Is there an age when this distressing yet increasingly important subject needs to be discussed with our children?
Going by the newspaper reports and what we hear around us, the sooner we start and teach our kids to recognize good and bad touch, the better. We cannot be around them all the time to protect them, therefore the need for us to make them aware, tough and self-reliant to take on the big bad world.
Though even home today is not as secure as it used to be, once the kids step out, they are exposed to a number of people in the routine which they follow during the course of the day. What happens to them in seemingly secure environment / surroundings like, school, school bus, playground etc. cannot be taken for granted.
The kids need to be sensitized at a relatively young age. Any change in the child’s demeanor or behavior should not be taken lightly. But a gentle probing conversational approach would help in their opening up and sharing their concerns. The other important aspect which we should drill home is that whatever happens they have to always tell the parents first. We must be their first port of call whenever they face a problem. This is especially true for young kids but would be an ideal approach for kids off all age groups.
The longer they consider us as their friends better are the chances of them sharing their problems with us.