SPROUTS ages 2-6. Children will learn about good and bad touches in relation to others.
Special Note- This lesson is on a very serious and complex topic. We suggest reviewing it beforehand. You may even want to divide in to a few lessons as we cover a variety of important topics.
Use this lesson as it fits for your family! Spend a cozy Saturday morning with a hot cup of coffee and hot chocolate in discussion together using the whole lesson or use parts of this lesson for several conversations throughout the month! There are so many activities to apply and experience the lesson together. You're the parent and know your child best- enjoy making it your own!
My child will learn the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touch from others, and toward others.
For activities: Bubbles, items for mystery box, blindfold
Read these scriptures together. Idea: use one as a memory verse!
“...everything [is] like an expensive antique, a God-given treasure. Each object is waiting for your touch, hoping to feel the vibration of God through you.”
- Rev. Sun Myung Moon, How to Gain Spiritual Help, November 27, 1978
Choose 1 or both of the following as an “attention grabber”
BLINDFOLD: Blindfold your child with a tie, a handkerchief or another tieable cloth. Stand across the room from him. Instruct him to feel around the room and try to maneuver himself across the room, feeling his way toward you as you call to him. Talk to him about what the things in the room felt like.
MASSAGE: Give your child a gentle hand massage! Optionally, invite her to give you one in return! Talk to her about the sensation of touch. Ask questions such as, “Did you like the massage? Did it feel good? Did it make your hand warm? Did Mommy/Daddy’s fingers feel soft?”
God gave us our sense of touch! Our hands help us understand the world around us. We feel happiness and joy through touching our friends and family, and being touched by them! There are many good ways we can touch and be touched.
"Hands Are Not for Hitting” by Martine Agassi OR
“Good Touch, Bad Touch” by Robert Kahn
Ask: What are some good things we can use our hands for? What are some things we should not use our hands for?
Read this script to your child like a storytime. It can be done in 1 day or split into several smaller conversations based on the suptopics.
Think of a time you got a big hug from Mommy or rubbed noses with Daddy. Did that make you feel good? To show our love, we can give warm hugs and sweet kisses on the cheek. Our parents, siblings, and grandparents can rub our backs, hold our hands, and pat our heads. Our teachers, aunts and uncles, and friends can give us high fives and hold our shoulder gently. There are many good ways for us to touch people and for people to touch us!
Touching can make our hearts feel good. We also need some touching to guide us and keep us safe. Mommy might hold your hand tightly when you’re crossing the street together, so she can make sure you don’t get hit by a car. Daddy might hold the spoon with you when you stir the cake batter you make together.
There are some kinds of touching that are not ok. This touching does not make God happy. This touching is not good for us. If a friend hits you, do you like that? Does that make you feel good? (No.) Today, we will learn about “bad touches”.
One very important thing to remember is that there are some parts of your body that are private. Nobody except Mommy and Daddy are allowed to see them or touch them. Our most precious body parts that need to be kept safe and protected are the parts we cover with a swimsuit. Boys cover their penises and girls cover their vaginas and chests. A boy’s private part is his penis and a girl’s private parts are her vagina and chest. Most people should not see us without any clothes on. Mommy and Daddy can see and touch us with no clothes on when they are washing us during a bath or shower. Sometimes, a doctor can see or touch our private parts when our parents are with us at the doctor’s office and say it’s ok. The doctor has to check if we are growing well and are healthy.
If any child or grown up tries to look at or touch any of your private parts, say, “NO” and leave as fast as you can. Tell Mommy or Daddy, or if they are not around, tell someone else you trust. Nobody is allowed to touch these parts. A grown up should never tell you that because they are a grown up, they are allowed to touch your private parts and that you have to listen to them or follow directions. There are many times we should listen to grown ups and follow directions, but if a grown up tells you to let them touch your private parts or tells you to touch their private parts, you DO NOT have to listen. You DO NOT have to do it. If a grown up tells you to let them see your private parts or tells you to look at their private parts, you DO NOT have to listen. You DO NOT have to do it. If any of this happens, tell your parents or a trusted adult. If anyone tries to take pictures of your private parts, tell your parents. You will not be in trouble.
Even if a child or a grown up you know asks you to touch their private parts or they want to touch your private parts, do not let them! If they try to look at your private parts or make you look at their private parts, shout, “NO!” and run away! It’s not ok even if it’s someone you know or trust or like.
Anytime a grown up you don’t know comes to you and tries to talk to you, go find a parent or another trusted adult. Mommy or Daddy can come with you to talk to the grown up. Together with Mommy or Daddy, you can smile or wave or say hello. NEVER follow someone you don’t know and go away from your family. Don’t get into their car, don’t hold their hand and go with them anywhere. Tell your parents what happened. We don’t keep secrets from our parents. They need to know everything that happens because it’s their job to protect us and keep us safe! Our parents love us to the moon and back and they want us to be safe.
