Some Small Steps – Aparna.
Many brave folks have come up to talk about dealing with CSA when young, the most recent being Kalki Koechlin. I think this incident and the openness that she and others have displayed is a wonderful step in the right direction. What can I as a parent do to make my children more aware?
– I believe that a child should be taught first of all to respect their body and that of others. Modesty should never be confused with shame, which I think is a differentiation that is not always made. One of the things that helps and one that we practice at home is to use the correct words for parts of the anatomy, though at a younger age words like “dicky” serve to make them understand as well.
– Another step to avoid any feeling of shame is to ensure that topics like menstruation and periods are never considered dirty or a taboo topic to be discussed. I found the book “Just for Girls” a wonderful approach to teach my nearly 9 year old daughter a lot about changes in her body. I hope this will serve as a gentle introduction and accompanied by some matter-of-fact discussions, she would be fully ready by the time she has to experience this. Needless to say, there is a “Just for Boys” version as well that I’m waiting for a couple more years to get my hands on, I suspect even I might learn stuff from it ;).