Body Safety For Kid: How Can I Promote Body Safety If I’m Not The Parent Of A Child

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How can I promote body safety if I’m not the parent of a child but I’m around children for work or as part of my family?

Body Safety For Kid: How Can I Promote Body Safety If I’m Not The Parent Of A Child

While it may not be our ‘place’ to sit a child down and talk about body safety, we can certainly use common situations to communicate the importance of privacy and respect for others.
Take for example:

1. Kids using the bathroom

Sometimes when they’re young they forgot to shut the door, or another child is knocking on the door (this is apparently “funny” sometimes with kids).
“Let me close the door for you to give you privacy while you use the bathroom.”
“Please give so-and-so some privacy. When people are in the bathroom they should have privacy, right?”

2. Kids horsing around tackling each other etc.

A child says ‘stop it’ but the friend doesn’t stop.
“Sorry guys, so-and-so said stop and it’s really important to listen to people and stop what we’re doing when we’re treating them a way that they don’t like. How we treat other people is very important.”

3. You witness an family member being impatient or insensitive to a child.

“I’m sorry that so-and-so spoke to you that way. I can see that you’re feeling hurt, and I would feel hurt too if someone spoke to me like that. Sometimes adults, even though they’re much older do not act appropriately. Even though you’re still a child, you always deserve to be treated with respect, and if anyone ever treats you in a way that is wrong, please know that you can talk to me about it.?

4. Your grandchild is being told to hug you, but it’s clear they are uncomfortable.

“That’s ok, bud. I don’t need a hug. Can I get a hi-five or a fist-bump?”
Remember body safety is not just about teaching kids the rules about what is appropriate and inappropriate and that they should tell, it’s also about establishing a culture where we adults support children – their right to be treated properly and the importance of treat others with respect. To show appreciation and concern for their feelings, setting a standard so that when someone doesn’t treat them respectfully, it will feel wrong to them – not ‘normal’.
No child should feel that being treated with disrespect or disregard for their feelings and body is acceptable. Each day in little ways we can make a long term impact that will nurture and empower them.

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