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
  • Fresh shrimp business approved GOSHEN — Finding fresh shrimp in Elkhart County just got a little easier.

    August 21, 2014

  • NWS GN140822 john hertzel (2) John Hertzler relishes role with Goshen Historical Society GOSHEN — Visitors to the Goshen Historical Society’s museum might not know John Hertzler is there, tucked back in an office beyond the rows of historic documents, photographs and artifacts.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lifelong Learning fall courses announced GOSHEN — The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County is offering fall courses. These short courses are designed to provide stimulating and affordable classes in many fields for active seniors. There are no tests or grades, and no previous studies or degrees are required.

    August 21, 2014

  • South Ninth Street area under boil water order South Ninth Street, between East Jackson and Franklin streets in Goshen, is under a boil water order from noon until further notice.

    August 21, 2014

  • GN140821 Pike Street Project 2 INDOT meeting held to discuss Pike Street project GOSHEN — Major changes may be on the way for a small section of Pike Street in downtown Goshen.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0821 goshen college challenge Locals embrace ice bucket challenge It’s a challenge that has united participants with the shared sensation of an icy burst of water, sopping wet clothing and video evidence — all in the name of philanthropy.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 nisly complaint Complaint filed against state rep candidate Accusations of wrongdoing, in the form of a complaint to the Indiana Election Commission, have been levied against District 22 representative Republican nominee Curt Nisly.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 dometic groundbreaking Dometic breaks ground on significant expansion in Goshen GOSHEN — As Dometic officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $7 million expansion of their Goshen distribution center Wednesday, the work was already underway in the background. “It’s happening right now,” said Dave Schutz, vice presi

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 Ignition art Plenty of good music on horizon at Ignition Several upcoming shows at Ignition Garage in Goshen were announced this week.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • City plan nearing a final draft GOSHEN — The city’s new comprehensive plan is nearing completion, and a near-final draft has now been released for public review. Goshen Plan Commission members released the draft of the city’s newly penned comprehensive plan, titled “Uncommonly Grea

    August 19, 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.

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results
AP Video
US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers