April 25, 2013 by admin
Let me give you a easy way to explain respect. And that starts in the bathroom.
Yes really, the bathroom.
Respect covers three areas as I mentioned in a previous blog post, yourself, others, and property.
Here’s my idea for teaching them to respect others and themselves; lock the bathroom door. In other words once they are potty trained, mommy pees alone.
Explain before hand that they are a big kid now, and there are certain things big kids and grown ups need to do alone, or in private. This is a great time to begin explaining about their private parts and who should be allowed to see or touch these areas (both to be safe and respectful.)
Kaiser Permanente pediatrician Dr. Carol-Lynn Barksy says “It is important to emphasize to your child that certain areas are private, explain that people should not be touching your child unless it is at the doctors’ office with a parent, or it is purpose driven, like for bathing or changing diapers.”
Learning about bathroom privacy is part of learning to respect themselves, and in turn learning to be safe.
Let them cry, throw a tantrum, kick at the door, whatever. It may take a few times, and you may have to repeat your conversation on privacy, but pretty soon they will adjust.
The site pediatric safety lists this as one of the ways to prevent child sexual abuse, “Teach children to respect the privacy of others. They should learn to knock on doors that are shut before opening them and close the door to the bathroom when they are using it. If they learn to respect the privacy of others, they may be more likely to recognize that an invasion of their privacy could be a red flag meaning danger.”
A lot of parents don’t see parent/child bathroom privacy as a big deal. It becomes a big deal when your children begin to be trusted with other adults, and begins trusting other adults. They will have aunts, uncles, babysitters, child care workers, teachers, troop leaders, coaches, church volunteers, friends parents at a sleepover, and more adults in their lives. 80-90% of children who are abused know the person, often times its someone in the family, or close to the family.
Its easy to get scared by such statistics. My point isn’t to scare you but to prepare you. Teach your kids that they should respect their bodies by not sharing their private parts with others. Go further and teach them that they should respect other people by letting them use their private parts in private.
I know this is a tough topic, so here are some links if you want more info: