Child sexual abuse is a horrible fact of life these days. When you think of a child, terms like ‘innocence’ and ‘sacred’ come to our minds. And reality strikes hard when we realize there are people so psychologically unstable that they are capable of child abuse so awful that baffles our minds. But there’s a big problem with only focusing on teaching them about ‘the old man offering candy in his van’ or ‘stranger danger’. The boogeyman is sometimes, and more often than not, someone we know. A relative, a person in a position of power, or a friend could corrupt those who need us the most and you need to have a dialogue with your kids to prevent child sexual abuse.
Instead of teaching the old concept of the ‘good’ touch and the ‘bad’ touch, which is confusing for a lot of children, you should have the ‘bathing suit’ talk with them. Explain that the bathing suit covers all private parts that only mom, dad or the doctor is able to see or touch. It is also a great reminder of the differences between boys and girls and what should be exposed and what shouldn’t.
Allow them to ask questions and don’t leave them guessing when they’re curious. Use age-appropriate terms to explain the correct way to name body parts. Do so as long as your child feels comfortable with it. Allow them to name their body parts if they want to. Double check to see if they know the difference between a private body part and ask them to see if they understand the difference between the truth and a lie. But never ask them the same questions over and over, as they feel like they messed up and will only say ‘yes’ as to make it go away.
All hell would break loose if we didn’t listen to our mamás and kiss our tío when they came over. This is an old fashioned tradition that makes your child vulnerable to an adult forcibly trying to kiss or touch them. The child will feel if they don’t do it, you might get angry at them.
Adjust your tone when asking sensitive questions, so they feel like you’re not judging, are not mad or stressed out. Let them talk, and be open to answering their questions even if they’re frank ones about child sexual abuse.