Body safety is nothing but learning ways to protect oneself from sexual abuse or stopping others from misusing your body.
Teaching a young child or a toddler the importance of their private parts is as important as teaching them to swim or cross the road carefully. It is also of utmost importance to encourage them to express when someone tries to touch them unpleasantly or violently. But many parents often face difficulties in discussing this topic with their kids, which leads to more significant problems in the future.
Commonly faced body safety issues and their solutions
My child is too small
Every baby is dear to its parent. But between the baby coos and baby language, the baby grows up real fast to become a toddler. Teaching your child about body safety right from a young age becomes very significant. Just like how you teach them to identify their eyes and nose, explaining to them about their private parts in a clear language is essential. So is making them understand the difference between regular and private body parts. This will
make them realize the need to cover their private parts and also tell you when they feel uncomfortable in those areas.
My child does not speak to me about this openly
One of the main reasons for the rise in body abuse in kids and adults is their inability to talk to people close to them. This tends to create a tense atmosphere as the parents also fail to recognize the problems faced by their kids when they do not express clearly. It is thus essential to creating a friendly and open relationship with your kids, where they completely trust you and can talk to you about anything and everything. Be honest while you answer their queries and tell them to share all their secrets with you or a person whom you trust, like a best friend. As a parent, you are your child’s first guru. So instead of punishing them for small mistakes, encourage them to rely on you and communicate with you openly.
My child is dull and shy to understand these things
Talking about body safety was considered a taboo until sometime back; not anymore. Issues can be as common as pulling the child’s cheek hard or talking intrusively about their private parts. So parents should not give their kids’nature as an excuse, to not teach them to stand up for themselves and others in such a situation. Also, it’s important to imbibe good human nature in kids and not let them differentiate anyone based on gender and appearances.
Special Thanks to Dr. Parul Tank (Consultant psychiatrist and therapist) for the expert advice.