Sex education is still the talk of tomorrow in India, let alone the concepts of good touch/ bad touch and consent. Parents don’t get involved in teaching their kids these very life-affirming conversations. And even when some parents do feel motivated towards it; they get either uncomfortable or too confused to act upon it.
Since siblings are more comfortable with each other; it becomes our duty to make our younger siblings more stable on these ideas. Yes, it could be stressful and uncomfortable but it is a very indispensable conviction. These concepts not only aver a safer and better childhood but also avail in a person’s adult life.
Hence, here are ways to educate younger siblings about good touch/ bad touch and consent.
1. Mind their age
The type and technique of ‘talk’ that you are going to give your younger sibling, should largely depend on their age. It is advisable to start teaching them about such concepts as soon as they start learning and grasping the world around them, and this age is mostly around 2-3.
But how you will go around explaining good touch/ bad touch to a 4-year-old will be gravely different from how you will teach a 13-year-old. Hence, considering the age of your sibling before conducting the conversation is very important.
2. Make them feel comfortable
The most basic and yet critical step is to build a safe place for the conversation, where you and they, both, feel reposed to open up. Don’t make them feel weird out with some strong words that they are not usual to hear. Go light and easy.
If you are talking to a kid aged 10 or more, they are most likely to confidently repent any conversation related to their ‘private parts, especially with their sibling, and hence you need to build the right status with them.
3. Don’t force ‘the talk’ on them
If they continuously punch the conversation out, don’t constraint them. Wait for the right time and place for them to value what you are teaching them. Don’t let it sound like a ‘session’; make it more of a conversation, in which they willingly participate.
4. Use the right tone
A very important thing to note is the using the right tone can make them more indulged in the conversation. Politely address how their body is theirs, and only they can decide what is convenient for them. Phrase stuffs in an easy tone and doesn’t tail them much. Laugh when you need to, joke around and then also make them understand what you are trying to convey.
5. Show them sensible videos
There are many clinical advised videos on different platforms, including YouTube, which you can use to make them visually comprehend things. Also, before showing the video make sure you see it and see if it is sensibly drawing the lesson or not. You can also prepare a bunch of notes in your mind that you can tell your sibling to improve their understanding while they watch the video.
6. Use practical life sceneries
The kids will only inculcate the concept once you give them practical examples. Now, you have to cleverly state these scenarios.
One of the examples that I used to teach my brother is by lightly asking him whether he likes to be hugged by one of our Aunts. He sternly said ‘Ughh! No”. Then I made him understand how he should not hug her next time she asks if he doesn’t want to, and that he should only do what he feels comfortable doing. After talking to him, I explained to my parents to never ‘force’ him to hug that Aunt, which they sincerely implied after that.
You can also pull out derivations from everyday life and then explain your sibling via it.
7. Build examples in front of them
Role-plays can be a great way of making them learn this important concept in a fun and playing way. Make sure you involve your parents as well in this. Rehearse a normal day-to-day experience and gently put these practices of saying no, etc. into it. Try to involve them in this as well. You can also use their favourite fictional characters and cartoons as preferences.
8. Teach them the vitality of NO
In many countries, especially in India, parents teach their kids to be ‘polite’ and not ‘revolt back’. This is a very toxic ideology that is taught to young minds. Teaching them to say NO when needed, and fighting back, is very crucial. Teach them how they should shout and speak up if they ever feel unsafe or scared.
Teach your parents to stop scolding your sibling, or daunting them with being loud when they say no to things. Appreciate their opinions and reciprocate that.
9. Find the right moments to intelligently teach them
You can not just make your sibling sit one day and then teach them about these things. Your task is not done with this. You have to consistently array this conversation, without irritating them.
Find the right moments, right places, and right situations to put a hunch there. For example, when they are taking a bath, tell them strongly that these are their body parts, tell them the names of them rather than putting nicknames for their private parts, teach them how no one should touch them in places they don’t feel comfortable being touched, etc.
10. Tell them what ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch is
The line between good and bad touch can be a bit blurry for a kid, and hence, it becomes very eminent for them to know the difference between good touch and bad touch.
You can use words like ‘safe’, ‘good’, ‘normal’, etc. to define a good touch and then ‘bad’, ‘scary’, ‘ew’, etc. to state bad touch. Paint examples for them in every situation. Ask them to tell what type of touch they like, and what they won’t like, etc.
11. Teach them to be open and honest
Most importantly, make them understand the practice of informing an elder WHENEVER they feel scared or bad, in general. Make them trust you and be open enough with them so that if any situation ever arises like these, they inform you urgently.
Good touch/bad touch and consent is a topic that is still taboo to talk about, no matter how prevalent it is. It is more than your duty to secure your sibling’s mindsets and make them aware of the importance of being the boss of their bodies.