Some of us have personal experience – a very personal experience – with childhood sexual abuse. Which makes it harder to talk about but makes it even more important to be open to sharing and learning from one another, too.
In today’s times, we hear a lot about child abuse and molestation. It’s high time, we start teaching young children about “Good Touch Bad Touch” to help prevent more damage. Most of the time, targets are very young children, below 6–7 years of age. They are too young to understand the difference between right and wrong.
Every single day, the media reports such cases where young children, both boys, and girls, are sexually abused by an adult around them. The problem is that they do not even know what is happening. It is still a sensitive topic for parents to talk to their children, so most of them do not want to go there. The same goes for schools as well. At times, we hesitate to take up and speak on sensitive topics.
But, the fact remains that it is very important for the betterment of our young children that they know about all this and can deal with it if they ever come across a situation like this. What is good touch bad touch? The goal here is to inform you and your child about the dangers, without causing any anxiety.
What is a Good Touch?
It feels good to be hugged and kissed by the people you love. For example:
- When Mommy gives you a hug and kiss after you wake up.
- When Daddy gives you a good-night hug and kiss.
- When Grandma and Grandpa come to visit and everyone gets hugs and kisses.
What is Bad Touch?
Touches that make you feel uncomfortable are usually bad touches. You don’t have to keep a secret when someone gives you a bad touch. Don’t feel that you are bad. Whoever gives you a bad touch is the one who is bad, not you. Your body belongs to you. Nobody should touch you if you don’t want to be touched.
Do you know what a bad touch is?
- It is a bad touch if it hurts you.
- It is a bad touch if someone touches you on your body where you don’t want to be touched.
- It is a bad touch if the person touches you under your clothing or tickles you under the clothing.
- It is a bad touch if a person touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- It is a bad touch if that touch makes you feel scared and nervous.
- It is a bad touch if a person forces you to touch him or her.
- It is a bad touch if a person asks you not to tell anyone.
- It is a bad touch if a person threatens to hurt you if you tell.
Message to parents and concerned adults such as relatives, neighbors, and friends of the family: Unfortunately, some adults may abuse the trust you give them. The person who touches your child in a way you don’t like is the person who is doing something wrong, not your child. Sexual abuse is always the fault of the bigger, older, or stronger person.
So, start talking to your child about good touch and bad touch as early as possible so that they are equipped to understand this sensitive issue. If you would like a catchy phrase to end your conversations about abuse with your children, may I recommend: “I love you unconditionally and am always here to listen without judgment or shame?”
Be aware, not afraid.