We often think of teaching our young girls about how to protect themselves from unwanted touching, but our sons are also vulnerable. The 5-7 age group is the time to teach them how to protect themselves.
Illustration from I’m a Boy, Special Me
Young boys have many questions about their genitals. Because they are still young and have not entered puberty yet, they feel free to ask their questions. That’s why this is a good time to teach them the difference between you or a doctor examining his genitals, or someone else touching his genitals.
This is not an easy topic for parents, but it will give you so much more reassurance that you have protected your son from damaging sexual encounters. Sadly, the person doing the touching is often someone the child knows and trusts.
I added a separate section to my book I’m a Boy, Special Me that you can use to help with this important conversation with your son. It doesn’t need to be a long talk, but make sure you include these topics.
- Begin by explaining that his private parts, his genitals, are located under his swim suit.
- Explain to him that it is okay for parents to help him clean and care for his genitals. It is also okay for his doctor to examine his genitals, if mom or dad are there.
- But, also explain that if someone else wants to touch his genitals, that is probably not okay. He should let you know about the request and what happened, even it was someone the family trusts.
There is no need to scare him, just let him know what is okay and what isn’t. You might want to follow up periodically by asking him if anyone has wanted to see or touch his genitals? If the answer is no, just say thanks for sharing and move on.