A: Start With Private Parts
Body boundaries are healthy limits you help your child establish about their private parts and what kind of touching from others is safe or unsafe. Teaching your child about their body and body boundaries empowers children with the understanding of what is appropriate and what is not. This is a protective factor which can increase their self-confidence and make them a harder target for becoming a victim of abuse. Simply teaching your children the proper names for their body parts sends the powerful message to your child that you are an approachable parent.
First Step is To Teach Your Child the Proper Names for Their Body Parts
By age three, children can learn the proper names for their body parts. The easiest way to identify private parts to your child is to explain that these are the body parts covered by a bathing suit.
Teaching children the correct names for their private parts is the first step to helping them understand that their body is special and belongs to them.
It is important that you set aside any discomfort you may feel when discussing this topic. You don’t want to send a silent message to your child that talking about private parts is off limits or uncomfortable.
Using the proper names for private parts will also help your children talk openly to you about their bodies.
“An elbow is an elbow. A penis is a penis.” There is no shame in naming these body parts. Private parts are just as normal and healthy as any other body part. Bath time is a good opportunity to play the body parts naming game, especially when your child is young and will enjoy showing you how much they know.
Research shows us that children who know the correct names for their private parts have a more positive body image, greater self-confidence, and are more likely to come to their parents with questions and concerns.