Let them know what is acceptable and what isn’t

Child abuse and molestation are on the rise. Boys and girls especially below six years of age are being sexually abused by adults or children older than them. To reduce such cases, it is vital to teach your children about good and bad touch as early as possible. You can begin by teaching them about their private parts and why not just anyone should touch them. Instruct them to always keep their private parts covered.

Show them that a good touch involves care, help and love such as mommy’s and daddy’s hugs, grandparents holding their hands and friends playing. In turn, show them that good touch can quickly turn into bad touch if they feel uncomfortable and hurt and should ask whoever is touching them to stop immediately.

Also encourage them to tell you if someone touches them and asks them not to report. You can achieve this by creating a strong bond between you and your child so that they can always share anything with you. However, it is vital to know that in some cases, your child will be afraid to report bad touch. Always be on the look-out for the signs of abuse such as behaviour change, traces of blood in their underpants or pain during urination.

Teach them about consent

The words “no” and “stop” are important words to teach your children. These words are to be respected at all times. Your children should always ask permission before they touch anyone. Similarly, they should know that it is okay to say “no” and their “no” should be honoured. If your child, however young, doesn’t want to hug a visitor, do not force them. They should also know that only a definite “yes” means consent, anything less clear indicates one should stop.

Teach your child to own their body. If they do not want physical contact, no one should pressure them into it. Alcohol and drugs are known to impair judgement so it is vital to let your child know that consent given by someone under the influence of drugs should not be followed through. Teaching your child consent will protect them from unwanted sexual advances.

Teach sex in the context of a loving marriage: Teach your children sex in the context of marriage. Instill kingdom virtues in them by talking about God’s values for sex. God created sex to be practiced in the setting of Holy Matrimony. Sex is a gift from God, and in the right circumstance—in marriage—it can be a source of great pleasure (Proverbs 5:18 -19).

By doing this you will be teaching them to manage their desires until they get into a loving marriage. Most parents tell their teenagers that sex is a “dirty” or “evil” thing. The truth is sex is a beautiful thing designed by God to bring a husband and wife closer and to build trust in marriage. Let them know the consequences of premarital sex, its heartaches and worries.

Teach them about self-worth

Teaching your children to value themselves will make them value their bodies. The sex lessons should promote self-respect and they will, in turn, not allow anyone to touch them inappropriately. One of the strongest feelings adolescents develop is the desire to blend in. Teaching your adolescent child self-worth ensures they have a high self-esteem. This way they will not easily succumb to peer pressure to “fit in” by engaging in pre-marital sex. Self-worth also helps your child understand the value of showing respect to self and others.

Let the lessons be age appropriate

This is especially vital in young children. You do not want to tell a six-year-old child what exactly goes on during lovemaking. The information you share should resonate differently at different ages. A child who is in puberty should be taught the physical and moral aspects of sex. Use basic language and ensure they know what to do when faced with sexual predators. Boundaries should exist between parents and children; your sexual life should be kept private. Oversharing may also lead to embarrassment on the side of the child and they may thus not want to have the sex talk with you again, choosing instead to keep vital burning questions to themselves.