Every parent has the responsibility of teaching their little ones about the parts of the human body, explaining to them about genitals, good and bad touches, nudity, and sexuality. There is no escape. As we prepare our children for their futures, it is important for kids to know about their bodies and understand gender differences.
Between the age of two to six years, children will be curious about everything that they see. So, one should not get surprised if they are asked questions pertaining to private parts. There are parents who are confused about whether to change dress in front of children to avoid embarrassing questions. The truth is no matter how hard you try; you will expose your body by accident or without an option. Instead of shying away, parents should be bold enough to have open talks with their little ones.
How Appropriate It Is To Change Clothes In Front of 3–4-Year-Old Children?
Getting naked in front of children below the age of three will not be an issue as you can distract them easily. However, once kids cross three or four years of age, they will be extremely curious and will have plenty of questions to ask.
Instead of avoiding or shaming children, parents should use the chance to educate kids about the all-important topic of life. Make children understand that there is nothing to be ashamed about one's body. One advantage of staying naked before the children is that they will learn about the body and its differences.
Can Parents Change Clothes Before Kids, Forever?
Some studies say parents should avoid changing clothes in front of their kids after their kids cross three as children unconsciously get sexually stimulated by parental nudity. There will be lots of confusion in kids' minds. They might start making sexual advances earlier than expected and parents should pay attention to children's behaviour as they might possibly view genitals as just sexual organs. Kids should know the boundaries by the age of 8-10, say experts.
It also means parents should avoid undressing in front of their kids. Not because they would lose respect, but kids will learn the important lesson on privacy.
Is Changing Clothes In Front Of Children Considered An Abuse?
Can changing your dress in front of kids be considered an abuse? It is a complicated question to ask, but if kids are not feeling comfortable, it can be considered an abuse.
Children start making permanent memories at around 7-8 years. So, parents should keep in mind that taking off clothes or appearing nude in front of their kids will be stored in long term memories.
Is There A Right Age To Talk To Children About Gender Differences?
There is no ideal age to start the conversation about this topic. Normally, kids will curiously ask questions about human anatomy after 3-4 years of age. Parents should use the opportunity to answer all the doubts arising in young minds. Experts say it is always good to teach them about nudity and sexuality at an early age so that they understand their bodies better and the differences between the genders.
There will be embarrassing situations when they ask about the penis or why mom does not have it or why the father does not have breasts. Parents also might get a little uncomfortable when kids touch their private parts.
Parents should be prepared for it and to make kids understand about the genders without shaming them or trying to brush such questions under the carpet. Such conversations also help parents to teach children about the culture of consent.
What Is The Right Age To Teach Children About Good Touch and Bad Touch?
Educating kids about good and bad touch is essential to prevent them from becoming sexual abuse victim. Studies say that it is good for parents to teach the good and bad touches as soon as the kids start understanding their words. Children should be taught about keeping their bodies safe.
Parents should figure out a way to communicate with kids in their language. Kids should be made aware of every single part in their bodies (both private and public). Parents should not hesitate to mention correct anatomical names and explain to them why they should cover certain parts of their bodies in public places.
Giving proper examples to identify good and bad touches help the children to understand the concept better. Tell them that holding or shaking hands, hugging or giving high fives are not bad, but they have the freedom to avoid it if they are getting uncomfortable.
At the same time, children should know that they should be okay even if they get uncomfortable when taking an injection or cleaning a cut. Kids should know that except for parents, nobody should touch their genitals. Even doctors are not an exception.
Children learn best in repetition and if they are taught it regularly, they will understand it better. Parents should also encourage kids to escape from such an uncomfortable situation and report it without any fear to their parents.
Is It Helpful For Children To Learn The Differences Between Nudity and Sexuality at 3 to 4 years of age?
There is a strong link between nudity and sexuality, but both are not one and the same. One can get aroused at nudity and can be highly sexual with clothes on. Since many societies have their own takes on nudity, there are legal prohibitions on exposing certain body parts in public.
Having a conversation about it at a young age helps a child to behave well when it reaches adolescence. Additionally, they understand the anatomy of their parents' bodies and react sensitively even if they change clothes in front of them.
As per a report, there are over 42 million sexual abuse survivors in India. One out of three girls and one out of five boys are the victims of sexual abuse. The report further says that 95 percent of such crimes are preventable through education. As a result, it is the responsibility of the parents to teach the important lessons to their kids to keep themselves and others safe.