Tips for Parents

Here are some tips compiled from various sources on how to prevent child sexual abuse:

  • Tell children that if someone tries to touch their bodies in a way that makes them feel “funny” or “bad” to say no then go tell an adult they trust.
  • Talk to children every day about their contacts with other people. Ask them about their feelings. This helps to encourage your children to feel comfortable talking to you about anything.
  • Do not teach your children blind obedience to adults. Don’t teach children to do everything a baby-sitter or teacher tells them. Instead teach them that most adults are good people to be respected but that they should listen to their own hearts; tell them that it’s OK to say no to an adult if they want the child to do something they know is wrong.
  • Teach your children the correct names for their body parts, as well as any nicknames you might use. Take away the embarrassment children have about talking about “private parts”.
  • Teach children the difference between good touches and bad touches. Explain to them that while it is OK for a doctor to touch their stomach to see what’s wrong, it is not OK for Mr. Jones to touch them in their pants.
  • Teach your children not to keep secrets from you and don’t encourage secret keeping in your family. Tell your children that they can always tell you anything no matter what anyone tells them.
  • Play “what if ” games with your children. Create scary and/or confusing situations and ask children what they would do in these situations, for example ask, “What would you do if someone wanted you to play undressing games?” Make sure you balance these games with questions about good touches.