Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: How Do You Teach Your Young Child Good Touch Bad Touch?

I try to keep topics on this blog pretty light.  But, I do reserve one blogging day each week (generally Thursdays) to present research findings, to pose questions to parents and educators, or to present topics that have caught my interest lately.  My hope is that these posts get you thinking, questioning, and reflecting on things that we do in our lives with respect to our children and how they learn, or are educated.  It's a day where I hopefully give you just a little something to make you go...hmm...

Today, I pose a few questions to you.  I do not have a good answers for them.

When should we teach our children about "good touch" versus "bad touch"?
  • When a child first enters school?  
  • When a child is able to cognitively grasp an understanding of this difficult topic?
  • When a child has words in his vocabulary to be able to communicate these acts to an adult?
How do we teach our children about "good touch" versus "bad touch"?
  • Do we leave this task up to our child's teacher or school?
  • Do we use books or videos?

I know that some day cares and preschools bring in educators from the local department of health to present this topic to young children in a manner that makes sense to them.  But what if your child doesn't attend day care, or isn't of school age yet?  Some parents may choose to read books like The Right Touch: A Read Aloud Story to Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse written by Sandy Kleven, a licensed clinical social worker, or Robert Kahn's Bobby and Mandee's Good Touch Bad Touch.

Whatever your opinion is on when and how best to introduce this sensitive and difficult topic to your young child, I hope that you give it some thought this week and educate yourself.  We all think it happens in other neighborhoods, other families, other schools....but there is no one class, religion, ethnic, or age group that is immune.  According to Stop it Now!, as many as 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually abused at some point in their childhood.  Astounding statistics if you ask me.

I hope this post put some thought into your Thursday.

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