In class, Sam and Opal have been helping us develop personal safety skills using Talking About Touching: A Personal Safety Curriculum. This program teaches children skills that will help them keep safe from dangerous or abusive situations. Your child will also learn how to ask for help when they need it.
Recently, we have been learning that there are three kinds of touch:
Safe touch. These are touches that keep you safe and are good for your body. They make you feel cared for, loved and important. Safe touches include hugging, holding hands, pats on the back, and arm around the shoulder and a shot from the doctor.
Unsafe touch. These are touches that are not good for your body and either hurt your body or your feelings (for example, hitting, pushing, pinching, kicking, biting and touching the private parts of your body).
Unwanted touch. These may be safe touches, yet the child doesn’t want to be touched in that way, by that person, or at that moment in time. It is okay for a child to say “No” to unwanted touches. Children can say “No” to any unwanted touch, even if the person touche them is someone they know. Help your child practice saying “No” in an assertive yet polite voice. This practice helps children learn how to set personal boundaries for keeping themselves safe.
During the next week, the children will learn the Touching Rule: A bigger person should not touch your private body parts except to keep you clean and healthy. They will learn that private body parts are “those parts covered by a swimsuit.” It is recommended that you teach your child at home the correct anatomical name for private body parts so that, if necessary, he or she is able to communicate accurately about any touch questions or problems that arise.
Following the lessons concerning the Touching Rule, the children will learn Safety Steps that will guide them to know what to do if someone breaks the Touching Rule.
Say words that mean “No.”
Tell a grown-up.
Another valuable lesson we will explore in the coming weeks is that it is never a child’s fault if someone breaks the touching rule. Children need to be able to identify adults to talk to, both inside and outside the family, since they may not always be available.
Encourage your child to come to you if he or she has questions about using the Touching Rule or Safety Steps.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding Talking About Touching: A Personal Safety Curriculum, be sure to email me, Ms. Heidi, or come visit me at school.