talking to toddler about strangers/bad touches - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 07-06-2011, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
crayfishgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Our daughter is 27 months and will be starting a Montessori program in the fall.  This will be the first time she's not with one of us, or one of two very trusted friends.  How do we discuss the topic of strangers/appropriate touching with her without scaring her?  Is she too young for conversations about this?

 

Note that I don't have any reason to suspect anything (the teacher/owner is wonderful, and her husband appears to be so as well.  I think he is only at the school if something needs repairing), but if child molesters were obvious then we wouldn't have to worry about these things.  


Camille~
Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

crayfishgirl is offline  
#2 of 15 Old 07-06-2011, 08:34 AM
 
McGucks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: among the wildflowers
Posts: 1,245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Just have a second, but...most "bad touching" doesn't come from strangers.  It comes from neighbors, family members, and other "trusted" acquaintances or family friends.  Teach your child that anyone who touches the areas covered by a bathing suit OR asks her to touch them in those areas are people she needs to tell you all about, EVEN if it feels good.  Watch how she plays with her dolls, too (if she plays with dolls).  Many people associate "bad" touching with pain, and most molestation isn't like that (or at least isn't initiated like that).  It is a terrifying concept for parents to have to even think about.  Good for you for taking measures to keep your daughter safe before a situation even has presented itself.


 sleepytime.gif I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brotherkid.gif

McGucks is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 07-06-2011, 08:41 AM
 
insidevoice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,329
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My daughter wasn't ready for that conversation at that point in time.  It really wasn't something she was ready for until nearly school age- but that depends on the particular child.  My two little ones- one being days away from being three- are absolutely nowhere near that conversation either.  They do know about their bodies, but beyond that, the idea of discussing inappropriate touch is more than they could grasp.  I do talk to them when I help them wash or any time I may need to touch their bodies.  I always say I am going to wash behind your ear/under your arm,  whatever it may be and I make sure they communicate that back.  Half the time they like to run around naked, so they aren't really at a 'genitals are private' place yet- in fact- they may be the best toys ever!! (This was NOT a phase I dealt with with my daughter- it may be a boy thing because the penis is so visible and you can point it at things when you pee!! Ah- potty training...)

 

Anyway- I wouldn't push the conversation in great detail.  Just reinforce that she is in charge of her own body and work on proper names for all body parts. 

insidevoice is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 07-06-2011, 10:19 AM
 
NZJMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

At 3, I started talking to mine about their "private" parts and explained who was allowed to help them with their private parts. I told them that if anyone else tried to touch them they should tell Mommy or Daddy. They know all the correct terminology and I tried to keep things short and sweet. But, I wanted them to know what is and is not okay. If we don't tell them than they wont know and I want them to be in control of their bodies. It makes me sad that we have to have these types of conversations, but in our world it is a necessary evil.

 

ETA: That is the age that our ped starts talking to them about private parts as well. I took my cues from him and used the same terminology to reinforce what he told them.


Proud Mommy to my amazing boys (6 and 4) and my precious little girl (18 months).

NZJMama is offline  
#5 of 15 Old 07-06-2011, 01:00 PM
 
AndtheStars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Penn's Wood
Posts: 636
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Very happy that someone posted this. My DS is 23 months and I started thinking about this same thing last week actually. I'll be notes2.gif.

Maria blahblah.gif, wife to A malesling.GIF, mama to DS M 8/09 2whistle.gif and DS L 6/12 biggrinbounce.gif

 

Everything will be ok in the end.  If it's not ok, then it's not the end - Paolo Coelho  

AndtheStars is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 07-07-2011, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
crayfishgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks Mamas

 

Good point on the typical predator being someone they know and trust rather than a stranger.  It is a terrifying concept, and I've been anxious over how to keep her innocent while keeping her safe.  She still runs around naked in the yard, and I certainly don't want to discourage that (at least at this age!), but she does understand privacy (at least in concept....I still never pee alone smile.gif).  These tips are helpful, and I think bringing these up in context will be a good start until she's older. 

 

How nice it would be to not have to think about things like this.


