Child abuse

What is the right age to tell my child about child abuse and matters relating to sex?


There is no right age to tell your child about child abuse and sex. Child abuse is something that is more prevalant than most of us would like to believe. It is a horrendous thing for a child to comprehend, but it is important. The first thing that you should do is take your child into confidence from a very early age. This could be as young as when the child begins to talk. The child could be told that no-one can touch her without her permission. She should also be told how to distinguish a "good" touch from a "bad" touch. You should also be receptive to what the child tells you. It is very reassuring for the child when the parents believe her. Try and find out the authenticity of her claims, but do not disbelieve her at the outset. For further information, please refer to the write-up of "Child abuse" in the All Topics section of our website.
Children generally begin to ask questions about sex very early in life. Their natural curiosity should not be discouraged. You should try and answer their questions according to their age. For eg. to the question - "Where do babies come from", you can tell a 4 year old - "From inside mummy's body". As children grow up, they read about it in school and come to know of it through their peers. Sometimes the information that they acquire may be wrong. You should always try and be accessible to quench your child's thirst for knowledge. This will not only make your child trust you, but will also help to improve your relationship with him/her.