The message in this story comes across loud and clear. Children's bodies are a gift from God and every single part was made with purpose. However, kids need to learn about appropriate and inappropriate behavior within the comfort and security of their homes. Through reading this story, kids will learn that their bodies belong to them, there are no shameful parts, and certain boundaries apply when it comes to touch. The authors tackle the tricky subject of sexual abuse in a way that facilitates conversations and helps kids identify and avoid threats to their body safety.
Best Children's Books About Good Touch, Bad Touch
The topic of good touch, bad touch is one that all parents need to address from the time their children start going to school or visiting the homes of friends and relatives. Parents walk a fine line between balancing the importance of socializing and trusting others with the need to keep their kids out of harm's way. Consider these kids' books about stranger danger written so that the lessons are accessible to even the youngest children.
It can be difficult to know when exactly to have these difficult conversations and how much information to share with innocent, naive little kids. A good place to start is by perusing stories and selecting the ones that are most appropriate based on your child's social and emotional maturity. Here is a list of all the best picture books that address physical boundaries, saying no, and not keeping secrets when something bad happens.
Talking to your kids about using their own voice to communicate consent should start from the time they are preschoolers. Powerful words like "yes" and "no" go a long way in establishing healthy, comfortable boundaries. The entire anatomy of a child is identified, along with very clear and easy-to-understand illustrations that note private vs. non-private parts. The author also addresses situations when parents have to override a child's voice for health and hygiene purposes.
The power of a child's words is reinforced in this book about physical boundaries. In this reaffirming story, a little girl learns that she has complete autonomy over her body. If she does not want to embrace a relative or hug her friends, that is perfectly fine. There are some obvious scenarios covered, like what is appropriate during bath time. Equally as important are the grey areas when touch is involved, like playtime, tickling, or holding hands. The bottom line is that kids should never be forced to touch others no matter what the situation.
This helpful guide, written by a deputy sheriff, provides kids with sound advice and actionable steps to take. Bobby and Mandee remind readers that unsafe touches can come from strangers as well as people they know well. There are is a safety quiz and protocols to follow when in trouble, like dialing 911. Most importantly, there is a place in the book for parents and children to develop a list of trusted grown ups. These are the people kids can talk to about anything. This short list will help clear up confusion kids may have around adults who are not necessarily part of their trusted inner circle.
Written by a mother/son duo based on their own experiences, this award-winning book covers a lot of material. Zach is here to tell readers about a whole variety of good touch, bad touch situations that come up in life. They involve relatives, teachers, neighbors, and even friends. Kids learn how to stand their ground and use their words to prevent unwanted touches from happening. In the unfortunate event that a situation has progessed into dangerous territory, childen are reminded to report these incidents right away. They are never, ever at fault for the abuse that transpired, no matter how confusing, strange or ashamed they might feel.
A highly-recommended story about a little boy named Doug who happens to have a strong aversion to hugs of any sort, under any circumstance. And that is perfectly okay. Don't even think about embracing him after a hard day or throwing you arms around him in celebration of something awesome. He doesn't like it. So what can you do instead? Well, Doug prefers high-fives and all kinds of variations to this popular hand gesture. Lots of people are perfectly find, and even love a hug, but not Doug.
A best-seller in the category of safety books for children, this guide does a fantastic job in addressing physical boundaries for kids on both ends. Readers learn about the importance of personal space and not invading the boundaries of others. Kids also read about how to protect their own bodies from unwanted touch and ways they can articulate their feelings. Very easy to follow with a diverse group of kids represented, this book is a solid addition to this genre.
A charismatic girl, Clara, is very clear about when and how others can touch her. A colorfully illustrated story follows her through a variety of experiences where clearly communicates her stance. Sometimes well-intentioned adults pick her up for a hug or tickle her just for fun. Even though no harm is done, Clara makes her voice heard that she doesn't like it. The story goes on to address situations when a bad touch has already occurred and how kids can alert a parent or other trusted adult.
Some kids are open books and others like to keep secrets buried deep inside. As much as parents would like to know every single detail about their child's life, this is not necessary or even healthy. Sometimes keeping information from parents is a natural part of development, maturity, and independence. This story addresses the difference between good secrets and bad secrets, an important differentiation for young children. For example, a special birthday present for someone should be kept a secret. On the other hand, if someone is touching a child intimately, this is not the kind of thing that should be kept secret.
A young boy is responsible for keeping his dragon safe, and this begins with educating his fire-breathing pet about physical boundaries. The concept of using a dragon works by minimizing the discomfort and awkwardness kids feel when talking about private parts. This book, which is part of a successful child safety series, empowers kids to take charge. They learn about very realistic scenarios that routinely occur and how to effectively communicate discomfort about being touched.
