The Other Talk
Maggie is only 6 and although we’ve had discussions about how babies come out of their mommy’s belly, we have yet to have the talk about how exactly they get in there in the first place. I don’t think she’s ready for that quite yet. Maggie went to her very first sleepover a few weeks ago and I knew it was something important we needed to discuss before then. 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. It’s not like that’s an everyday conversation you have with your kids, you know?
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 it’s arrival. When it came, I first read the book myself. It was JUST what I was wanting. It wasn’t too scary or graphic but it also got the point across. The book discussed different scenarios that your child might encounter, what was right/wrong, how to react in certain situations, etc.. It also let’s the parent decide what words/terms they’d like to use for each child’s private areas. Now, I’ve heard that really it’s best to use the correct terms so there is no confusion (For example, child goes up to teacher and says that another child keeps touching her cookie — if that’s the pet name you use for her vagina, the teacher is not going to know that.) so that is what I did, but I do appreciate the fact that it let’s the parents make the ultimate decision.
I sat down to read it with 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 honestly wish I’d done this sooner. I could tell they were paying attention and really grasping the material. It wasn’t uncomfortable or hard for them to understand what I was talking about.
I’ve read it with my children a few times now and I know they have a firm understanding of it. I can’t tell you how much better I feel knowing that they know what kind of touching is and is not appropriate. I hope they never find themselves in a bad situation, but I feel much better knowing I’ve prepared them. 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.
I wanted to share my experience with all of you because I’m sure many of you are at this same stage in parenting. The sad fact of the matter is that sexual abuse is usually at the hands of people or peers that your child trusts, and I want to do everything I can to protect my little ones, I’m sure you do too!