1. Private parts are special. Saying so right away tells the child that they are a “good” body part. And, BECAUSE they are special only special people can touch them.
2. Private parts aren’t a “dirty” topic. If we simply ask a child to cover up, or if we constantly say “don’t do that,” then aren’t we implying that those parts are bad? If we imply that those parts are bad then the child begins to feel bad about them, which can lead a child to feel uncomfortable talking about his or her body.
3. If private parts are special then only special people can touch them. You, as parents, get to name the special people in their lives — the people you want your child to trust.
4. If private parts are special then you can easily introduce who can’t touch them. Starting the conversation at preschool age creates an easy entryway as your kids get older to explain who shouldn’t touch their private parts. You can also explain why we don’t let others tell us to keep secrets about our private parts.
5. Let your house be a safe place. Talking to your preschooler about their body is a way to make your house safe for uncomfortable topics. This becomes a building block for topics to come.
So, how do you bring up this topic to your child? Think of their age and developmental stage. If you want some more specific ideas, as well as a mock conversation between parent and child, come out to The Weekday School at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando this Thursday, Oct. 20th at 9:30am for a 2-hour seminar. You can register at www.shieldinginnocence.com/events. Hope to see you there!