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Teaching Your Child About Appropriate Touching

Hugging, embracing, and sitting on your favorite uncle's lap all use to be innocent behaviors that wouldn't have caused a second thought. However, now more than ever, parents are faced with the additional responsibility of teaching their child that not all touching is the same. Parents are encouraged to teach their children how to distinguish between "good" and "bad" touching in order to try and keep them out of harm's way. 1. DO explain to your child that if something doesn't feel right then don't do it. 2. Do explain very specific situations that they are allowed to remove or lower their clothing. 3. DO tell your child to tell if they are put in a situation by ANYWAY that makes them feel weird or uncomfortable. 4. DO discuss with your child when they are allowed to break promises or tell a secret. 5. DO give your child reassurance about you and your family's safety. Research has shown that abusers often use the threat of harming the victim or their family if they divulge the abuse. 6. DON'T teach your child to give unconditional obedience to adults. Teach your child that they don't have to obey ALL adults ALL the time. 7. DON'T quickly disregard your child's divulgence of abuse even if the accused abuser is the child's father, stepfather, uncle, babysitter, or family friend. Many studies commonly find that perpetrators are known by their victim. 8. DO personally investigate if you have any suspicions. Especially if you know your child becoming withdrawn, nervous, scared or is avoiding certain people or places. Ask your child in private what is going on. They will be too afraid to tell you if their abuser is present. Give them constant reassurance during the discussion that they can tell you without fear of harm or punishment. 9. DO have your child seen by a medical doctor if you suspect your child has been abused. Please be aware that sexually perpetrated behaviors like fondling, exhibition, masturbation, and being forced to pose for or watch pornography are unlikely to provide any physical evidence during a medical examination. Unless vaginal or rectal penetration occurs, medical examinations are often inconclusive. 10. DO educate yourself and your family if you discover your child has been molested. Resources are listed below. National Children's Advocacy Center 210 Pratt Avenue Huntsville, AL 35801 Phone: (256) 533-KIDS (5437)

Felecia D. Sheffield, PhD, is an author, trainer, international speaker and life coach with over 15 years of experience providing services to parents, schools, colleges, universities, and social services agencies. Her private practice Psychcore,PA provides services to clients within the South Florida area. Please contact our offices for more information or vist our website at Copyright 2004-2007, Felecia D. Sheffield. PhD. All Rights Reserved Worldwide in all Media. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article in your ezine, newsletter, newspaper, magazine, website, etc. as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, leave the entire bio box above intact and do not publish on any site with adult only content.

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