What is Privacy?
Privacy is often confused with the concept of sexuality. Sexuality is about sexual identity. Privacy, on the other hand, is the awareness of one’s own and other people’s private spaces and territories. It is also about respecting the privacy of the other person and expecting to be respected. Privacy is being an individual and protecting the privacy of the private. Although privacy is associated with protecting sexual areas in our culture, it is a more general concept. It is a concept that families need to focus on sensitively, especially in recent times. So when should privacy education be given?
How old and how should privacy education be given?
Privacy education is important for the child’s self-protection. Especially in young children, there is no awareness of private space. Building this awareness is critical. You can teach privacy both directly and through observation. It would be more appropriate to teach by observation in young children because receptive language skills can make the subject difficult to understand. You can turn the teaching of privacy-related topics into an opportunity during the day.
You can start privacy education in your own room or with your child’s private areas. You can ask your child to knock on the door as they enter your bedroom. In this way, you can tell that people have private areas by informing them that they have private areas. If you do the same, you will show that you respect your child and accept him or her as an individual. You become a model for him, which is a very effective method for young children.
We actually set limits in privacy education. We draw boundaries for what is ours or what we want to protect. We set limits to protect the toys, things we love, or ourselves. The most important thing is the limits we set for our body and soul. When we cannot protect our belongings, it is relatively easy to replace them or to fix them if they are damaged. Therefore, in privacy education, minimum attention should be paid to the privacy of the body and soul.
Children are more vulnerable than adults. The situation does not change, both in daily life and in the virtual environment. Recently, children’s spending more time in the virtual environment and the lack of control increases the possibility of children being harmed. At the age of 3-4, you should set the limits for touching with your child. Identify areas that should never be touched. These areas are the lips, chest, between the legs and buttocks. Not for simple situations like wiping the mouth of trusted persons, but should not allow any other kind of touching. It should be explained that even you should get permission when he gets a little older.
Another method used to determine the private areas is the “underwear rule”. In this rule, your child can be told that the areas where the underwear is in are areas that should not be touched. These areas should not be allowed to be touched by others. He himself should never touch these parts of others.
Good touch and bad touch should be explained. First of all, it should be clarified that there is no good or bad touch for any stranger. Touches by mother, father and sibling are generally good touches. You should be more careful with the outside. It’s not enough just to be wary of the outside. When the child encounters such a situation, he should have the comfort to tell people he can trust. Even if your child comes up with such a claim about someone close to the family, approaching him with an attitude like “I can’t be bothered” will make your child feel “not to be believed”. Even if there is no such thing, he may not want to tell when it happens. Therefore, do not cut off the information from your child, give him the opportunity to explain. Try to evaluate the situation without extrajudicial execution for the other party.
By the age of 6-7, your child should be able to take his own bath if possible. If he can’t, at least give him the opportunity to clean the genitals himself. Children go to the toilet with their parents when they are little and this can become a habit. When he grows up, it should be explained that he has to go to the toilet alone and that he should do the cleaning himself, and he should be encouraged in this regard.
Privacy education should be done gently, without blaming, humiliating, judging, without prejudice. It is important that the family provides privacy education. These trainings have also started to be given in new schools. These are very useful tutorials. However, the privacy education that the family will give and the model behaviors during the day are more effective than many trainings.
You may not be with your child every second. You should ensure that your child acquires the skills to protect himself/herself in school and social life. Here, most of the work falls on the family. You should protect your child not only physically but also mentally and you should ensure that he or she protects him.