A: My Body is Special and Belongs to Me
This message is one you must continually convey to your child from a very young age. It is a simple sentence that teaches your child some very powerful lessons:
- It empowers them to understand that they own their bodies and have a say in what happens to them.
- It provides a tool that helps them identify and handle unwanted physical contact.
- It makes speaking about private parts comfortable for both adult and child.
- Your child will have a foundation to be able to recognize if they are being touched in an unsafe way and report it to you. This protects them from exploitation and abuse.
What you can do:
Be open and approachable
When you keep the lines of communication open and stay calm, your child knows that talking to you is easy and safe. It lets your child know you are on their side, you believe what they are telling you, and that you will protect them. At KidSafe we call this being an Approachable Parent.
Keep telling them the important messages:
- “Your body is special and belongs to you.”
- “You can always come to me with questions you have about your body.”
- “Nobody has the right to touch you on your private parts and you shouldn’t be touching other people’s private parts.”
- “If an adult ever gives you an unsafe touch, it is not your fault.”
Always remind your child that they can talk to you about anything – and if you don’t know the answer (which sometimes those questions can catch you off guard and you want to formulate a good answer (and google) it is okay to say “That is a really good question. Let me think about it for the night and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.”