The earlier the easier, the later the harder! Let go of the shame and have an honest conversation with your child
I have been writing public account for 7 years, and I have found a phenomenon that parents always ask questions about "sexual enlightenment", "safety education" and "death education", not often, but always.
Important indeed is important, but usually nothing, and will not remember, so if there is no sudden negative news, specially wrote this kind of article, the reading volume is generally not high, even very low.
Once the news broke, people immediately went into a state of "anxiety" and "anger".
For example, there was a news report "a 10-year-old boy molested a 5-year-old girl in a bookstore and was caught by surveillance". The incident was probably that the boy reading in the bookstore touched the private parts of the girl nearby and asked the girl to touch him...
The girl's parents went to say in anger, the boy's parents also defended that the girl was voluntary...
Comments at the time said everything:
Kids touching each other is not a big deal...
10 years old so "rogue", unexpectedly also said what voluntary...
Any parent who sees this kind of news will, of course, immediately assume the role of "victim". Oh, my God! My children (especially my daughter) should not come across this kind of thing.
We must all think that we need to teach our children to "protect" themselves, but it's easy to forget that children aren't completely, always "passive" when it comes to the subject of sex.
Boys may be sexually curious, ask questions, and even engage in certain behaviors; Girls will, too, and 100% of the time.
If not guided correctly, it is likely to appear "active do something" or "passive did not resist" the situation.
These are natural
My parents grew up avoiding the topic of sex.
Everyone's sexual enlightenment begins at a few years old, where the knowledge is coming from, it can be colorful, colorful......
So when we are parents, we may have overlooked a problem, about sexual awareness and behavior, in fact, is innate, every child in the process of growing up, will naturally happen, boys and girls alike.
The general development process is as follows:
0 ~ 2 YEARS OLD: MAY TOUCH THEIR PRIVATE PARTS, ACTUALLY IS EVERYWHERE TOUCH, FEEL COMFORTABLE, TO BARE THE BODY HAS NO sense of shame.
Around age 2: Children begin to realize that there are gender differences between boys (males) and girls (females) in terms of physical appearance. For example, mom has long hair; Dad has a beard (though it's all gender stereotypes).
Before the age of 3: the onset of gender identity, that is, the spontaneous saying that they are a boy or a girl, this is the first time that a child identifies as a boy or a girl.
2-4 years old: May play with private parts and so on.
They are curious about their own and other people's bodies, want to watch their parents shower or go to the bathroom, and ask questions like "Where do I come from, and why do boys have penises and girls don't?"
Children may explore each other's bodies through play, activities and play.
4 ~ 5 years old: After gender identity, there will be a very strong stage of gender expression, want to tell everyone their "gender".
4 to 6 years old: NOT only will they deliberately touch private parts with their hands, but they may also touch and rub with objects. Some children will even use their fingers or other objects to penetrate private parts, urethra or anus (but only occasionally).
At this time, curiosity about the body will be further enhanced, may want to see others naked, touch the mother's breasts.
Friends and classmates sometimes use "vulgar" terms to talk about private parts.
They may also imitate adults by saying things like "I'm going to date a partner" or "I'm going to marry my parents when I grow up" to show interest in the topic and how much I like someone.
6-7 years: When the child has a relatively strong gender identity, you will notice that the "stubbornness" you have been displaying will gradually diminish.
For example, girls are finally willing to wear pants, and boys are willing to play dolls with girls.
Because they start to feel confident, most people identify with their gender in this way, without the need for extra emphasis.
▲ Picture version, you can save
After reading these, do you suddenly feel that, ah, a lot of circumstances have happened in my home, so think about it, the news in front of the thing, is also within the development range, there are possible problems.
But as a parent, I absolutely, absolutely do not want my child to encounter the kind of problems in the news. I don't want to be "bullied" and I don't want to "bully" anyone. What can I do about it?
The four foundations of passive protection
Let's start with passive protection.
When you're young, you say, "Don't talk about that," and when you get to puberty, you suddenly say, "Let's talk about sex." That certainly can't, even if you want to say, the child may not be willing to listen to you, because for a long time your attitude, has let the child shut the door to talk with you about the relevant issues.
Sex education is a part of family education that starts at birth and never ends. The most important message it sends to children is that their parents are always ready to listen to you and can count on you if there are any questions or problems.
1. Start talking to your child about body parts early
Teaching children to recognize their body parts is not only a cognitive development, but also a part of body protection. From changing a diaper, take the opportunity to tell your child the names of private parts.
If you can't call your private parts by their names, say "private parts" instead of the verbal "this, that."
Only when children know the correct name of each part of their body can they better protect themselves. And when they do, they're better able to tell adults where they're at risk, and better able to seek help.
2. Teach your children the concept of privacy
Tell your child that private parts are called "private" because they are not meant to be seen by others. This is the concept of "private".
