How to talk to your child about inappropriate touching
Inappropriate Touching of another Child JR.
Should I be concerned about a 9 year old girl putting her hand down the pants of a 5 year old girl? This has only happened once but the 5 year old said that she was held down even after telling the 9 year old to stop. The 5 year old does not seem to be disturbed but the parents are concerned as these two children periodically spend time together.
How do we approach this subject with the 9 year old without accusing her? Read 7 Responses. Follow - 1. Kevin Kennedy, Ph. Dear JR, Yes, you should be concerned. You are assuming the behavior occurred only one time - all you know for sure is that it was reported on one occasion.
6 Signs Your Child Has Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors
Address the matter with your daughter in a calm, clear, straightforward manner. Tell her that you understand she touched this other girl in the manner you learned about be specific with her about the particulars. Don't ask her if she did this if you have no reason to believe otherwise - it will only invite a denial and veer you off course. Let her know that such touching is inappropriate, all the more so if she was aggressive and forced herself on the other come preparare le prime pappe. But, even if there was no coercion, the behavior was still not reasonable.
Tell her this is not to occur again. Also, ask her about the circumstances under which the behavior occurred, to see what you can learn about it.
In the course of all this, ask her about any situations during which she may have been touched in an inappropriate manner. If you look in your local library or bookstore, you will find resources to help you talk with your daughter about this subject.
Since I typed this question last night I have spoken to the mother of the 5 year old. She feels it was blown out of proportion as to how this situation was brought to my attention. She does feel that it should not happen again but does not feel the 5 year old is afraid of the 9 year old. She also feels that it my have been a hug type situation and being the 5 year old is much smaller than the 9 year old that she may have grabbed her rear.
We will discuss this with the 9 year old and will try to see IF she may have been touched inappropriately by someone. Others that I spoke to say it is normal for kids to touch eachother and I actually recall a girl touching me when I was about the same age.
I didnt think anything of it but I DO remember it. Thanks for your comments. Remember this is not something you should take lightly.As adults, we are more than ready to fully embrace young people as curious and innocent. Sadly, we are forced to take another look at a youth who is engaging in sexually maladaptive behaviors such as peeping, inappropriate touching, frequent self-stimulation in public or open spaces, watching porn, or sexually violating their peers.
Most of these behaviors are the result of a youth being abused, witnessing a traumatic experience, or lack of supervision in the home. As a therapist, I have seen my fair share of sexually inappropriate behaviors in more children and adolescents than I would like to see. When I first started as a child and adolescent therapist some odd years ago, the last thing I thought was that I would be getting a referral for services from another mental health agency seeking help for sexually maladaptive behaviors for young people under the age of My first case involved a 6-year-old boy who was engaging in self-stimulation throughout the day, peeping on the adults in the home, and watching porn.
We all understand that youngsters are naturally curious about the reproductive system and sexually related topics. It is quite normal for young children to explore their bodies, ask questions, or be curious about the human body. Children and adolescents with problematic sexual behavior often do not stop the behavior when told, and their knowledge is clearly beyond their developmental level. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Networksexually maladaptive behaviors frequently involve other children, including younger children, siblings, or friends.
The behavior interferes with typical childhood interests and activities. Children with sexually maladaptive behaviors almost always exhibit other behavioral problems such as impulsivity and inattentiveness, oppositional behaviors or conduct problems stealing, lying, cheating, etcdifficulty in following rules and respecting boundaries, and emotional difficulties. Even more, these youngsters also may have been traumatized in some fashion and are acting out sexually. Other kids are acting out the abuse they have experienced or even witnessed.
This is why it is very important that children and adolescents who are exhibiting sexually inappropriate behaviors see a therapist so that they can explore the reasons for their behaviors. I must also add that some sexually inappropriate behaviors have no explanation. In cases such as these, specialized treatment should be pursued. For many parents, it is very difficult to acknowledge sexually maladaptive behaviors SMB in their children.
As a result, I have listed six signs that a child needs treatment:. When the above behaviors are observed, it is important to talk to the child about the inappropriateness of these behaviors and seek to incorporate safety precautions within the home to reinforce appropriate boundaries.
For example, a family that I once worked with had a child who exhibited inappropriate sexual behaviors and there were siblings in the home. For families that might find putting cameras in the home an act they would rather avoid, they should look to incorporate behavior modification techniques that help the child develop appropriate behaviors.
They should seek out a therapist who can guide them.
