Name your child abuse after themselves

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Mag.a Gabriele Rothuber

Expert voice

Mag. Gabriele Rothuber

What does "education" have to do with preventing sexual violence against children?

The majority of the perpetrators know their victims well to very well and come from their close social environment. The warning of "bad strangers" goes far too short here to protect children. Perpetrators often exploit the curiosity and ignorance of the children ("Shall I show you how to do it?") Or commit sexual acts with children as Normality ("All nieces do that with their uncle.")

Well-informed children

  • have names for all their body parts (if there is only a "down there", if body parts are taboo or there are only extremely childish words for them, it will be difficult to confide in someone)
  • know where sexuality "belongs" - namely with tall adolescents or adults, if both want that
  • are not left alone with their questions
  • are therefore protected earlier: because they can classify and ward off attacks and get help more quickly after an attack has occurred.

Your own "reconnaissance backpack"

  • When and by whom were you informed?
  • What did you miss?
  • What went well

Very few people can say: "It was great - that's exactly how I would do it!" - But: you can learn it!

Sex education is part of social education and not a biological "sex lesson", which is "completed" at a certain age and which is then "behind"! Sex education begins with birth - for example when you name the genitals of the baby while changing diaper - and should represent an accompaniment into adulthood.

We know from psychology that all children are interested in the following questions in certain phases (age information is always approximate):

  • from 3 years of age children are interested in the gender difference,
  • from the age of 4 they want to know: "where do the babies come from?" (from the mother's belly),
  • from 5 "where do you get out?" and
  • From about 6 years: "How do you get in?" Many children do not ask these questions directly, although they are occupied with them - here too it is important to answer them.

Unfortunately, many children still listen to questions relating to sexuality: "You are still much too young then". Who would dare to try again if you noticed that there was resistance here? If we did not answer our children 's questions , it will be older young people, siblings, who do "new" media - probably in a way that is inconsistent with our values.

The earlier the topic of sexuality can be discussed as a completely normal topic in families, the longer children come with their questions. If you only start talking about it shortly before puberty, you shouldn't be surprised if it becomes embarrassing for children and parents and they no longer want to know anything. (For many elementary school children today, pornography is the starting point for the topic, no longer the conversation at home or at school).

The earlier children are carefully and age-appropriately informed, the easier it is for parents: to discuss with preschool children how most of us came about is just as much a transfer of knowledge for them as, for example, "Why are there no more dinosaurs?"
The further children go in the direction of pre-puberty, the more "convulsive" and embarrassing the conversation becomes if a good basis has not been laid beforehand.

By the way:

  • you can laugh at the topic - it's funny for children!
  • it may be disgusted! Primary school-age children would rather adopt than do "that" (they also sometimes regret their parents who had to do this about three times when they have 2 siblings). Strengthen your child's feeling: "Yes, you can do that as Child do not even imagine that this is nice: nobody is allowed to do that with a child "!
  • You don't have to answer all questions right away! Be authentic and buy yourself time: "I have to think about how I will answer you first" or "Nobody talked to me about such exciting things, I have to learn that first".
  • Picture books are a good way to start: it is better to leaf through in bookstores first instead of buying them by mail order: pictures and values ​​must be right for you
  • Talking about sexuality with children does not mean talking about your own sexuality! Preserve your privacy - and be a role model: “This is something between ... and me. But I can answer that for you in general. "
  • Children can easily find out that adults do "this" not only because they want babies, but because it makes them feel good.
  • Children can be expected to find out that there are adults who want sex with children: touch them in places where it is totally uncomfortable, show them photos / films where people are having sex, etc. However, a loving explanation should be given beforehand happened and not the downsides of the introduction to the topic.

A little help when it comes to answering questions: follow the "lion principle": what would you answer if your child asks you: "Where does the lion live?": In the zoo, in the savannah , in Africa ... to the point.

Try to answer that way to children's questions about sexuality, instead of going too far and becoming highly scientific - hoping that by "I get to the point," the child has already lost interest.

Children who do not learn that one can talk about the "sunny side" of sexuality will not be able to cope with the "dark side".

Recommended reading for parents / caregivers:
"Clarify me" - 101 real children's questions on an exciting topic: Katherina von der Gathen

Mag.a Gabriele Rothuber, managing director of the self-confident association, qualified sex pedagogue, sex counselor, system. Trauma pedagogue and specialist advisor