Parents are allowed to watch because they are helping their children get dressed or bathe, but no one else is.
There are exceptions in some cases. For example, when doctors examine their bodies, they need to be accompanied by their parents so that others can see their private parts.
Can't see, is a very simple concept, when the child accepted, we should pay attention to expand;
Private parts that can't be seen, touched, talked about, photographed, etc.
Whether the person is a stranger, or know someone; Adults or children; Even relatives, teachers and so on, in addition to themselves and parents, are not allowed;
Privacy is a two-way street, your own and others', "protect your own privacy" and "respect others' privacy".
When the child begins to feel that we are respecting her privacy, we should start teaching the child to "respect other people's privacy".
The simplest example is when the child is young, the mother wants to go to the bathroom to take a bath, but we should gradually tell the child, "Mom goes to the bathroom is the mother's privacy, if the baby sees the door is closed, he needs to knock and ask if he can come in."
Just as important as privacy is "setting your own boundaries," teaching your child that her body is her own and that she has the right to decide who can touch it, including her parents.
The concept of "boundaries" is very abstract and vague, and not easy for adults to understand.
Little D loved blowing bubbles, so when she was 2 1/2 years old, I introduced the bubble metaphor. "D, do you think these bubbles are transparent? Transparent means almost invisible. We all have an invisible bubble inside our bodies." .
At this time, I will get up to show small D to see my "invisible bubbles", I will open the feet than shoulder width, hands open stretched to the sky, "look, mother hands and feet open place is connected to the mother's bubbles".
"The space inside the bubble, including your body, is your own, and anyone trying to 'pop' your bubble is not allowed if you don't want to."
With boundaries, you can distinguish between "safe contact" and "unsafe" contact that you may encounter in the future.
Safe contact is what children are willing to accept, such as hugs and handshakes from parents, teachers and partners.
On the contrary, children feel ostracized, such as being hugged and kissed by strangers, these are unsafe contact.
In every different social culture and every different family environment, the range of "safe and unsafe" exposure can really be different, and every child's personality is different, so it is important to respect the child's own feelings.
4. Trust and help
If a child mentions this kind of problem, the parents will be "frightened", and the child will not dare to communicate with them again, which may lead to the loss of parental protection.
This is why, we continue to emphasize, to make these topics daily, household, do not deliberately avoid, more do not show disgust, abandon.
Let children believe that their parents will always be supportive and trustworthy, and that they will be the first to tell them about any physical or privacy issues.
Also can agree with the child a "security password", only parents and children know, in any case, if the child says this password, parents will be aware of, there is a security threat, to deal with immediately.
If after reading the above, you still find it difficult, then you may as well use the power of books. I have put together a special list of books for children and parents to read 👇
The correct guidance of active development
Now let's review whether the first "scary" news event could have been avoided if we had laid the foundation of the above four points for our children from an early age.
But passive defense alone is not enough.
No one "harasses" the child will also take the initiative to develop interest in sex, even behavior.
We should first take the initiative to popularize science, such as "where do children come from" and "why do men and women's bodies differ", from around the age of 2, we can take the initiative to teach children with picture books, animations, etc. (the above book list has been shared, will not repeat).
In addition to active science, I also found the American Academy of Pediatrics, 3 to 6 years old children, the daily life of some occasional, seems to be related to sex, but belong to the normal behavior, you compare:
Touching your private parts in a public or private setting
Observing/touching the private parts of peers or siblings; Touching the private parts of someone other than your age (e.g., Mom's breasts)
Show your peers your private parts
He likes to stick close to others when standing or sitting down
Hold the other person and twist your body
To imitate the act of kissing (a peer or other object, such as a doll)
The most important thing here is not to be surprised and to be comfortable with "normal." Check these two things:
1. It is accidental and does not form a fixed rule
2, did not cause harm to others, did not lead to a strong reaction.
As long as these two points are excluded, the parents find the above behavior can be regarded as general behavior, remind the children to pay attention to hygiene, and emphasize again the four basic issues of privacy, boundaries and respect for others, etc.
Of course, there is normal there is "abnormal", if the following behavior is observed, it is necessary to be highly vigilant, parents should further observe, and to the child to ask clear, is there any abnormal events, if necessary, you can seek medical treatment or seek professional help.
Ask peers or adults to observe and touch private parts together, etc. (Note that this is an active request)
Put a foreign object in a private area
When hugging a peer, touch or caress their private parts
Touch your pet/animal's genital organs
There are similar expressions of sexual behavior every day
A change in mood (e.g., anger, frustration) occurs each time after similar behavior
Similar behavior after pain
Similar behavior is prevented, showing anger and even aggression
As parents, we are all somewhat afraid of the word "sex." In fact, we can put it into one word, and that word is "nature."
To guide the natural things naturally is the best protection for precious life.
May we all cherish the nature of our children and, with it, find our own.
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