Sometimes grownups have to touch kid’s private areas to help them.

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our global efforts to help protect kids from abuse, bullying, and other harmful behavior, each day this month, we will share a time-tested skill from our Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Skill #19: Talk About “Private Areas” and Safety With Kids. In order to recognize and stop sexual abuse, children need accurate, clear, age-appropriate safety rules about private areas that don’t put upsetting images into their minds. “Good touch/bad touch” explanations are confusing to kids because sexual touch might feel good to them at first. Rules like “NEVER let anyone touch your private areas” are inaccurate because an adult might need to touch a child’s private areas for health or safety. You can use this practice script to teach even very young children what they need to know.

This full practice is a part of the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

It is normal to have some anxiety or apprehension discussing the Safety Rules for the private parts of the body with kids. We believe it is very important to clearly address this issue with simple direct language that doesn’t put any scary or worrisome images in young people’s heads that don’t need to be there.

Say to a child, “Sometimes people break the Safety Rules about touching private areas. The private areas of your body are the parts that can be covered by a bathing suit. Sometimes a grownup has to touch your private areas for health or safety, but this should never have to be a secret. Otherwise, other people are not to touch your private areas nor are they to ask you to touch their private areas or to show you pictures or movies about people’s private areas.”

Practice by saying, “Of course we won’t do anything like that to practice. But, pretend that when I put my hand out (stick your hand out in the air in front of you – not touching the child) that what I am saying or doing makes you have an uncomfortable “uh oh” feeling like I might be ABOUT to break the Safety Rule about private areas.”

Coach the child to, “Right away, stand up, make your fence and say, ‘Stop or I’ll tell.’”

Tell the young person to sit down and then practice again by saying, “This touch is about being a grownup.”

Coach the child to, “Stand up, move back and make a fence with your hands. Say, ‘Stop or I’ll tell.’”

Remind children that, even if the person stops, it is important to tell an adult they trust what happened because someone breaking the Safety Rules about private areas means that everyone needs help.

As long as doing this is okay with a child’s responsible adults, we recommend using the correct words for the body parts of the private areas just as we teach the correct words for other body parts.

For a FREE explanation on the simple methods you can use to teach children to use each of these skills, download the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook on our website –this ebook will be FREE of charge in English, Spanish, and Arabic in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please share this skill with others. Let’s work together to teach young people to take charge of their safety, increase self-confidence, and develop healthy, positive relationships! 

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Published: April 19, 2019   |   Last Updated: April 19, 2019

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.