This book is probably best for older children or those you may suspect are already victims of abuse. The story involves a little boy who suffers at the hands of a well-regarded member of his community. The trouble is that the "touch" doesn't necessarily feel bad, which only muddies the water for the child. When he considers telling someone about what is going on, he feels guilty and afraid of the consquences. There is some pretty intense content that victims may relate to already, but is not necessarily appropriate to introduce as a way to prevent abuse.
Consider this a valuable reference book for kids to flip through rather than read cover to cover. It's a helpful title to keep around the house or on a child's bookshelf for periodic perusing. Each letter of the alphabet is tied to some concept related to body safety. The author effectively covers nuanced concepts, like the difference between a secret and a surprise. The book also helps tune kids in to early warning signs of bad touch and sexual abuse so that they can have the tools to tell a trusted adult. There's a lot of content to digest that is all very useful in helping to prevent physical traums to a child.
A popular book for children about a little girl with fabulous, curls that seem to attract everyone and everything. Aria is proud of her beautiful, springy hair, but does not appreciate the fact that people want to touch and play it. As harmless as the actions of others may seem, Aria is not comfortable with curious fingers exploring her beautiful locks. The story takes readers on her journey as she tries to escape the touch of others. But no matter how high in the sky she flies or how deep in the ocean she swims, there are unwanted encounters. Unlike other books that tend to focus on private body parts, this story is important for its focus on less invasive, albeit annoying and unwanted, touches.
The Lollipop Book Club is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Why Read Kids Body Safety Books
When parents think about talking to their kids about establishing healthy physical boundaries, the first thought that comes to mind may be physical or sexual abuse. This can lead to some uncertainty about how to begin addressing this subject with children who may not yet readily identify their private parts as such. Not wanting or knowing how to delicately broach this subject to little ones, or how much information is even appropriate to share yet, can lead to avoidance altogether.
If you find yourself in this position, grab some of these helpful books written by experts on the subject. There are a variety of age-appropriate stories that will lead to an open discussion with your children. Some of them are just right for preschoolers while others offer more in-depth advice for older kids who are able to better understand and process high-risk situations.
Talking to Your Children About Body Safety
Lots of toddlers prance around the house unabashedly in their birthday suit. Their total lack of awareness and sense of freedom is adorable to witness. As these tiny tots grow a bit older, there is usually a natural sense of shyness and desire to cover up their bodies. This inherent sense of privacy does not show up at the same time for all kids, as parents can attest. And sometimes the late bloomers need an extra nudge to get dressed after bath time when it is no longer appropriate for them to hang out in the buff. No matter where your child falls on the continuum, you need to educate them about privacy, boundaries, and touch.
Here are some key points that will help guide your conversation:
- Kids have the right to refuse all touch. Some children are perfectly comfortable kissing and hugging relatives, holding hands with their friends, and snuggling up during movie time with siblings and parents. Other kids are a little more reserved and don't necessary enjoy all human contact. There is only person who has the right to decide which kind of touch is ok- the child! The concept of good touch, bad touch applies to a variety of scenarios, not just private body parts.
- Talk to kids about the fact that abusers are often well-known to the family. This is perhaps one of the most tragic and difficult concepts for young children to grasp. Sometimes the people doing the most harm are actually part of a child's trusted circle, like a relative, a sports coach, or a neighbor. These types of predators are difficult to identify because they are the same people invited to birthday parties, heading up practices, walking the school hallways, or in attendance at family gatherings.
- Encourage your children to trust their instincts and listen to their innner voice. The tricky thing about sexual abuse is that it doesn't necessary hurt or feel physically bad. More tangible forms of physical violence, like a punch in the face or a kick in the gut, are easier to identify. And there are certainly many cases of bad touch that actually hurt. But there are also plenty of instances where the touch isn't painful, which can make the situation even more confusing for a child. When this is the case, kids will still have a sense that something bad is happening. Encourage them to pay attention to this sense and talk to a trusted person immediately.
- Don't talk to strangers. There is a reason why this piece of sage advice has stood the test of time. Predators are not lurking around every corner, so you definitely do not want to instill a sense of paranoia in your children. Also, not all strangers are dangerous or pose any kind of threat at all. Young children often don't possess the skills to differentiate between a good stranger and a bad stranger. Child predators can come across very nice and engaging on the outside, throwing off a child's danger radar. For this reason, it's best to keep it simple by instructing your children to stay away from all strangers.