It is also important to know when it is time to consider out-of-home treatment options. To learn more about these options, visit my personal website: AnchoredinKnowledge. John Hopkins University. Knowing when to seek treatment. John Hopkins Medicine. Southwood Psychiatric Hospital. Sexually maladaptive signs and symptoms. Behavioral Treatment.
Understanding and coping with sexual behavior problems in children.Jump to navigation. Experience has taught us that actions by adults can be more effective than expecting kids to protect themselves from sexual abuse. Clear communication is a cornerstone of effective prevention. Make sure other adults and older children understand the expectations kids will have of them and how their cooperation will help keep kids safe. When talking with kids about child sexual abuse, use examples and situations that make that reality clear.
If that ever happens, be sure to tell Mom or Dad or another adult you trust so that we can help that person learn the rules. Sometimes we unintentionally confuse kids by insisting they hug Grandma even when they don't want to, or by saying"Do whatever the babysitter tells you to do. When children tell us they don't want to hug and kiss everyone at a family gathering, support them by helping them find another way to show respect to family members such as shaking hands, high fives, saying goodbye.
Model saying "no" and assure your children that their "no" will be respected. When talking with children about touch, remember that sexual touch can be very confusing. In a strictly physical sense, sexual touch can feel good and for a victim of sexual abuse, this can create more shame and confusion about the situation.
Your body is yours and yours alone and you always have a right to say no to someone.
Talking to a Child About Appropriate and Inappropriate Touching
Some people who sexually abuse children use tricks or bribes to keep kids from telling. The abusive person might promise a gift or allow a forbidden privilege; or they might tell the child that it is their fault or that no one will believe them, or that if the child tells anyone they will hurt their family or pet, etc.
Children need to know that there are other adults in whom they can confide. Sometimes children are afraid that they will "get in trouble" if they tell their parents about something that happened.
This fear can be reinforced by the person who is harming them. Help your children to realize that there are other adults who can help them if they don't want to talk to Mom or Dad or if Mom or Dad is doing something that concerns them. Ask "If you don't feel comfortable talking to me about something, who else can you talk to? By initiating conversations about healthy sexual boundaries, by answering questions accurately and respectfully, by handling disclosures calmly and reassuringly, you send the message that you are someone your child or other children you care about can talk to even when something has already happened.
In more than 30 percent of child sexual abuse cases, a child is sexually harmed by someone under 18 years old, frequently by another child or adolescent who may not fully understand the impact of their actions. Most parents talk with their children about how to keep themselves safe from others who may sexually harm them. We also need to talk to our children about why it is so important for them not to harm others. Children are born as healthy sexual beings.
Just as they are curious about bugs, airplanes and animals, they will be curious about their bodies and other people's bodies. As parents, it is very helpful to be knowledgeable about healthy sexual development so we are able to tell the difference between expected behaviors and behaviors that may be cause for concern.
When you find your child exploring his or her own body or playing "doctor" with another child, calmly acknowledge what you've seen and set clear expectations. Now get dressed.Sometimes people can make us feel uncomfortable just by being around them.
Because this area can be confusing for many people, here are some examples of inappropriate touching:. When people think of child sexual abuse they often assume that intercourse had to have occurred; however, this is not true.
Unwanted touching such as groping and touching of private parts is considered child sexual abuse. Additionally, being subjected to pornography or forced to take nude photographs is child sexual abuse, as is oral and anal sex.
What children and their parents need to know is that abusers often start out with groping and inappropriate touching—coercing children into it. In fact, many children have been emotionally scarred for life by being touched by someone against their will. To learn about preventing child abuse and what steps to take if abuse has occurred, please order a copy of our free book, When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims.
Click here for a message concerning. Is inappropriate touching considered child sexual abuse?Maggie went to her very first sleepover a few weeks ago and I knew it was important to talk about inappropriate touching with her before she went.
To be honest, though, I really had no idea how to approach the subject of inappropriate touching and keeping private areas of her body private. I went in search of something to make this conversation a little bit easier and stumbled upon the book, I Said No! The reviews were good so I ordered it and anxiously awaited its arrival.
When it came, I first read the book myself. So, that is what I did, but I do appreciate the fact that it lets the parents make the ultimate decision. I sat down to read it to Maggie and my 4-year-old, Jacob, was just as eager to listen, so I let him as well. It was a great experience for both kids. I could tell they were paying attention and really grasping the material. My plan is to read it with them at least a few times a year. I want to keep the info fresh in their minds and I also want to make the conversation natural and normal to them.
