More often than not, parents shy away from having difficult discussions with their children. However, time without numbers, we have been shown the importance of having these sorts of discussions, especially ones that have to do with the human body parts and reproductive system.
As a parent, you should teach your children how to correctly identify their body parts and that they have a right over their bodies. Teach them to say no to certain advances and to report to you if someone refuses to listen to them.
Having these discussions goes a long way in avoiding sexual harassment or recognizing the possibility of your child being violated.
Things to teach your child regarding their body rights
1. Teach them their body parts
It is important to teach your children the names of their body parts. Let them know what parts of their body are private and shouldn’t be touched by anyone.
Unlike what is popularly done, you should always use the proper terms for body parts when teaching your child. Using funny nicknames like willy and so on takes away from the seriousness of the discussion.
2. Do not force hugs or kisses
It is important to teach your children the concept of boundaries. Let them know that it’s okay to crave personal space and have your own boundaries.
Children have thoughts and feelings, and you should encourage them to always express these feelings as a parent.
Let them know it is okay to reject touching, hugs, and kisses. A great way to do this is by not forcing hugs or kisses yourself.
3. Teach them how to say NO
While teaching your child their body rights, teach them to say no when someone tries touching them inappropriately.
Explain the concert of sexual harassment and what it could look like in real life. Help them understand why they should never let someone touch their private parts and report to you if anyone does.
Remember to encourage them to always listen to their intuition when they feel unsafe or insecure about certain persons.
The habit of saying ”NO” stays with your child as they grow into adults. It helps them remain confident and exercise full autonomy over their body.
4. Teach them to report to you if someone tries to or touches them
You should endeavor to create a safe space for your child. Tell them it is okay to talk to you when they feel violated or harassed.
As you teach your child to refuse people touching them inappropriately, you should also emphasize that they report any such incident to you immediately.
Once reported, be quick to address the issue appropriately. Doing so helps strengthen your child’s trust and encourages them to keep opening up to you.
Children need to know and understand their rights over their bodies. The only way they can know this is if you, as a parent, do your duty to inform them.
You have to explain what indecent touching is and what sexual harassment looks like.
Children are born innocent and, as such, may have a hard time identifying what sexual assault is if not properly taught.
Tell them it is not okay to have their genitals touched or groped by anyone and to immediately report to you if such a thing happens.