If a grown up asks you for help DO NOT go anywhere with them alone, even if it’s someone you know. Find Mommy, Daddy or whoever is taking care of you and tell them what happened. Sometimes we help Mommy put clean clothes into drawers, sometimes we help Daddy wipe the dinner table, and sometimes we help our teacher by passing a book to her. But most of the time grown ups are capable of doing things on their own and they should not need a child’s help. So, if any grown up asks you for help, go and ask Mommy or Daddy first. Grown ups should usually ask other grown ups for help.
PERSONAL SPACE BUBBLE
SO, what can we do to protect ourselves? Sometimes, it can be tricky to know whether something is right or wrong. Did you know that everyone has a personal bubble to help keep them safe? Yup- I have a bubble around myself, your best friend has a bubble, your teacher has a bubble, and YOU have an imaginary bubble! It is there to protect us. When you sit at the learning carpet for Circle Time at school, imagine all your friends with a bubble around them. Your teacher asks you to keep your hands to yourself, right? We can respect others’ space by not popping their bubble. How do you pop someone’s bubble? Good touches like hugs do not pop bubbles. But if someone were to hit you or touch you in a way that makes you uncomfortable, your bubble would pop. So, remember to respect everyone’s bubbles! For example, if you’re having a fun time tickling a friend and eventually they’re done laughing and ask you to stop, that’s the time you should listen to your friend, and stop. This way, you keep your friend’s invisible bubble safe!
Let’s protect our bubbles and other people’s bubbles by using good touches only!
*Note to Parents*
It has been recommended that children never be given the impression that they have to touch someone or show someone affection against their will. Parents are advised to never force their child to give a hug or a kiss, even to a well loved member of the family such as a grandparent. Work with your child on finding a form of affection they are comfortable with (or perhaps wait for a later time, and try again), but never give them the impression that they don’t have a choice in what is done with their physical body.
Please be aware that this lesson is very much simplified. The issue at hand is hugely complex and there is a plethora of information (both correct and incorrect) available in the mainstream. As your children get older, you will revisit this lesson many times and continue to remind and refine the message. For example, abusers can touch areas that are not so-called sexual parts, but still in an inappropriate, sexual way - stroking arm, licking ear, etc. These details can be explained in time. For more on this point, see the following article: The Problem with Good Touch, Bad Touch
Have your child try to answer first and then you answer as well, sharing about your own experiences growing up.
How does this lesson make you feel? Why?
Do you have anything you want to tell Mommy and Daddy?
Let’s talk about some examples of good touch.
What would you do if a tricky person approached you?
What should you do if someone gives you a bad touch?
What are some good ways an adult can ask for help? What are some bad ways?
What kinds of touches can “pop” your bubble? What touches are safe and do not pop your bubble?
Is there anything you’d like to pray about together today?
We are awesome children. God and our parents love us so much. God gave us our sense of touch and it can be used for wonderful things. However, sometimes, we need to protect ourselves from bad touch. We should imagine a bubble around ourselves to remind us about our personal space and our boundaries. If someone gives us an unwanted touch, we need to say, “STOP” and tell Mommy or Daddy.
Thank you, God, for making my precious body. I know I need to love my body and protect my body. Please help me to respect other peoples’ bodies and help them to respect mine. Help me to be brave and strong and say, “NO” if someone tries to touch me in a way they shouldn’t. Thank you for making me. Amen.
Use these activities together with your child over the next month to create ongoing conversations!
Good Touch and Bad Touch by Wow Kids Preschool (educational)
Kids Guess What's In the Box! by HiHo Kids (entertainment)
BLOW BUBBLES together to remind children about their personal space bubble!
MYSTERY BOX: Let’s explore our God-given sense of touch! Create a “Mystery box” full of objects that are interesting to touch (ex: fuzzy toys, rocks, moss, slime, play dough, pinecones, etc.). Allow your child to reach in and feel around, trying to guess what the objects are. Talk to her about how the objects felt in her hands and on her fingers.
TRUST FALL: “Fall Back” activity: Stand behind your child, facing his back, about 2-3 feet from him, depending on his height. If he is very short, you may want to go down on your knees. Allow him to fall back onto you while you hold both your arms straight out to slip under his arms to catch him.
GOOD TOUCHES: Ask your child to practice some good touches with you or a sibling. For example, encourage her to give a hug, help tie a shoe, shake a hand, or give a pinky promise!
ROLE PLAY: Act out scenarios of good and acceptable touching versus inappropriate touching and tricky people