Friday, August 29, 2008

Not Right Now Please!

How do you teach a 2-year-old about the privacy of her body? In March, I got three books, My Body Is Private, Your Body Belongs To You and The Right Touch to read to my daughter.
Your Body Belongs To You talks about the parts of her body that are private and no one can touch, which, in kiddy terms, means the parts that are covered by a bathing suit. It also teaches her that it is ok if she doesn't like to be hugged or kissed sometimes, even by someone she loves. It teaches her to say "No, not right now please." I found this book most suitable for her age. The other two are good too, but meant for older kids. I read them to her anyway, but her attention wanders because there are too many words.
My Body is Private illustrates a scenario where the girl in the book (about 10) is uncomfortable with her uncle hugging her, and she tells him, although she was scared of offending him. But she was relieved when he understood that she might be getting too big for hugs.
The Right Touch is a bit intense for me; it talks about a girl who was almost molested. I think too heavy going for a 2-year-old. Maybe when she is older.
But all three books teach the kids to say 'NO' and 'STOP IT' when a situation makes her uncomfortable, which is what I am trying to get through to her for now.
Since birth, I have always changed her away from everyone. After reading the books, I would tell her I am taking her to a 'private corner' to change. It doesn't have to be a room, just a place that is away from prying eyes. Other than me, only her daddy and grandma can change her; this is her own rule.
Whenever I play with her, tickle or hugs, I always tell her that if she wants me to stop, just say so, and I will. And the same applies to everyone in the household: if she says stop, it means stop. So now she's very good at saying "Not right now please" when she's not in the mood to play, hug or kiss", or "Stop!"
Once in a while, I'll whip out the books to read to her, as a refresher.
In this day and age, you can never be too careful!

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