Are you singing the MC Hammer song yet?
The other day I wrote a post about how in my home we teach our children about body parts and their actual names… someone mentioned another blog about the same topic. However, in the other blog they mentioned touching and how when they tickle their kids and they say “stop” they stop. To me, this is so very important so I thought I too would write a little post.
I cringe every time I see a parent push their kids to hug or kiss a relative, friend or anyone else when they clearly do not want to, then tell them that nobody should touch them if it makes them uncomfortable. Especially for younger children that is just way too confusing, and that is one of the main reasons we never force our kids to engage in any physical contact with anyone when they do not want to. When my kids say no hug, kiss or whatever, that means no. Sure I sometimes get a little sad when I go to give one of my twinadoes a kiss and I get the “not right now mama”, but I respect their choice. That’s just how we roll in my home.
As we all know it’s not just strangers that inappropriately touch children, sadly, it is sometimes the people they love and trust. For this reason I listen to my children and do not force any touching they do not want (except for the dreaded shots and other necessary times). No, I don’t look at every person that comes near my kids as a pervert just waiting to molest my children, but I am aware that it can happen.
If we are telling our kids they have to accept the hugs and kisses from friends and family even when they don’t want to then it seems like the door is left a little too open for more unwanted situations. Their bodies are THEIR bodies, just like mine is MINE. If I don’t want to be touched I say no and they deserve the same choice.
There is no way I can be with my children 24/7 so there will be times I trust them with other people. That list of people is VERY small and you can say I’m a little too protective and should lighten up, but those words will fall on deaf ears. These are my children, the most important people in the world to me and I will always raise them in a way that I feel is best. I get that there are people that will entrust these little treasures with whomever is available, cheapest or closest in proximity but I just can’t do that. Luckily, I don’t have to.
What we can all do is give our children a voice. Let them know that their feelings and opinions matter, especially in the matter of touching. So many times we tell our children to just listen to us and do what we say, but there are times when we need to let them say “no”. Let them know their bodies have restrictions and boundaries that other people must respect. Back them up when they feel uncomfortable and want to say “no” so they have the confidence to do it even when you are not right next to them. This my friends is something I feel very strongly about.