- Explain that safe touch is the kind that make them feel protected, loved, cared for, safe, comfortable, happy, and warm.
- Some examples of safe touch is brushing someone’s hair, kissing them goodnight, buckling them in their seat, and patting them on the back in a friendly manner.
- Don’t forget to mention that some safe touches might hurt, like receiving vaccine shots or when you remove a splinter.
- Explain that unsafe touch will make them feel confused, scared, embarrassed, uncomfortable, hurt, or angry.
- Some examples of unsafe touch is when they accidentally push their siblings down, an adult grabbing a child harshly due to anger, kicking, or punching.
- Explain to your kids that an unwanted touch seems safe, but it makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Precise examples are when someone bigger touches their private parts, or being forced to touch someone else’s private parts.
- Finally, emphasize that unwanted touch is also considered unsafe.
Younger kids may not be able to understand unwanted touch right away, so you can start with just safe and unsafe touch lessons.
Help them realize that what sets these two kinds of touch apart are their feelings about them.
One way to teach kids about safe and unsafe touch is to give them examples they can relate to. You can say:
“Lynne, when Andrew accidentally pushed you, and then John helped you up and put his arm around you, which one was the safe touch?”
Emphasize that They Are the “Boss of their Body”.
Emphasize that they have control over their bodies. And only they can choose who touches their body and how. Also, stress that they can exercise that control over anyone, even with relatives.
Here are some tips to help kids understand that they are the boss of their body:
- Demonstrate how to assert control. For instance, say: “I don’t like it when you jump on me. Please stop.”
- Impose rules among siblings, like “If your brother says stop when you tickle him, then you need to stop.”
- Likewise, show that you respect their need for privacy or their dislike to be touched. Offer words such as: “It seems like you don’t want to cuddle right now. Alright.”
- Remind them that they don’t need to give nor receive hugs and kisses from relatives if they don’t want to. Tell them they can say no.
- Ask for your relatives’ support. Inform them that you are teaching your kids the value of being in control over their body.
Practice the “No, Go, Tell” Approach
Finally, practice “No, Go, Tell” with your kids.