During our various forums with parents, we have come to one agreeable conclusion, it is very difficult to discuss sexuality with your younger child. As Kenyans and from a cultural perspective we were not socialized to handle sex talk.
Growing up most parents confess that they were exposed through many different sources, some solicited and some unsolicited and this ended up making sex talk a confusing and taboo topic. Some questions make parents want to swallow their tongue as they sweat and stammer to find the right answer; all while trying to maintain our children’s innocence.
I came across a wonderful resource that adults can use to talk to their children on sexual awareness of their bodies – THE UNDERWEAR RULE.
The Underwear Rule is a simple guide to help parents explain to children where others should not try to touch them, how to react and where to seek help. It’s simple: a child should not be touched by others on parts of the body usually covered by their underwear. And they should not touch others in those areas. It also helps explain to children that their body belongs to them, that there are good and bad secrets and good and bad touches.
Talking PANTS in the UNDERWEAR RULE teaches children important messages, like their body belongs to them and they should tell an adult if they’re upset or worried.
Privates are Privates
Always Remember your Body Belongs to You
No Means No
Talk about Secrets that Upset you.
Speak Up, Someone Can Help
Initially aimed at parents and carers of five to 11 year olds, the Underwear Rule was first developed by the Council of Europe and teaches children that their private parts are private, their body belongs to them, and that they should always tell an adult if they’re upset or worried.
Building on this, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) launched its Underwear Rule campaign in 2013 to encourage parents to have simple conversations with their children which can help to keep them safe from abuse across the United Kingdom.
One thing we like is that the rule enables you to have simple conversations at appropriate opportunities and without mentioning abuse or even sex.
Are you a Teacher, Mentor, Child Welfare Officer, Day-care Service Provider, Nanny, Camp Supervisor, Child Playground Supervisor, School Bus Driver/Conductor, Aunt, Uncle, Guardian? Please visit the following links and learn more:
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) website https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/underwear-rule/
- The Council of Europe website – http://www.underwearrule.org/Default_en.asp
*images in this article are from the NSPCC website.