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February 23, 2007


jen lemen

when my kids are overly aggressive or really outspoken in an inappropriate way (like flipping out that someone took their toy or went out of turn) i tell them that i'm glad they know how to freak out because they might need it, but this isn't one of those situations. the situation to flip out, have a temper tantrum, insist on your way is when someone violates your sense of privacy about your body.

so far it's worked and they really get it. someone tried to touch my daughter inappropriately at a party and she came and told me immediately. when we got home, she wanted me to call the host so she could talk to her on the phone and tell her herself how upset she was and how wrong it felt.

it felt risky at the time, but we did just that. she quickly put the matter to rest and now four years later, she can barely remember the incident (she was just 4 when it happened).

trying to redirect spunky, fiesty-ness instead of always trying to get them to be polite has gone gone a long way in helping my kids retain their personal sense of power and understanding of when it's most appropriate to be polite.


I think this is a great blog, and although it's not a topic of conversation with my children yet it will be soon. I was a victim of "bad touch" as a child. Discussions then (and probably now) always seemed to focus on the male offenders and not the female. My experience was at the hands of a female family member who is only 6 years older than me. Our children need to know that, sadly, predators come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.


I teach Sunday school and the Catholic Church in our town is implementing a "safety training." Which includes all kinds of things: crossing the street, guns, and the touching too. Anyway, the only thing I have to add here is that one way to say where the "inappropriate" places to touch are is anything covered by a bathing suite.

Good topic!


It's great to see that at least some of our kids are getting that kind of support from their schools. I've always been a sort of take charge and be responsible type, but it sure helps to have some outside reinforcement to help get the message across. But let's go one step further... let's not forget, that in our modern tech-heavy world, that we also need to teach our kids about some the virtual equivalents of these situations that are increasingly popping up on our computers. Education about proper online use - and how to call for help when they encounter something inappropriate there - is just as important.

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