How To Teach Your Muslim Children About Body Safety
Today, we are going to be talking about how to teach your Muslim children about body safety, based on our conversation with Dr. Afshana Haque, LMFT-A, PhD, during the MyKidsConversation by MyKidsHQ podcast. If you still haven't had a chance to check it out, make sure you download it asap!
Often times, parents have a tough time talking about body safety with their children. It feels awkward & weird and somehow they always seem too young. But you guys, this is important. It's just like protecting them from any other harmful situation. Alot of times, even when we DO talk about safe touching, we tend to brush over it & avoid naming private parts, which confuses children.
Here are some tips to help us all navigate this important topic!
Concept of Awrah & Naming Body Parts.
It's important to teach children the names of all their body parts, including private ones. Explaining to them what part their awrah (concealing nakedness) is. Bath times are great for this & reminding them that these parts should always be covered (with the exception of bathroom usage, or doctors visits with an appropriate adult).
Talk to them
As children get older we have to communicate with them even more! Curiosity in children is normal, so it's important they come to us with their questions rather than turning to friends or the internet! Fight the instinct to shelter kids from these topics & remember these conversations are for their protection & understanding.
Explain Safe Touch
Tell your children the difference between safe touch & unsafe touch - the difference between a hug/kiss from a parent/singling vs. hitting/pushing etc. Most importantly, validate their feelings on a regular basis so they know how to listen to them. Remind them that if they feel uncomfortable in a situation then to leave it immediately & inform an adult.
Take Ownership of their Bodies
Let your child always be in control of who touches/kisses them etc! Model behaviors you want to see in your child by asking them to respect your body and by respecting them and their bodies.
Build a Relationship with them
Bonding with your children directly affects their physical safety. Fostering love & trust with your child helps them know you're always there for them without judgment. They'll talk to you openly if they have questions, and confide in you if anything makes them uncomfortable.
We hope these tips help! If we missed any, please do let us know!
May Allah swt always protect and preserve our children, and may He give them success in this life and the hereafter. Ameen!
Sidra & Anis