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Teaching Children About Sexual Harassment and Assault

Photo by: iStock

I remember the day my son learned about sexual assault very clearly.

He was four years old. We had taken him to his regular annual doctors appointment. While we were there the doctor asked him if she could check his privates parts. Then she asked me if she could check them. She then went on to explain that she was asking his permission and my permission and since we had said okay, that’s the only reason she was looking.

I think I started seeing black dots and wanted to throw up when I realized-as a first time Mom- holy crap! This is something I have to teach him. This is my responsibility in life, along with my husband, of course. I suddenly felt like I was back to the week he was born, Just after my parents had left. Bawling my eyes out because how in the world could I take care of this little person?? I also felt the insane desire to protect him from all harm. I sincerely hadn’t given this topic a thought and suddenly the world seemed so dangerous, again.

We robotically left the doctor’s office and I texted my husband. Something full of curse words and asking him if we needed to talk to our son about this now. Would he even understand?

We decided it was probably a good time to start the conversation. Our pediatrician had begun it for us. So, we continued based upon what she said. At this juncture our son hadn’t left my side very much, other than grandparents and school two hours, two days a week he was with me. I highly doubt he understood much of what we said, but we kept talking about it. He was headed into school the next year. He would be around a lot more individuals of all ages and he needed to know.

As he ages we continue to discuss this. He’s much older now and we’ve gone beyond our original discussion of no one touching his private areas to that of not touching others as well. In light of the recent events I’ve found this information even more pertinent. We’ve even talked about rape and what exactly it entails. These certainly are not fun conversations and I hope I’m not screwing it all up.

My urges to protect him and his brother are still animalistic. Often times even my husband has to calm me about such events, but I cannot help myself. I want them to be safe. I want them to be kind to others and help protect those in need. Our world is far from perfect. When we receive emails from our school mentioning a pedophile trying to lure a child, I want to crumble and hide from all humans. Thankfully, the child knew better than to get in that car, but it could be so different. I can only hope my education will keep my children safe from harm. Arming them with knowledge is the least I can do as their mother.

If you’re looking for some books on this topic I would recommend the series called, It’s Not the Stork. The give a complete understanding of sexual education. You can find them by clicking on these words.

Sarah Jean is the mother of two boys and a part-time nanny. She loves to care for her children and others every day. Her previous experience as a nanny placement coordinator has given her much insight into the modern American family and their childcare needs. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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