As parents we all want to keep our babies safe. We cant bear the taught of anyone hurting them. Start talking to your children about the body safety rules.
We talk to our children about safety all the time. From as young as crawling babies, we make sure we tell them to stay away from danger. We are always hoovering over our toddlers and ready to protect them from anything that is not safe.
So why is it that when it comes to their bodies?
We are hesitant to talk to them about keeping safe. It may be because we as parents are not sure how to start the conversation. We are often worried about what language to use, whats appropriate or inappropriate. Will it harm my child if I talk to them about this topic. Will it make them uncomfortable?
It’s important to start this conversation early!
This will avoid making it uncomfortable for children at a later stage. Being open and honest with your children will give them the opportunity to feel safe and be open with you as well. There are a lot of tools available online to help you introduce the topic of body safety. See my tips here below and a free printable document that you can print off to talk through with your child.
MY ‘body safety’ rules
I have written these body safety rules in a way that the child takes ownership of their RULES. It’s THEIR body and they have the right to feel empowered in taking that ownership.
So here are the 6 essential body safety rules I use with my children:
1. I use the correct terms for my private parts.
This is really important. When you are teaching your child the terms for their body parts – it’s vital that they know the correct terms for their private parts. This is so if anyone does anything inappropriate to them – they can tell someone using the correct terms and it will be clear whats happened.
This is also the time you can talk to your child about it being a private part of their body and what privacy means. It gives you a good opportunity to explain that it’s your child’s body and no one is allowed to touch it.
You can teach this to your child as soon as they start talking. You can use simple language but the correct terms.
2. I don’t keep any secrets. Even if it’s something small.
When it comes to safeguarding our children its so important to prepare them on how to stay safe. It’s a good thing to remind your child not to keep any secrets from you. Encourage open dialogue and tell them they can always talk to you about anything even if someone has asked them to keep it a secret.
3. No adult or child should be with me in toilets (public/school).
Once your child starts school. They are suddenly completely independent and have to use the toilet on their own. To teach your child boundaries, it’s important to teach them about personal space. Teach them that the toilet cubical is a private space which no adult or child should be allowed to come into.
Other children may innocently go into each others toilets or not cover themselves. Your child may see things which they may not know that they shouldn’t be seeing.
4. No one can touch, hug, or kiss me by force.
How many of us are guilty of pushing our children into people’s arms when greeting a friend or family member? All in the name of being polite. Let’s think about what message we are sending to our children. Are we telling our children that adults have a right over them? That being polite is more important than them feeling comfortable or in control of how they choose to greet people.
I found this really interesting and have overcome this issue when my daughter refused to hug someone. I’ve told my daughter that it’s her choice. I’ve asked her on what we should say to anyone who wants a hug and she told me we can just tell them that she’s shy.
I think that breaks the ice and people don’t get offended. Although they should know better than to be offended by a child.
This message teaches children about consent at a very early age and empowers them to say No if they don’t want to hug someone.
5. No one can force me to look at or touch their private parts.
Refer back to rule 3 and 4 to remind your child that just just as their body is theirs, other people’s bodies are theirs too and its private to them.
6. I can tell my mum and dad anything and it’s never too late to speak up.
Once your child knows THEIR body safety rules. It will encourage them to talk to you if anyone has broken any of those rules. Hopefully that will never happen.
However, it’s best you raise a confident child that feels empowered to speak up.