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Did you know that November is Child Safety and Protection month?

Date: November 5, 2013 Categories: Blog

Although child safety campaigns for this month are generally geared toward household safety and injury prevention, we can pause to review important tips regarding sexual safety and education.

The Good Men Project recently featured an article describing age-appropriate discussions and behaviors for parents to demonstrate with their children. “The Healthy Sex Talk: Teaching Kids Consent, Ages 1-21,” was created with the hope that “parents and educators find this list of action items and teaching tools helpful, and that together we can help create a generation of children who have less rape and sexual assault in their lives.”

The authors of this article believe that education can start as early as one year old. The guidelines are separated into three age groups- very young children, older children and teens/young adults. Here are some of the guidelines listed in the article:

For ages 1-5: 

  •  Teach children to ask permission before touching or embracing a playmate. Use language such as, “Sarah, let’s ask Joe if he would like to hug bye-bye.” If Joe says “no” to this request, cheerfully tell your child, “That’s okay, Sarah! Let’s wave bye-bye to Joe and blow him a kiss.”

For ages 5-12:

  • Teaching kids that the way their bodies are changing is great, but can sometimes be confusing. The way you talk about these changes—whether it’s loose teeth or pimples and pubic hair—will show your willingness to talk about other sensitive subjects.

For Teens and Young Adults:

  • Education about “good touch/bad touch” remains crucial, particularly in middle school. This is an age where various “touch games” emerge: butt-slapping, boys hitting one another in the genitals and pinching each other’s nipples to cause pain. When kids talk about these games, a trend emerges where boys explain that they think the girls like it, but the girls explain that they do not.  We must get kids talking about the ways in which these games impact other people. They will try to write it off, but it’s important to encourage them to talk it through, and ask them how they would feel if someone hit them in that way, or did something that made them feel uncomfortable or violated.
For the full article with all of the guidelines, click here.