Teaching children about “sexual abuse”


Dr. Rajan Bhonsle

Pronounced as India’s best sex therapist by India Today, Prof. Dr. Rajan Bhonsle, MD, is a senior sex therapist and counselor from Mumbai, practicing for over 35 years.

An anxious mother called me once. She was disturbed to see her four-year-old daughter playing “Doctor-Doctor” with her visiting five-year-old nephew. Their game consisted of showing each other their private parts and touching each other. She was afraid for her daughter, because she believed that this behavior could lead to “sexual abuse”.

Many parents become concerned and tend to overreact when they see such behavior. At such times, harsh reactionary scolding is not the right way to deal with such a situation. It is not even necessary to interpret it as immoral behavior, nor to suggest the possibility of developing promiscuity in the future.

More often than not, the mere presence of a responsible adult can be enough to stop or cut short such play. With children as young as four, five or even six years old, it is not very difficult to distract them and to direct their attention to another interesting activity, without raising the alarm and making a big deal out of it! Later, at a more convenient time, a parent can very well sit down with the child and talk to him about it.

It’s not hard to explain that even though you fully understand her curiosity about each other’s bodies, she’s now becoming a grown girl and all people are largely expected to keep their bodies covered in clothes in the presence of other people. This way you can set boundaries without making the child feel guilty or ashamed.

This is also the right age to start educating children about appropriate and inappropriate touch. Tell the child that you really care about her and that you would like to know anything that might make her awkward, weird or uncomfortable. Make it clear that she has every right to her “private life” and that her body belongs to her. Explain that no one has the right to expose her or touch her in a way that seems odd, unusual, or odd.

It is also necessary to tell the child that if anyone ever undresses her or touches her in an unusual or strange way, she should confidently tell that person to stop immediately, and then report the incident to you as as a parent as soon as possible. as possible.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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