Kudos to you Janessa for being such a proactive mother! You are absolutely on target with teaching your children at this age. I hope others reading your blog are encouraged to do the same! Thank you for sharing! Good idea to read her book like this. As I school counselor, I have used this book to discuss with elementary kids.
Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sharing is caring! Comments Kudos to you Janessa for being such a proactive mother! You are a such great mom it really inspired me. Thank you so much for sharing Janessa.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Sharing is Caring Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!Surveys show that as many as 1 in 4 children have suffered some sort of sexual abuse by the time they reach Statistics show that child sexual abuse crosses boundaries of race, class, culture, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, affecting all types of communities.
What can you do as a parent to help protect your child? Children today are around more adults on a daily basis than ever before. From childcare to sports practices to dance classes, not to mention camps and after-school programs, children are meeting and interacting with many adults on a daily basis.
And children even younger can begin to learn about their bodies. Joining me today to discuss talking to your kids about inappropriate touching is Steffi Benjamin of the National Center for Children and Families. The clinical definition of child sexual abuse is inappropriately exposing or subjecting a child to sexual contact, activity or behavior. The truth is, sexual abuse cuts across all cultural, racial and economic lines and in most cases the molester is someone the child knows. EVERY parent should be having this discussion with his or her children.
Children are not usually threatened by this information; they embrace it! Should you discover that your child has been inappropriately touched, as a parent it is the most important that you be an emotional support.
In order to support your child, it is important that you stay calm, listen and reassure your child, make sure your child is safe, and get help. There are several measures you can take to help both you and your child prevent it from happening. Make a choice today to sit down with your child and start a discussion. Remain open to their thoughts, questions and concern, and tell them that they should always speak up, ask questions and keep on talking until someone listens.
The key to prevention is knowledge.
Inappropriate Touching of another Child
Talk to your kids today and ensure a safe tomorrow! Inappropriate Touching Surveys show that as many as 1 in 4 children have suffered some sort of sexual abuse by the time they reach How can I approach the subject with my child? When you are ready to sit down and talk with your child, take the time to do it right. Talk to your child in a quiet place, away from distractions. Try to maintain physical contact during the discussion, either by holding hands or sitting together on the floor or the couch.
Keep in mind that you will probably have to have this discussion a number of times as your child gets older. Repeating your discussions every year will reinforce what they have learned and reintroduces points they may have forgotten. Use proper body names. By talking about genitals and age-appropriate sexual matters to children in a respectful manner, we stop teaching by exclusion that all these things are secret and not to be talked about.
One of the most important goals of having this conversation with your child is to let them know that they SHOULD speak up if something happens and should not be embarrassed or scared to talk about their own bodies or of your reaction.The pain, fear, and trauma they may experience at such a young age are frightening to consider.
Except your daughter has a 1 in 4 chance and your son has a 1 in 6 chance of being molested before the age of And these statistics are too high for any parent to risk staying uninformed about the reality of child sexual abuse and not talking to their child about it. Now, you can never protect your child fully from ever being molested. The idea of talking to your kid about sexual abuse probably seems worse than even talking to them about sex.
But given the statistics, your child is much more likely to be molested than to be hit by a car when crossing the street.
So try thinking of these conversations as being just as important and frankly more important given the statistics than teaching your child how to cross the road safely. Starting from a loving place and not a scared place will help create the calm environment for your child.
Even when parents try to hide their feelings, children are often very perceptive and pick up on small cues telling them that something is wrong. So speak from a calm, casual, and loving frame of mind when having these conversations. This may seem very early but children under 12 are most at risk at 4 years old. And they certainly understand and remember a lot more than adults usually realize.
For example, when giving a bath, tell them where their private parts are and that the parent is seeing and touching them to clean them but that normally nobody should.
In one case, a child told her parent that her stomach was hurting. When they took her to the doctor, he informed them that her vagina showed signs of rape. So she said stomach instead. You can also ask them what it feels like when someone is touching them their in order to keep it clean, safe, or healthy.
This will help them understand the difference between that type of touching and someone touching them sexually. And if someone does, they should tell you immediately.
This is an important step to help children develop a healthy sexuality before discussing sex itself with them. Instead, teach your child that their body is theirs and no one has the right to hurt their bodies even when a grown up is doing it.
It may be a parent, relative, family friend, neighbor, teacher, or religious leader. It may be a man, woman, or another child. It can be anyone. No one unfortunately is on the safe list. In fact, children are most vulnerable with the family members and acquaintances.
Many abusers tell their child victims that what happened was a secret and to not tell anyone, especially their parents.
Many abusers tell their victims that no one will believe them and create a sense of shame around what happened.