Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

June 16, 2013

WHOLE FAMILY: Teach children to recognize inappropriate touching


BUT NOW I HAVE two little girls of my own, and I find myself sickened at the thought that something like that could happen to them. I recognize boys are at risk, too, and I have two of those. So when I recently drove my children to be dropped off for three hours of summer camp at a local school, I found myself talking to them.

“You know,” I said to my 7-year-old daughter, “always have someone with you — a buddy — if an adult asks you to go off with them, even a teacher. And you know, no one should ever touch you or ask you to touch them.” Good advice, but it made me wonder, “How can I possibly tell her every scenario and how to avoid it? How can I, really, equip her?”

It struck me then there have to be a set of principles, rather than a list of dos and don’ts, that can protect my children from sick people. Here are some of them:

• You don’t judge PEOPLE; you judge ACTIONS. So if anyone — from the little old lady to the cheery sports coach — asks you to do something you’re feeling is not right (and that applies to anything, not just sexual touch), don’t do it and get away.

• A non-threatening adult will never ask you to “not tell” things. I recently told my children any adult who says, “It’s our little secret” about anything is not trustworthy in general. I told my children they can always tell me ANYTHING, regardless of threat or promise, without worry.

• It’s important children get “good touch” opportunities from parents and others. If so, they will quickly recognize inappropriate touch. In my case, it didn’t take long before I knew something was wrong; every other adult who’d ever touched me theretofore had only done so in an appropriate way.

• Teaching children they must be polite at all costs is not fair to them. Polite to the point of being violated? Never allowed to say, “No!” to an adult — even one who’s doing something acutely wrong? Not fair. Consider what message we send our children when they’re made to hug and kiss strangers or say hello to anyone who wants to just to be polite.

• Consider overall prudence in all things — no matter who thinks you’re over-the-top paranoid or rude, even. Rarely would one of my children be alone with any adult I don’t know intimately. And it’s a known fact most sexual abuse (75 percent, I read) is perpetrated by a family member or close friend of the family. So Aunt Sally might be offended if you don’t let the littles go off alone to play with her husband, Uncle Norman. Too bad, Aunt Sally. We can all play right here.

• Overall, make sure to bolster in your children their internal focus of right and wrong. Many times they just “know” something doesn’t feel right. Sometimes they don’t, and that’s extra scary and when they need to rely on hard-and-fast rules, but help them to be confident when they do know.

Goshen News columnist Stephanie Price is a wife, mother, teacher, childbirth educator, midwife’s assistant and nursing student from Elkhart. Contact her at wholefamily@goshennews.com, 269-641-7249 or on Facebook at the page “Whole Family Column by Steph Price.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Mary Alice Miller SILVERTON, Ore. — Mary Alice Miller, born Aug. 9, 1950, near Topeka, LaGrange County, Ind., departed this life following a short illness Tuesday at her home near Silverton. Mary was baptized in her youth upon confession of her faith in Jesus Christ a

    July 31, 2014

  • Gene R. Lowther ELKHART — Gene R. Lowther, 75, died Tuesday at Golden Living Center. He married Mary M. Flynn March 27, 1970, in Elkhart. She survives with two sons, Michael (Pam) Estes and James Estes, both of Elkhart; and two daughters, Donna Estes of Elkhart and

    July 31, 2014

  • GN140801 jeffery hunt Warsaw man gets 120 years for home invasion

    GOSHEN — An elderly New Paris couple who were victims of a violent home invasion last fall recounted that frightening night during one of their attackers’ sentencing hearing.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ GN140801 eby ford image 02 Eby Ford renovates showroom and more GOSHEN — The remodeled and expanded Eby Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealership was celebrated Thursday night during an open house and ribbon cutting. “Without our awesome customers, we wouldn’t be here,” said owner Todd Eby as he addressed the crowd of fr

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140801 Mackowiak new Millersburg marshal.jpg Retired Goshen police officer sworn in as new Millersburg town marshal

    Retired Goshen police officer Al Mackowiak was sworn in as Millersburg's new town marshal Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wawasee Conservancy map Conservancy buys wetlands property at Syracuse Lake SYRACUSE — The Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation has purchased 44 1/2 acres of property along the southeast corner of Syracuse Lake. It is adjacent to the CSX railroad tracks, East Shore Drive and Cornelius Road and includes the Bonar Lake wetlands

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140731 Habitat auction2.jpg Friday auction to benefit Habitat SHIPSHEWANA — On Friday, LaGrange County Habitat for Humanity will host its annual auction at Shipshewana Auction Barn.The auction begins at 3:30 p.m. and includes, among many other items, a five-piece bedroom suite, a white oak trestle table and a d

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • City heads seek more employees GOSHEN — Like the 2014 budget, the city of Goshen’s proposed 2015 budget will include a number of requests for new personnel as department heads fight to maintain services amidst growing responsibilities and shrinking coffers.The Goshen City Council

    July 31, 2014

  • Rerouting for U.S. 33 lags behind GOSHEN — It looks like the city could start seeing some movement on the planned U.S. 33 rerouting project by as early as next month.That’s the word from Goshen Civil City Engineer Mary Cripe, who spoke on the subject during the annual Goshen City Cou

    July 31, 2014

  • School board OKs contract GOSHEN — The Board of Directors of the Goshen Community School Corp. approved the design-build contract with Ancon Construction of Goshen Wednesday.They approved $12.260 million for the Goshen Middle School piece of construction, said GCS Superintend

    July 31, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN