too young to have this discussion. However, we believe that like many other life lessons, the earliest you discuss these ideas with the kids, the better it is for them. It is unwise to wait for an unfortunate incident to happen or to wait for them to grow up to have the conversation about the bad touch. We have heard from most parents that they are unsure about how to begin the conversation. For them and for you all, we have drawn the following ways to make the discussion about the good touch and bad touch with kids easier:
Keep the conversation easy and light
We understand that the conversation is serious but make sure you keep the tone lighthearted to ensure that the kids feel comfortable while discussing it. It is best to let the conversation happen naturally and work it into everyday life. That also helps the kids to better grasp the context and relevance of the things advised to them.
Use the right language
The way you communicate the ideas to your kids is of utmost importance and thus, using the right language is the key. You can start by teaching them about the human anatomy and the correct name of the body parts. The simple idea that you can give them is that all the parts covered by their swimsuit are private with no one allowed to touch or see it.
Teach them the importance of saying ‘no’
We believe that ‘no’ is a powerful word in itself and the children need to be taught to utter a firm and loud ‘no’ if faced with such a situation. Empower the kids to say ‘no’ if someone is touching them in a way that they do not like and ask the person to stop immediately.
Give the idea of owning their bodies
We advise parents to instill the idea in young minds that they own their bodies and no one has the right to touch them unless it is okay with them. This way, they will understand that they have the right to deny a hug or a kiss on the cheeks from even their acquaintances if they do not like it.
Use books about good touch
There are several great books in the market about good touch and bad touch and you can get them for kids to read in order to reinforce the conversation that you had with them. However, we do not suggest the books as an alternative to having the conversation but rather something that supplements the talk that you just had.
We, at Lotus Valley, believe that it is the responsibility of both, the teachers and the parents, to ensure that the lines of communication are open enough for the kids to come and inform them if such an incident happens. This is the idea that our dedicated teachers try to instill in the young minds. We hope that our teachings and mentoring gives them enough inner power to stand up for themselves if and when the need arises.