a really serious -- and difficult - question...

Jenny - posted on 09/22/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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as a child, i was sexually abused by two different people, one of whom was also a child. i want my children to understand that "good touch, bad touch" is not something that is only received, it is also something given. as they get older, i believe they need to be told more than simply "if someone touches where your bathing suit touches, it's not ok", because the abuse SO MUCH MORE than touching inappropriately. we're about to have our first child, a baby boy, and i'm wondering if i should talk to him when the time comes, or if it's something my husband should do. part of me says my husband should, because he's a fellow male, but then there's the part of me that says "i'm the one who's been through it, i'm the one who should explain to him"... it's also vitally important to me that my son knows very clearly how he should or should not act with other people in this area. as i said, abuse is not simply received, it can also be given. i want to teach my children how NOT to abuse in any way.
all of this to say: how do i deal with this with my children? how do i help them understand about abuse without being explicit? how do i help them understand that just because someone's an adult, doesn't mean you have to let it happen? i desperately want my children to know they are safe, but we don't live in a safe world...

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Marcia - posted on 09/22/2009

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First off congratulations on expecting your little boy:)

I'm very sorry for your experience - this should never happen to anyone!



I'm not too sure if this would help, but perhaps talking to a child psychologist to get their advice on this might be the wisest approach. Perhaps there is a College or University near by where you can get this advice freely?

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Tiffany - posted on 09/23/2009

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I have two boys and went through sexual abuse myself also. I had the same worries, but i think that if you are open with them from an early age about things that is the best way to protect them. I have been very open with my boys about things. I also worry because my older son is very attached to men he just meets. that is our other battle. Showing him that not everyone is safe and he cant try to attach himself to them because it is inappropriate.

Natessa - posted on 09/23/2009

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talk to him as a couple this way he knows that he can go to both of you no matter what the situation is I am a mother of 4 boys and we talk about things with them together because I want them to know that even though I am not a guy Ithey can come to me too with any problem they have

Lauren - posted on 09/23/2009

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Congratulations on your little boy, but hon, don't stress yourself out over this already! You have years ahead of you before you need to even consider broaching the situation. Remember that humans by nature are curious. Your son will want answers when he sees that his female cousin is not endowed with the same gifts. His way of finding them may be to physically touch her to see if he can understand the difference. He is not malicious in his intent, but purely acting on instinct. It is at that point you should explain to him about what you call 'good touching v bad touching'. You don't need to go too far in depth, or to scold him and make him feel dirty for simply following his young curiosity. Neatly explain the difference between a boy and girl and be stern in telling him that touching in those 'private places' is not acceptable. Remember to keep in mind that above all, he is a child. An ignorant child. Children do not understand the world and rules of sex at that age. They do not see that touching as abuse, but simply a way to find answers. I understand your need to educate and protect, but perhaps you should wait until he's a teenager to express your concerns of explicit abuse.

Maggie - posted on 09/22/2009

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So I thought I would try to give you some good advice...Since I had the same thing happen to me as a child as had happened to you... and I now have three children...two girls and a boy!!! I know for starters... people that have been abused in there lifetime tend to be oversensitive to situations when it comes to there own children....

I have learned with my kids and other kids that they are curiouse about boy parts and girl parts...but they know that touching of eachother is not appropriate...and we do go over bad touch's and good touch's and we make sure to tell them that NO means NO....Especially when it comes to things like that..... You don't have to go into a lot with your children to make them understand....and if you need help with the subject then ask the pediatrician how to go about the discussion.... good luck with that and good luck with the little one...

Amii - posted on 09/22/2009

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possibly speaking to someone professional could be a good idea because children always pick up on your tensions and this would be a very stressfull topic for you to discuss. This way you will be able to get the right message across without causing your child to be stressed about the issue. It is a subject I have struggled with at times, I am terified of something like this happening to my babies. Good luck

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