Camille~
Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

crayfishgirl is offline  
#7 of 15 Old 07-08-2011, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
crayfishgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Maria:

 

Here are some books I found that have pretty good Amazon reviews and are geared to toddlers.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Some-Parts-are-Not-Sharing/dp/1606966030/ref=pd_sim_b_1

 

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Belongs-Cornelia-Maude-Spelman/dp/0807594733/ref=pd_sim_b_2

 

http://www.amazon.com/Right-Touch-Read-Aloud-Prevent-Collection/dp/0935699104/ref=pd_sim_b_3

 

 

I'm not loving the title of the last one (The Right Touch: A Read-Aloud Story to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse).  I don't really want to highlight the aspect of abuse with my daughter .  Because of that, I'll probably not get that one.


Camille~
Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

crayfishgirl is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 07-08-2011, 08:24 AM
 
CrunchyChristianMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 2,644
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I agree to avoid the "stranger danger" conversation.  That is thought to have led to a lot of the molestation cases you now hear about.  Strangers and bad touch were portrayed in a light of someone the child hardly knows or looks scary. 

 

I also don't think it has to be a sit down serious talk you plan for some day.  When you are in the bath and washing their bottom, let them know that only mommy and daddy should help with washing their bottom.  If anyone else touches it that they should tell you so that you know.  Reiterate that they aren't in trouble if someone touches them, that mommy and daddy just need to know. 

 

Frequent casual conversations about these things stick with a child more than a one time big talk does. 


Elizabeth - Doing life with Scott partners.gif

SAHM to Evelyn - my crazy little Celiac (4) energy.gif Annabelle (2)  love.gif and Abraham (born 6/20) buddamomimg1.png
adoptionheart-1.gif  Follow our journey  mdcblog5.gif

CrunchyChristianMama is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 07-09-2011, 06:11 AM
 
Baby_Cakes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 9,884
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Funny, I accidentally had this convo with my daughter the other day.  I'm pregnant and she finally asked how the baby is going to get out of my belly.  I was waiting for that one, TBH.  Well, I explained a little basic anatomy (vagina, vulva, labia) and she wanted to know where hers were.  So I let her see where hers were, and mentioned that only she is allowed to touch there.  Except for sometimes Mommy or if Mommy says its ok for the doctor to (or something along those lines).

 

Often she touches her self in the bathtub or if she's watching TV and whatnot and I have no issues with it, I tell her it's fine for her to touch as long as she doesn't scratch with her nails (she has before and resulted in a pretty painful UTI).  But I remind her that nobody else is to touch her down there, and she usually replies, "Except sometimes Mommy!"  (And even the sometimes Mommy bit can be left out.  I just need to wipe her still with going potty and that's all I'm implying.)


Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
Baby_Cakes is offline  
#10 of 15 Old 07-09-2011, 06:42 AM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I would first of all, as others said, not use the word "stranger" or call it "stranger danger" as that will eliminate the vast majority of sexual abuse from the definition.

Then I would not have one big talk as she won't listen that long. I would look for teaching moments when they come up, including when she's in the bath, when you're putting on her swimsuit, etc. "No one but mommy or daddy or the doctor should touch you where your swim suit covers you, and even we need a good reason. This is your private area." Just little bits of information repeatedly. Also point out that she shouldn't touch other people where their swim suits cover them. And make sure she knows real names for her parts, not cute nicknames.
mamazee is offline  
#11 of 15 Old 07-14-2011, 02:02 PM
 
AndtheStars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Penn's Wood
Posts: 636
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the book recs, Camille!

All - do you think its too early at 23 months to start the casual references to no one but mama/daddy touching down there? One of the problems is that my parents, DH's parents and a babysitter all watch DS too so I wouldn't want to exclude them from the list of people who are allowed to touch because they might need to during diaper change or whatever. I can't imagine if I provided the list of people everytime I said something 'casually'. I guess I'm overthinking this. I don't want it to be a situation where I say 'only mama/daddy' then DS comes to tell me about Grandma and I have to say "that's ok, too". Then DS comes to tell me about Mimi (other g-ma) and I have to say "That's ok too". I don't want it to be a cry wolf situation where he ends up assuming I'll say it's ok. Does this make any sense? Sorry, I should maybe just read one of the books redface.gif

Maria blahblah.gif, wife to A malesling.GIF, mama to DS M 8/09 2whistle.gif and DS L 6/12 biggrinbounce.gif

 

Everything will be ok in the end.  If it's not ok, then it's not the end - Paolo Coelho  

AndtheStars is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 07-14-2011, 02:31 PM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndtheStars View Post

