Many issues of sexual abuse are often swept under the carpet so it is important and necessary to educate children early on matters that concern their lives. This simple easy to use format will help children, parents, guardians, significant others to help children understand intimacy issues early in life. Children do not know about intimacy automatically. One cannot wait or assume they will grow and learn about it. With numerous real life painful stories of sexual abuse it is necessary to teach children early about preciousness of their body as God’s Holy Temple.
This true account will help parent gain better awareness of sexual abuse. Dawn was 4 years old when her mother offered to help a heavily pregnant neighbour. By shopping for her, she left Dawn under her care for a few hours for some time to help her prepare for delivery. The Peter, oldest son of the pregnant woman started entertaining and playing with Dawn to occupy her. Peter’s mother was busy preparing meals for the family and more food for freezing during her days of confinement. Child play soon turned into nurses and doctors for many months as both continued to play together.
Abuser had audacity to sit Dawn playfully on his knees in the presence of family together yet nobody knew little secret. Eventually Dawn told parents of Peter’s games played. Then Peter’s father, a prison officer whipped the son until his bottom burst open, turned into a wound later oozing with pus. Basically this saved Peter from further abuse but destroyed the beautiful relationship between friendly neighbours. Worst of all abuser attended police academy at time of abuse yet successfully qualified so carried on his profession in a place where no one knew his dirty little secret. Dawn grew up before became aware or understood what happened in childhood at 4 years old.
Peter’s father sought transfer and so moved on into another town to work there. Dawn had no idea or knowledge of intimacy so did not know understand abuse. At 4 years old such a thing never happened in family so it was not deemed necessary to make aware to know the difference between appropriate touch. Use simple words meaningful to child to create family code for private part to clean themselves. Ask or remind child to clean wee if girl or pee if boy to clean properly without embarrassment or direct supervision to violate their privacy if.
Like cleaning teeth help brush until well-trained enough to cope by themselves. Remember each child’s maturity level is different! Teach all children their body belongs to God so Holy Spirit dwells in them through Christ. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Holy Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:13 – 18 So flee from sexual immorality. So be urged brothers and sisters in the Lord, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God and teach children to value their body. Private parts include others not touching vests, the chests, fondling breasts or bras of little girls by anyone if old enough to dress themselves. Take time out to teach the priceless value of the body and boundaries during innocent play that turns into disaster. Keep an eye and teach children to tell little secret plays, hide out or cross gender issues. It is better to be safe than sorry for trauma of abuse lingers on in life affecting all aspects of life. Train children early about keeping private parts private as sole owner of their private assets and property. So must not allow anyone to touch vest, bras, underwear or trespassers to enter in!
It is a hands off zone to others not accepted to do by assistive care like doctors, parents, etc. From age 2 some children can dress themselves. So it depends on the child’s spurt growth level of maturity. The parent’s input train child early to do simple little things like pulling up pants, taking off vests until able to take personal hygiene care of themselves.
P.A.N.T.S is an easy way for you to explain to your child the key elements of the NSPCC Underwear Rule:
Privates are private
Be clear with your child that the parts of their body covered by underwear are private.
Explain to your child that no one should ask to see or touch their private parts or ask them to look at or touch anyone else’s.
Sometimes doctors, nurses or family members might have to. Explain that this is OK, but that those people should always explain why, and ask your child if it’s OK first.
Always remember your body belongs to you
Let your child know their body belongs to them, and no one else.
No one has the right to make them do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. And if anyone tries, tell your child they have the right to say no.
Remind your child they can always talk to you anything which worries or upsets them.
A= Always protect body
No means no
Make sure your child understands that they have the right to say “no” to unwanted touch – even to a family member or someone they know or love.
This shows that they’re in control of their body and their feelings should be respected.
If a child feels confident to say no to own family, they are more likely to say no to others.
Talk about secrets that upset you
Explain the differences between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ secrets.
Phrases like “it’s our little secret” are an abuser’s way of making a child feel worried, or scared to tell someone what is happening to them.
- Good secrets can be things like surprise parties or presents for other people.
- Bad secrets make you feel sad, worried or frightened.
Your child needs to feel able to speak up about secrets that worry them and confident that saying something won’t get them into trouble.
Telling a secret will never hurt or worry anybody in your family or someone you know and love.
Speak up, someone can help
Tell your child if sad, anxious or frightened they should talk to an adult they trust.
This doesn’t have to be a family member. It can teacher,friend’s parent, ChildLine.
Remind them whatever problem, it’s not their so fault not in trouble for speaking up.