Friday, October 13, 2017

Good Touch, Bad Touch

For the welfare of our young children, it is important that they know about Good Touch, Bad Touch and how to deal with alarming situations. I'm thankful that my kids' school teach this in their Health subject (MAPEH). Allow me to share and give additional inputs.

Almost every day we hear horrible news about sexual abuse and molestation due to prohibited drugs. Worse, the victims are young children who are yet unable to distinguish the right or wrong.

When I woke up early this morning, one friend sent a long message in our mom's group chat. Her niece was a victim of attempted rape. Though the crime was not really executed, still the traumatic experience gives an impact to her growth and personality. It gave me chills on an already-cold morning. So I got up and started drafting this post in my mind while preparing my son for school.

What Can We Parents Do?
We may not be strong or big enough to fight all those bad elements in the world, but still, there's something we can do. Become your child's best friend so you can always have a daily conversation. Encourage them to talk about their daily activities at school, playground or outside the house. Ask about the names of their classmates, playmates, friends or even "enemies". No matter what happens, do not make your child afraid to come to you so they could give the details confidently. Listen and trust them.

Though it's uncomfortable about talking sensitive topics with our kids, the learning has to start at home especially when it comes to their safety. To start with, let's classify Good Touch and Bad Touch.

Examples of Good Touch:
  • Mom and Dad's hugs and kisses
  • Mom and Dad mild spank as punishment for your wrongdoing
  • Teacher giving a pat on your shoulder for a job well done
  • Handshake with friends
  • Short tickle
  • Brief kiss on the cheek or forehead
  • Doctor touching to examine your body part that is injured
  • Househelp giving you a tender bath

Examples of Bad Touch:
  • Hitting, slapping, punching
  • Push and pull with force
  • Touching the chest, buttocks and area between the legs
  • Holding your "Okay to Touch" areas without your consent
  • Tickle that makes you hard to breathe
  • Kissing the lips
  • Dragging you to a dark or secluded area
  • Penetration of genitals

We always say to our kids, "Do not talk or go to strangers" but not all strangers are bad. Some of them give help too. So we cannot really say that all strangers give bad touch or people we know give a good touch. To be specific, show the infographic below to your kids.

Areas that are Good to Touch, Okay to Touch and Bad to Touch.

Keep your kids safe with these simple points:

Undergarment Rule - Discuss to your child about Good Touch and Bad Touch as early as possible to make them understand this sensitive issue. This is a serious matter so use appropriate language. Do not "baby talk" the body parts because that will only leave them to curiosity.

Shout, Run, Tell - Empower your kids to say NO! If someone attempts to do the Bad Touch (God forbid) shout for help. Do not stop screaming until someone nearby can hear. Whether someone may hear or none, try your best to free yourself from the attacker. Do not try to fight, instead run as far as you could until you reach a place with many people or your home. Upon reaching to a safe place, tell somebody about what had happened. Even if they disregard you at first, keep telling the truth or find someone who will believe you.

Family Info - Memorize parent's name and phone number. I do not recommend giving the complete home address even to someone who helped. In case the child is lost (God forbid again), let the finder contact you or a guardian and agree with a place to meet without letting the finder know that you bring someone with you, security personnel or someone you think that could take a fight. Hahaha funny but that's reality.

Buddy System - This is an arrangement which two people or buddies do things together while being able to monitor and take care of each other. Never be alone. Remind your kids to be always with someone you trust.

Honesty is the Best Policy - Do not skip this virtue. Always teach your kids to be honest and give truthful details. Teach them that making up stories or lies can make a person not trustworthy. For better understanding, read to them the fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and explain to them the moral lesson of the story.

Our kids mingle with many people every day and we parents are not always around. To lessen our anxiety, teaching our kids about Good Touch, Bad Touch can enable them to be strong and handle the mean events in life.

Feel free to share this awareness.

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