Teachable, Touchable, Talkable, Eatable!

Does your child know the difference between good touch and bad touch?
Do they also know that good touch can sometimes turn into bad touch?
We know that when traffic lights turn from green to red, the cars have to stop because we can see the different coloured lights- But how do you know when good touch turns into bad touch?
What happens then?

For lots of people, talking to children about protective behaviours seems uncomfortable and maybe even a bit scary - But child sexual assault is far more uncomfortable and far more scary.
Ignorance is not innocence.
And knowledge is power.

To power up your child's self protection skills, here is one of our favourite good touch/bad touch activities. There are many opportunities for teachable moments throughout this activity, but if talking about touch is new for you and your child, you can pick just one point to focus on and repeat the activity a few times. If your kids are anything like the Kewl girls, they'll want to repeat it over and over and over again anyway!

You will need:
Plain biscuits - something like milk arrowroots
Small lollies with at least some in green, red and orange - here we used M&M's
Access to a microwave

Break the chocolate into small squares and place in a bowl or cup.
Heat in the microwave in 10 - 20 second increments (depending on the power of your microwave). Each time you take the chocolate out, mix it with a spoon and have kids test it with their finger.

This is a perfect time to talk about how good touch - Mmmmm.. melting chocolate! - Can turn into bad touch - Ouch! Too hot!
Start by talking about the early warning signs that tell you the chocolate is melting.
What does it look like?
Can you guess what it will feel like?
How do you know that it is melting, and how will you know when it is too hot - NO touch - chocolate?

By heating the chocolate in short bursts, you are constantly checking things out and watching for early warning signs. This means you will notice when the chocolate is getting hot and STOP before something - or someone - gets burned!
When you all decide that the chocolate has melted and is too hot, ask your child whether they want to touch it now and let them practice saying NO to bad touch. You could also put it back in the microwave and let your child press STOP.

Our bodies have early warning signs, too. They come from inside to tell us when something is not right. How did your body feel when you put your finger out to touch the melting chocolate? Did your heart go thump, thump, thump in your chest? Did lots of butterflies take off flying in your tummy? Did you feel a big lump of sticky chocolate in your throat?
These are your bodies early warning signs telling you to be careful of NO touch, too hot, chocolate.

Once the chocolate is completely melted and cool enough to touch, use a spoon to spread it over the top of the biscuits.

You could try using a fork for this step - watch how the chocolate leaks through the gaps and the fork leaves funny marks on the top. This is the wrong kind of touch! Just like other people's hands touching your private parts is a wrong touch. Mum or dad or a doctor are only allowed to touch kid's private parts for cleaning or health checking - and it is always a short touch, not a long touch.

Once you have covered all of your biscuits in chocolate, it's time to decorate! If you use one green, one orange and one red dot, what does it make???

Yes! Traffic lights! Green says go, orange says warning, and red says STOP! Hey... What a great reminder of how good touch can turn into bad touch!

Green is for good touch.
Orange is your early warning sign - I'm telling - touch.
Red is for too hot - NO WAY! - touch.

Put your biscuits in the fridge to set and soon you can enjoy my favourite touch of all - eating chocolate!!!

With a bit of thought, an open mind and a little creativity, talking about good touch and bad touch doesn't have to be scary at all! And the more you do it the more powerful you AND your child will be.

For more fantastic child protection info go and see Megan at Imaginif.


Brenda said...

That's a really cool idea!

Alison said...

Thanks Brenda - I can't decide whether I love the teachable moments or the chocolate best!

PlanningQueen said...

What an imaginative way to discuss a serious issue. Love white chocolate......

jeanie said...

Thats not chocolate, woman!!!

However, an excellent way to talk about things that can be uncomfortable.

Alison said...

PQ - There are fun and imaginative ways to discuss protective behaviours every single day, if you know where to look for them! Learning about a serious issue can still be fun :-)

Jeanie - Well, the kewl girls think it looks a lot like pus.. What do you think it is?? lol
And I am never uncomfortable when I'm talking about chocolate ;-)

Marita said...

That is a fantastic way to discuss the topic. I'm going to print out this post and take it to school to discuss with my daughters teacher at our next meeting.

Marita said...

That is a fantastic way to discuss the topic. I'm going to print out this post and take it to school to discuss with my daughters teacher at our next meeting.