When to have the "good touch, bad touch" talk? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 2 1/2 and I don't really think he'd understand "good touch, bad touch." What kind of signs should I look for to show that he's ready to have this talk? He knows all his body parts and understands ownership (as evidenced by frequent shrieks of "MINE!"). What other things are signals that he will understand the concept.

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#2 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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I'm waiting to see what others say about this, since my son is going to be 3 in November. I think he might be ready too also because of the "mine" thing. A friend of mine used the bathing suit analogy, that anything covered by your bathing suit is private and nobody but you should touch it (unless you need help washing or wiping after using the potty, etc.). And if they do, you need to tell Mommy/Daddy right away. Anyway I liked the bathing suit analogy.
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#3 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. I was just about to ask the same question. Since DD1 just entered pre-school and isn't potty trained yet I'm a little worried about unintentionally causing a problem. So for me the question isn't just when to start talking about this but also what the least "suggestible" or "leading" way to go about it.
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#4 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 06:51 PM
 
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We haven't made a big deal of the conversation. It does come up, naturally, especially since DS1 has DS2 as a little brother. When he tries to poke DS2 in the penis (or pull Daddy's, or pinch my nipples, or look at my vulva, or poke somebody in the bottom ), we mention the fact that these parts are private and nobody is allowed to touch anybody elses unless they are helping clean them in the bath or potty.

We haven't had the "don't talk to strangers" talk, either. I did tell DS1 that he couldn't play outside alone because I was afraid bad people might get him. And actually, I think that was a mistake.

I want my children to feel empowered, confident, and own their bodies. I think the "talks" about this kind of stuff may sometimes, at least for some kids, send a different message than I want to - a message of fear.

FTR, my kids are NOT in daycare or cared for by anyone other than myself, DH, and other very close family members. Because my mother is a childhood sexual abuse survivor, this is a topic I discuss with other adults, and I feel confident that there is no history of abusive behavior in the adults I trust with my children. If I were placing them in care with people I didn't have that kind of trust with, I might feel differently.

But OTOH, I think I'd really like to nurture self-confidence and self-protection in my children rather than caution and isolation. I feel confident that my kids know what feels right and what doesn't - AND THAT I WOULD BE ABLE TO TELL if something wasn't right with them. DS1 would be able to tell me by now (3.5 yo) and I believe he would. I do not think he would believe anyone who told him that he was bad or needed to keep a secret from me or his dad.

I don't know if I've been much help to anyone else, but it's an interesting thing to talk about.

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#5 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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I think it depends on your situation. For instance, Abby is never in any daycare/babysitter situations. It's either me, dh or my mom, who lives with us and of course I trust 100%. She is 2.5, and we dont plan to have the talk any time soon. She is so free, so uninhibited, and I love that. She is in a safe environment all the time, with me 99.999% of the time.

Now, if I had to leave her with a babysitter or in daycare, I would think a bit differently. I would probably have if soon, if not now.
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#6 of 12 Old 09-14-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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I'm curious too. DS will also be 3 in November and I really want to convey this message to him. We've tried to talk to him about it but he doesn't seem to understand yet.
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#7 of 12 Old 09-15-2007, 01:38 AM
 
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I have been wondering about this too. We haven't because dd is always with us and occasionally grandma/grandpa. very interested to see what others say......
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#8 of 12 Old 09-15-2007, 11:58 AM
 
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As a parent, I wouldn't suggest using the *good touch/bad touch* analogy with kids. The *touch* itself may feel good to the child and if you teach them the *good touch/bad touch* about abuse, you could end up confusing your child. If I'm not mistaken even the police and many educators have dropped that particular terminology when working with kids.

I'd be more apt to teach what timneh mom's friend is teaching her kids about what's under the bathing suit is private.
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#9 of 12 Old 09-15-2007, 12:08 PM
 
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FWIW, I must say that the focus on strangers and care providers may be way off the mark. I am a survivor myself, but I was molested by relatives and friends of mine, on 3 separate occasions, while my parents were home/around. Please do not assume that you will be able to tell what is wrong from their behavior and not at least begin the conversation. I was well aware that it was wrong and that the situation was far beyond what I could deal with at that age. The idea of telling my parents never occurred to me, frankly, because of the context in which the abuse occurred. We were 'playing' and these people were my relatives and 'friends'. I was 7 to 9 yo. and my parents never knew until well into my teen years, when I was unable to deal with the guilt and shaming any longer. I am able to talk about it now, more or less, and have been very open with my children about private parts and talking with me and their father, but I will caution anyone about putting the weight of reporting the abuse on the child, because it is way too much for them to be able to deal with, due to the part they perceive that they played in the abuse, the guilt they feel and the fear they have.
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#10 of 12 Old 09-15-2007, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imahappymama View Post
FWIW, I must say that the focus on strangers and care providers may be way off the mark. I am a survivor myself, but I was molested by relatives and friends of mine, on 3 separate occasions, while my parents were home/around. Please do not assume that you will be able to tell what is wrong from their behavior and not at least begin the conversation. I was well aware that it was wrong and that the situation was far beyond what I could deal with at that age. The idea of telling my parents never occurred to me, frankly, because of the context in which the abuse occurred. We were 'playing' and these people were my relatives and 'friends'. I was 7 to 9 yo. and my parents never knew until well into my teen years, when I was unable to deal with the guilt and shaming any longer. I am able to talk about it now, more or less, and have been very open with my children about private parts and talking with me and their father, but I will caution anyone about putting the weight of reporting the abuse on the child, because it is way too much for them to be able to deal with, due to the part they perceive that they played in the abuse, the guilt they feel and the fear they have.
:
I can only second that!!!
Any type of abuse, either bullying, sexual or mental just hits a child in the face, heck it does most adults, and they are most of the time not sure how to handle the momentary situation and feel even worse afterwards of their inability to act!
Never rely on a child to defend itself or tell, or keep himself/herself safe in any way, that is what the parent is for.
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#11 of 12 Old 09-15-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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At this point, I really haven't had any sort of good touch/bad touch talk with either of mine. They're pretty much under my or DH's supervision (or my mom, the only other person that watches them) exclusively at this point.

I've had to say, "Hey guys, we touch our OWN privates only!" a few times in the bathtub when they take baths together, but that's been it so far. Oh yeah, and when DD (2, and massively interested in body parts) askes my dad the other day if he had a penis, and then grabbed the leg of his shorts to try and check it out, I told her that everyone's private parts are their own. My poor dad!

I think we're taking the whole subject as it comes up, on a case-by-case basis and introducing the idea of genitals & privacy as their development dictates.

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#12 of 12 Old 09-15-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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what imahappymomma said. 1. Unfortunately an abuser is most likely to be a relative or close friend and 2. The burden of protecting a child is firmly on us, the parents, not the child. If you haven't read it I highly recommend "Protecting the Gift" which does a great job of showing what we need to do to protect our children.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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