Learn how to have open, honest conversations about body safety with your child.
You want your child to know when someone is abusing them, and this starts by having open, honest conversations with them about body safety. Knowing how to talk to my child about body safety is the best place to start. At The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center, we have found you can effectively talk to your child about body safety by using these strategies:
- Instead of using phrases like “bad” or “good,” use phrases like “safe” and “unsafe” in reference to touching. This removes any guilt from the situation and helps you make a distinction about what is and isn’t appropriate.
- You can discuss body safety without going into sexuality. Start young and use age-appropriate wording. For example, tell your child that no one should ever touch them in an area that their bathing suit covers.
- You should also teach your child about healthy and unhealthy secrets. Remind your child that secret touching is not alright, and that they should never keep any secrets from you.
- Teach your child the right names for body parts. In the event that they disclose inappropriate touching, it will be clear what they are talking about.
- Children learn through repetition, so repeat your discussions about body safety frequently.
Learning how to talk to my child about body safety is a complicated subject and one you may feel uncomfortable with at first. But teaching your child about body safety early on and repeating these conversations could help your child prevent an abusive situation.