Should your child scream when they are inappropriately touched?

As much as we all want to deny it, there are sexual predators all around us. But when we talk about sexual predators, we talk about women that become victims. Do you know who’s a greater victim? Your child. Yes, instances of child molestation are at an all-time high. So how do you keep your precious little baby safe? How do you teach them about good touch and bad touch? 

Don’t teach them about good touch and bad touch!

Your baby is probably too young to judge the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. Don’t just tell them that some people will give them the good touch and some will give them a bad touch. Make rules instead. Teach them that anyone touching their mouths, their chest or their privates is NOT okay and that they should always tell you about any such touching, even if they have been warned against it. 

Give them examples

Mom can give a kissy. A strange uncle cannot give a kissy. Give them simple examples to understand the concept of what touching can be appropriate and what isn’t. Weave these into your daily conversation and ask questions like “what would you do if…” to check if your child has understood what you taught him. 

Warn against people they know too

A sexual predator can be someone who your child interacts with on a daily basis. It could be a teacher, a maid, a driver, the watchman, daddy’s friend - anyone. Usually, wrong touching doesn’t start directly. It may start with stroking the hair or holding hands. Establish the ground rules with your child. No matter who it is, no one should touch your child’s chest, genitals, buttocks or mouth. Teach your child that it is a rule like it is a rule to brush their teeth. 

Teach them what to do

Despite your best efforts to protect them, your child may still be caught with someone who does touch them inappropriately. What should your child do then? He might be safest in this situation if he screams. So teach them that. Tell them that they have to scream as loud as they can if someone touches them where the rule is no-touching. Teach them that it is fine to kick and bite if the person tries to cover their mouth and restrain them. Tell them that it is not alright to bring the roof down at home for no reason but when someone breaks the touch rule, they should be as loud as they can. 

Talk to your children casually

Talking to your child about these things should not be a stressful experience for either of you. Keep all conversation casual. Do it with ease when you are playing, or just spending time with them. You can opt to keep a physical contact like casually holding their hand when you talk. Don’t make it emotional or ultra serious because your child tends to associate that with his being in trouble with you. 

Teach your child to say no

Your child has to say a very vocal no if someone is trying to take them away from somewhere. If an uncle wants them to go behind a tree in the park, they have to say no. If the watchman calls him inside his room, your child must say no. And they have to be adamant about it. It may not be possible all the time, but try to respect it if your child says no at home to something. If they say no to wearing a blue shirt, respect it. It will teach them the importance of a no so they will start getting more comfortable saying it. 

They have to talk to you

Tell your child that no matter who it is, no matter how many times they were told to keep a ‘secret’, no matter what ‘secret game’ someone wants to play with them, they have to come and tell you about it. Sometimes parents have to be deceptive. So if you have to tell your child that a star falls from the sky every time they keep a secret from you, go ahead and say it. The end goal is keep your child safe, any which way. 

Take them seriously

If after hearing all this from you, your child starts to talk about someone having already touched them, don’t brush it off as paranoia or made-up tales. Listen carefully and keep a close eye. Make sure the child is nowhere near that someone. Take action, if you can. 

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