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How To Talk To Kids About Inappropriate Touching

There might not be a more awkward conversation that a parent can have than that conversation where you have to talk to your child about touching themselves or being touched by others or touching others. That can feel weird but you know what it doesn't have to. 

In fact, it should feel natural and normal. This is a conversation parents are supposed to have with their children. And it doesn't have to be bad. That's what this article is all about. How to talk to kids about inappropriate touching? With the teaching self-government parenting model that I'm known for, we teach 4 basic skills. 

The skill that you need to solve all 3 of these issues and to prepare your children to know everything they need about inappropriate touch is this book here Porter Earns A Quarter. It teaches the skill of how to accept a no answer. Anytime there is a boundary your child should not cross with themselves or with others, that's the same as saying, "No, you can't go there. 

No, you can't go out and play. No, you can't have the last cookie on the plate." It's a line they don't cross. It's a no-answer. So, how do you accept a no-answer? You look at the person, keep a calm face voice, and body. Say okay or ask to disagree appropriately. And then drop the subject. So, how would you teach your child to use that skill which they normally use when you tell them "No, you can't have a cookie or no you can't go outside and play" to "no for touching in all of these different situations"? 

Well, this is how I would do it. Let's pretend you are the child and I'm your parent. I would say, "Honey, we need to talk about touching because we have to have our boundaries really secure. We've got to know when it's a no answer and when it's a yes answer." When is it a yes answer to touch somebody? And then they might respond back to me. "Well, when I feel comfortable or when I'm giving a hug." Or they might mention something. Or they might just say, "I don't know." So then, you're going to give them ideas. 

I would say something like "When grandma gives you a hug when she comes into the house to visit, that feels nice, doesn't it? And that's a good yes type of touching to have. When your brother says give me 5 on the side, up high, that's fun, right?" That's a fun type of touching that you can do with your brother. And it feels like it's okay. 

But sometimes you might feel touching is not okay. Let's talk about when touching is not okay. When there is a person who wants to touch you in any of the places that a swimsuit covers, the answer is no unless it's mom or dad who's helping you get dressed or shower or a doctor who's maybe helping you because you're sick in your tummy or something like that. 

Otherwise, nobody else gets to touch you in a place where your swimsuit covers. So you can tell them "No, you don't get to touch me there." And you can always come and tell mommy that's a no answer. If somebody wants you to touch them in a place where their swimsuit covers, that's also a no. And you can tell them "No, I don't touch people there."

And you can get away from them. And also if you feel like you want to touch yourself in places where your swimsuit covers, especially if it's more than just scratching an itch or something like that, then you might need to also tell yourself, "No, I don't touch myself like that." 

This is an easy way for us to use our skill that we already know called accepting a no answer when you feel like you want to touch yourself or somebody wants to touch you or have you touched them. You can look at the situation, keep a calm face voice, and body and remember, this is a no. 

Mom told me no. You say to yourself, "Okay, I am NOT going to do this." So, that's when you can tell them no. And then you can drop the subject by walking away. Don't keep talking to them about the situation. You need to getaway. That's where drop the subject comes in. So, when you say no to them, you are actually saying okay to the no answer mom told you that that touch is not appropriate. 

I modeled that situation for you because I know it's hard to sometimes find the right words to say to children. Don't be overly concerned especially if a small child starts touching themselves. It normally happens. Those children will find their genitals. And maybe even engage in some masturbation. But it's okay to bring it to their attention to call it a no answer and to teach them how to say, "Okay. That is a no answer. I don't do that." Then to empower them. 

We must stop masturbation with our children that we help them stop that in a way that doesn't shame them or make them feel horrible about themselves. Studies have proven that other paraphilias which are other sexual behaviors related to genitalia such as exposing themselves to others eating and playing with feces, stuff like that are all directly linked to obsessions with masturbation. We want to keep our children free from those things. 

So, early on when they start experimenting, help them put a stop to that. Help them learn to accept their own no answers. That, "No, this is not something I can do." And then move on. And then when they hit age 14, you're going to want to be having other talks with them about touching.

They'll start to be attracted to other people and you'll have to talk to them about that type of touching them too. But another good preparation for those touching conversations is going to come with other social touching conversations that you have as well. 

Some people are not as socially aware of their touching as others. You might have to train your children. We only do side hugs now with our friends. We only do high-fives now instead of full frontal hugs. Sometimes a 4-year old can hug somebody. But then when they're 9 or 12, it's just not okay socially anymore. Those are going to be other touching conversations that you're gonna have with your children. 

As you can see, this is a very important lesson. This cannot be skipped. If we leave this lesson for somebody else, then they will be socially and morally grooming our children. This is a lesson parent we're meant to teach. Don't be afraid of it. Don't be concerned. It's vital. The relationship between family and education is close. 

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