By: Lubna Majeed
Touch is a feeling which makes an individual feel good or bad. It is a means of contact and communication which has many forms like patting someone’s back, holding hands, shaking hands, kissing forehead, cheek etc. or beating someone, kicking someone etc. Let’s talk about it and its types when it is about making a child comprehend its type – good or bad. But first, we as parents must take the responsibility of talking with the kids about this clearly. We should sound confident and approach them with a limpid concept of touch. It’s our incumbent duty to teach the child the exact difference between good and bad touch so that the child knows how to interpret things, which shouldn’t leave him/her in a muddled situation. For that, the approach from parents side needs to be correct. But why is it so important to speak to your child about this feeling and its types. Let’s look at the reason behind this.
Reason: With the advent of increase in the cases of child sexual abuse and child abduction cases, every parent needs to remain in an alarmed state as such cases constantly haunt every parent. This calls for the steps to be initiated by every parent in order to ensure that their children remain safe.
Types of Touch: Good Touch and Bad touch
It is about a touch that makes one feel safe, elucidate the child about it. It involves actions like patting at the back, kissing on forehead, cheek, holding hands, shaking hands, running with each other. All these point towards harmony or wellbeing.
It is a kind of touch that doesn’t make a person feel complacent about it, It kind of hurts, as for example when someone beats you, kicks you, pulls your hair etc. At times, it makes one feel petrified. In addition to the ones mentioned above, there is a touch that involves private parts, bad intentions etc. For this, the child must be prepared so that he/she knows what kind of touch is acceptable and what is not.
First of all, speak to the child about “private parts“. Parents shouldn’t hesitate in speaking with the child about it in clear terms. Use the right terminology for the private parts. Its a body part just like other say eyes, ears, nose, face etc. What’s wrong in pronouncing right term for parts like breast, penis, hips etc. It’s not a shameful act so please be open about it.
Explain to the child that these parts can be touched only by parents, grandparents or siblings and that too while cleaning them or giving bath. Any touch on chest, bums or pubic area is a private touch. These parts are “Private” and we should educate them on Private parts. If others try to touch them, they have the right to say “NO“. Not only this, things shouldn’t be enforced on the kids like if they aren’t liking the idea of someone touching/pulling their cheek, don’t get angry or upset with them. Its perfectly OK. The child has the right to say “NO“. Give the child full authority of his / her own body.
Set some standards and explain to them that if someone does an unpleasant act with them, then they need to do the following:
* Shout loudly and say No. This way of expressing dislike about a particular incidence requires courage that needs to be injected by parents.
* They need not be frightened about anything and should be clear in saying that “I shall report this thing to my parents, grandparents” or whoever is close to them. * Inform the child that if someone tries to tell you to keep certain acts as secrets, never do so.
Most important of all, if your child tries to convey such things to you, please trust your child. Be vigilant about his/her surroundings. Take the child in your confidence and communicate. We can try our best to be cautious to prevent any heinous act from entering their lives. It’s our duty to protect them, strive towards it as we brought them to this world. So, proper education is essential and initiative has to be taken by us. Let’s not wait for the right time, let’s start it right now.
All the Best!!