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How to Talk to Young Kids about Body Safety & Personal Boundaries

Talking to young kids about body safety and personal boundaries is an essential and delicate conversation. It’s crucial to empower them with knowledge to protect themselves while ensuring they feel safe and comfortable discussing sensitive topics.

I started the conversation about good touch and bad touch with my kids as soon as they started pre-school. I realized it is important to start early to empower kids to understand and assert their own boundaries.  There were three things that helped me in this conversation with my kids-

  1. Using age-appropriate language- I always preferred using simple and clear language that is easy for young children to understand.
  2. Maintaining an open and supportive environment- My kids had multiple questions regarding this topic. I never dismissed their doubts. (even the ones that were most tricky to answer). I always tried to keep an open communication regarding this topic.
  3. Keeping it an ongoing conversation- This wasn’t a one-time discussion. We keep having this discussion every now and then to reiterate the idea of body boundary.

Sharing some simple tips in this post on when and how to start the conversation about body safety and personal boundaries with kids.

When to start teaching about body safety & personal boundaries?

The ideal time to start this conversation is around the age of 3 to 5 years old or when the child starts pre-school, though the exact timing may vary depending on the child’s individual development and maturity.

How to start the conversation?

We can start by explaining basic concepts of private parts. What is safe touch, unsafe touch, unwanted touch. Some conversation starters could include-
1️⃣ Your body belongs to you, and you have the right to decide who can touch it. Let’s talk about the different kinds of touches and how they make you feel.
2️⃣ Sometimes people touch us in ways that feel uncomfortable. It’s important to know that you can always tell someone you trust about those kinds of touches.
3️⃣ We have a special list of people who we trust to touch our bodies, like doctors or parents when they’re helping us stay healthy. Let’s talk about who is on our list.
4️⃣ Did you know that your body has private parts? These are areas that are covered by a bathing suit, and it’s important to keep them private. If someone tries to touch those parts or makes you feel uncomfortable, you should let me know.

What should you tell?

  1. Teach proper anatomical names– Start by teaching your child the correct names for their body parts. This sets the foundation for open communication if they ever need to talk about their bodies.

  2. No one can touch them without their permission – Teach them about personal space . Let them know that it’s okay to say “no” if someone tries to touch them in a way that makes them uncomfortable. It okay to say NO for a hug even to adults or family members. Also let them know that no one can take pics of their private parts.

  3. Introduce the concept of “safe” and “unsafe” touch– Explain the difference between safe touches, like hugs from trusted family members or a doctor’s examination with a parent present, and unsafe touches, which are those that make them feel uncomfortable, scared, or confused. : You can utilize age-appropriate books and resources on body safety to reinforce the conversation and make it more relatable for the child.

  4. There are no body secrets with parents– Let kids know that they can share with you anything. Be an active listener for them and pay attention to every question they ask or details they share. Let them know you are their safe space and there are no secrets with parents.

  5. Teach them “NO, GO, TELL” rule– Teach them what to do when someone touches them inappropriately. This is a must-🔹No – Say no if they feel unsafe🔹Go – Run away from the person🔹Tell – Tell a trusted adult about it

6. Ask them to identify 5 trusted adults– Teach your child who the trusted adults are in their life—people they can go to if they feel unsafe or need help. This can include parents, teachers, family members, or close friends.

Remember that our goal is to empower our kids with knowledge while creating a safe and supportive environment for open communication. Also discussions on body safety & personal boundaries should always be ongoing and adaptable to child’s development

Hope this post helps you initiate this conversation with your little ones.

For more tips like these, keep following @themomsagas and share this post ahead with parents of young kids.

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