At the end of the session on ‘Good Touch Bad Touch’, my two year daughter Sarayu and another three year old child Sharvari completely took us by surprise when they remembered the three parts of their body where not every body can touch. The oldest girl, 11 years, Pracheta and Darshan narrated examples of how sometimes even the most well known trusted ones can try “touching us”. Oh! It was that mission accomplished feeling. 6 year old Deeksha and 7 year old Stuti said they will never forget to scream a big NO and run to safety when someone gives a bad touch. also 4 year old Aarav and Parinita said their daddy’s were the heroes who they believe will act on their complaint and take the issue seriously. Thank you Dr Poornima Devi.
This was almost the summary of what was discussed in the session. We began the session with 9 kids including my two Lil brats. We started with few fun games for kids to bond and then I started singing the rhyme ‘head, SHOULDERS, knees and toes’ as an intro to what we were going to talk about.
Then slowly began to form a circle with each one showing one part of their body and naming the same. The kids were fabulous.
Soon Poornima Devi, counselling psychologist at Spandana Health Care in Nandini Layout and also program head for IGNOU started to talk to kids. She made them touch each other, shake hands, kiss their mommies etc a very beautiful way of introducing touches.
She then continued asking kids about meaning of the word danger and it’s opposite being safe.
Each child was asked to give one safe instructions they know for instance ‘one should not talk to strangers to one should not switch on the gas when mamma is not at home etc.
Slowly opened the topic of good touch bad touch with introducing the concept of ‘OWNING THE BODY’ TO THREE ZONES WHERE ONE CANNOT BE TOUCHED IF THEY DO NOT LIKE.
The areas being : Chest, part between your legs and the buttock. She also spoke of how lips could be included too.
Next was who was allowed to touch in these areas.Its definitely a sensitive issue to talk to kids as young as 2.5 years but she fabulously did it. She made the child talk instead she going on giving notes over notes. She spoke of how a mother or a helper will have to touch the areas during bath time and how a doctor might have to touch them during check ups. BUT even a doc can touch only in presence of someone close to you was clearly understood by the kids. Other than these how a father, grand mom and grand dad were also allowed to touch was mentioned. But the child could say no to anyone who the child felt was giving a feeling of dirty, yucky in their touch.
We spoke of how one should first scream and then run to a safe adult if something like this happens be it in school, home, or any other place.
Then the child was asked to tell one person who he or she considers a hero and thinks will take action most of them said daddy and some had moms on the list too!
Then they were told not to give up on the issue unless some action is taken against the bad.
Children were given chits on Who? Where? What? When? Why? WhAnd how? In each was written questions like who are the strangers? Why can family members be trusted? Which are the places and situations one has to be careful? So on and each child came up with their own responses and it was wonderful to know everyone had understood the session by then.
There were few crime movie scenes too when some spoke of how strangers will poison chocolates and kidnap us but overall the message of good touch and bad touch was conveyed xterm Ely nice and sensibly.
Even parents were given tips on how to identify if such incidents have happened and how one should not ask the child to hush things bit instead have to perceive the complaint and act on it. Be it relatives or strangers.
By the end of the session I was feeling proud of myself for holding such a session.
For parents who did last minute cancellations and requested another session will soon be having one in May.