All - do you think its too early at 23 months to start the casual references to no one but mama/daddy touching down there? One of the problems is that my parents, DH's parents and a babysitter all watch DS too so I wouldn't want to exclude them from the list of people who are allowed to touch because they might need to during diaper change or whatever. I can't imagine if I provided the list of people everytime I said something 'casually'. I guess I'm overthinking this. I don't want it to be a situation where I say 'only mama/daddy' then DS comes to tell me about Grandma and I have to say "that's ok, too". Then DS comes to tell me about Mimi (other g-ma) and I have to say "That's ok too". I don't want it to be a cry wolf situation where he ends up assuming I'll say it's ok. Does this make any sense? Sorry, I should maybe just read one of the books redface.gif

One thing I read recently is that you can tell them sometimes your family or the doctor might need to touch you for health or safety reasons but it's never a secret. I think that might be one way to approach it...

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
#13 of 15 Old 07-15-2011, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
crayfishgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by AndtheStars View Post

Thanks for the book recs, Camille!

All - do you think its too early at 23 months to start the casual references to no one but mama/daddy touching down there? One of the problems is that my parents, DH's parents and a babysitter all watch DS too so I wouldn't want to exclude them from the list of people who are allowed to touch because they might need to during diaper change or whatever. I can't imagine if I provided the list of people everytime I said something 'casually'. I guess I'm overthinking this. I don't want it to be a situation where I say 'only mama/daddy' then DS comes to tell me about Grandma and I have to say "that's ok, too". Then DS comes to tell me about Mimi (other g-ma) and I have to say "That's ok too". I don't want it to be a cry wolf situation where he ends up assuming I'll say it's ok. Does this make any sense? Sorry, I should maybe just read one of the books redface.gif



I purchased both books...the first one (the fish one) isn't great and not worth the money in my opinion.  The other one seems better, although admittedly I would really like a book that doesn;t discuss anywhere that you're reading this to them to help protect them from predators!

 

Its easy to over think it because its such a scary prospect!  With Fiona we mentioned casually a couple of time while helping her with the potty and in the bath that our girl parts are private, and that when we need help with potty or washing that Mama or Daddy or Nana might help her.  I don't want to give her a list of acceptable people either, but am hesitant to say anyone helping you in the bathroom can touch you.  Although only a select few people help her with the bathroom and give her baths, when she's not with us her teacher might help her in the bathroom, and I suspect that anyone who's going to touch a child inappropriately won't do so in plain sight, but under the guise of bathroom/changing or something.  I think what PP have said about secrecy makes sense.

 

Gah...I'm getting teary.  I can so easily get myself all worked up about this!


Camille~
Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

crayfishgirl is offline  
#14 of 15 Old 07-16-2011, 09:09 AM
 
PatioGardener's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 5,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Have you read Protecting the Gift? I really liked the messages about empowering children (especially girls) to trust their instincts.

PatioGardener is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 07-17-2011, 08:11 AM
 
lactatinggirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Roy, Utah
Posts: 940
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Every time we visit our doctor and he looks at her private parts, he always says something along the lines of "don't let anyone touch you here except mommy and daddy" and we've been going along that same line. Some people might think that it's too young to discuss such a thing with our 28 month old, but having had a bad history with this particular subject myself from a very young age, I think the sooner the better. I don't make it complicated. I just occasionally tell her no one should touch her there except mommy, daddy, and the doctor. I initially thought I'd include her grandparents in this, but they don't watch her often without me and my step-dad isn't allowed to (long story), so I can't really use a blanket term like that. 

 

I'd also like to say the same thing some other posters have--molestation rarely comes from "strangers". I can say from personal experience that all 3 men who have sexually abused me where close to me, which is awful I know. 

 

At the same time though, my child spends most of her time at home at least partially naked. She is thoroughly aware of her private parts (as all kids are at this age) and we discuss mommy's and daddy's too. I think part of molestation (and especially not coming forth with evidence of it as a child) is being taught to be afraid of anything sexual. We don't explicitly tell her about sex because it's not right for her developmental age, but we do talk about mommy has a vagina and daddy has a penis. We keep the doors open when we pee and we shower together. This may be out of some parents' comfort zones, but it's my opinion that sex is a normal part of life and should be treated as such. 


Superherolactivist.gif and mother to Peanut (03/20/09) and Twig (01/20/2012). Fighting for the rights of mothers out there who winner.jpg selectivevax.gif fly-by-nursing2.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifhomebirth.jpg and much more! mdcblog5.gif 
 
 
 
    

lactatinggirl is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off