Hello everyone! As I read the news of abuse against children, I became ashamed of our humanity and after a long time I decided to write again. Although it doesn’t sound very good, we unfortunately live in the same society with child abuse, which is one of today’s out-of-the-box issues, and the people (!) who commit this abuse. That’s why, dear parents, a great responsibility falls on you.
Privacy education has an important place in the development process of children at the age of 0-6. Because the foundation of human personality is laid in this period, which we call pre-school. Some parents leave privacy education to advanced ages by saying it is still early or a child, but this is a wrong idea. Because giving this education is important for the mental and sexual protection of the child. “Private area education”, which we call privacy education, includes the knowledge that the child is aware of himself and other people’s privacy, protecting his own private space, respecting the privacy of other people, drawing healthy boundaries between himself and his environment, and having the freedom to say no to any unwanted touch and request.
So who should provide this training? What are the situations and behaviors to be considered while giving this training? At what age exactly should children be taught privacy?
Let’s continue like this:
• It is appropriate to give privacy education to children naturally in daily life without causing fear and anxiety.
• From the age of two, the child can be gradually explained to the child by his/her mother or father about the private parts of the body and the need to hide these parts. However, if there is a choice to make in this case, it would be more appropriate to give this education by the mother.
• In order for the child to protect his/her privacy/private area, it is necessary to define this area accurately and carefully for the child. These regions; It occurs between the lips, breasts, buttocks and legs.
• With these areas being hidden from others, the child should be taught that in case of need, only the mother, father, and the child should not be seen or touched by anyone other than the doctor as long as they are accompanied by their parents. Regardless of the gender of the child, he should not be alone in an environment with a foreign adult (even if this is his doctor), one of the parents must be in the room.
• It is important for the emotional development of the child to use the word “private” instead of words such as “shame, sin, forbidden” while giving privacy education to children.
• In cases where the parents touch the child, they should approach the child by explaining the reason and obtaining permission. This behavior will contribute to the formation of the child’s own body image, as well as gain the ability to protect and say no.
• Parents or relatives should avoid making jokes about private areas while petting or playing with children. Special areas should be treated very sensitively and meticulously.
• Children should be taught that if their parents’ or siblings’ room is closed, they should enter the room by knocking on the door and getting permission. The best way to teach is, of course, to be a role model. Therefore, knocking on the door of the child and getting permission while entering the room will provide a good learning for the child. Because that room is a private area and permission is taken to enter private areas.
• Not dressing children in front of others from a young age and taking them to another room while changing their diapers makes them feel that you respect the privacy of the child. It is not right to dress and undress the child in front of others, thinking “he is younger, he does not know, he does not understand, or this uncle, that aunt is not a stranger”. Especially starting from the age of three or four, washing the child with underwear regardless of gender, trying not to look at that area as quickly as possible while changing the laundry, and making them feel that you respect their privacy will contribute to the development of a sense of privacy in children.
• While toilet training is given, the child should be told to be alone in the toilet as a part of the training and not to use the toilet in a way that others can see.
• In order for your child to share this incident with you in the event of a possible abuse, you must first be able to establish a healthy communication with him. The rigid attitude exhibited by the desire to establish authority over the child; It breaks communication between parent and child. In order for your children to come to you without fear or embarrassment, you should show them a warm and sincere approach, not a rigid one.
• Children should be told that they should not hesitate to protest, shout, run away or seek help when their privacy is violated. Children should be encouraged to share situations in which they feel threatened to their privacy with their parents or a trusted adult. When such a situation is told, one should listen carefully and never use words such as “it seems that way to you, you misunderstood it, he will not do it that way”. Because this attitude makes your child think that you don’t believe him or that you belittle this situation. You should tell him that you understand him and that he may have felt bad about it, but you will handle it. And you should thank your child for sharing this situation with you. You should only talk to the person or person whose name is mentioned, with a serious attitude, and underline that this situation should not happen again, you should inform him that you will be a follower of the issue.
Every behavior we want to teach our children, we, as adults, must first practice and set an example. The best way of providing all kinds of value education, including privacy, will only be possible by being a role model.
Child Don’t Touch My Body!