Talking to a child about sexual harassment is something that parents wouldn’t want to deal with – but at the same time, it’s essential.
Just like you have to talk to them about the birds and the bees eventually, you need to teach them about what’s ok and what’s not ok.
By having “the talk” with them, you can prevent them from putting themselves in danger in the future. Here are some ways in which you may approach this discussion.
Start the Conversation Early
You might feel tempted to put this conversation off, thinking that you want to shield them from the evils of the world – but the earlier you have this conversation, the better.
Stats show that with the COVID-19 lockdown, online child sex abuse saw a concerning increase.
Therefore, you must make sure your child knows what is wrong before they even receive that first message.
Ask Open-Minded Questions
If a child feels that you are judgmental, they will be less likely to talk to you. This is why you need to talk in an open-minded manner with them, without sounding like you are judgmental.
Rather than admonishing them for saying something or using a certain phrase, ask them open-mindedly where they heard it, or what they thought about it.
This will give you more time to find the information that you need so that you can take the right steps.
Be Truthful Without Over-Explaining
While being open-minded and truthful with your child is ok, there is still such a thing as “too much information.”
Explain to your child what they need to know, but without saying too much just to satisfy their curiosity.
Some states such as Baltimore advise you to be careful on what you tell a child, for example (you can’t even curse near them!). So, if you believe your child is being sexually harassed, a sexual harassment attorney can offer you advice on what to do or say.
Create an Opportunity for Them to Talk
If you want to talk to your child about sexual harassment or cyber-stalking, then you need to create a home environment that is trusting and safe.
If they feel that you would be angry, they might not feel too inclined to share anything with you.
Avoid dismissing their concerns and encourage them to speak up when they believe they are being sexually harassed. Make sure they do not feel like they need to keep things to themselves.
Teach Them What Is OK and What Is Not
Make sure that when you are talking to your child about sexual harassment, they are aware of what is ok and what is not.
When passing the lesson, try not to sound too controlling – but put the control in their hands instead.
Teach them that their body is their own, and no one should be allowed to touch them without consent or in a way that is uncomfortable for them.
This should apply to online harassment as well, where they may be asked for pictures of their private areas.
The Bottom Line
Talking about sexual harassment with your kid may be tricky and it’s a talk that can make both parties feel uncomfortable.
However, by approaching the situation ahead of time, and with a non-judgmental attitude towards your kid, you might as well prevent an unfortunate situation from occurring.
Remember, by creating a safe environment for your children, they will feel more inclined to come to you if they are being sexually harassed.