What is the difference between good touch and bad touch?

What is the difference between good touch and bad touch?
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 17-03-2023

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In today’s scenario, with an increase in the number of childhood sexual abuse and rape cases, it has become essential for guardians to talk to their kids about the differences between appropriate and inappropriate. It is also important to talk to children about sexual identity, and sexual development.

At a very young age, children get curious and start exploring their bodies by touching or rubbing their body parts even the genitals. During these years, they require appropriate guidance such as role, safety, and what privacy and private parts mean.

Importance to Teaching About Good Touch and Bad Touch

It is imperative to sensitize children about various issues regarding good touch and bad touch as it would make them emotionally strong. It helps them handle the not-so-positive events in life in a better way and healthier way. Understanding the difference between good touch and bad touch will help them grow and help them understand various events in their life so that they do not impact their personality and well-being.

Difference between Good Touch & Bad Touch

Good touch and bad touch are two important concepts that everyone should be aware of. Good touch is any kind of physical contact that makes someone feel safe and comfortable. This can include hugs, high-fives, and pats on the back. On the other hand, bad touch is any kind of physical contact that makes someone feel uncomfortable or scared. This can include hitting, pushing, or grabbing someone without their permission. It is important for adults to talk to children about good touch and bad touch so they can recognize when something is not right and know how to get help if needed.

A way to help children differentiate between good touch could be to explain with examples what constitutes ‘good touch’ as well as ‘bad touch’. You may explain “good touch” as a way people show feelings of care and nurturance for each other (like; gentle hugging). Whereas “Bad touch” is a kind of forced or unwanted touch (e.g. touching private parts). You can make your child learn about what is acceptable and what is an unacceptable touch, and also that s/he must retaliate by saying “NO” and inform you (or the teacher if at school) about any inappropriate or bad touches.

Good Touch Bad Touch Examples

Good Touch Bad Touch scripts are an important tool to help children learn about personal safety. They provide a safe space for children to talk about their feelings and experiences while helping them recognize the difference between good and bad touches. By using these scripts, parents, teachers, and caregivers can help children understand how to stay safe in different situations. The scripts also provide guidance on how to respond if they experience a bad touch or feel unsafe. With these scripts, children can be empowered with the knowledge of what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior so that they can protect themselves from harm.

Using the swimsuit rule can help them understand what parts of their body are private. All parts of the body that are covered by the swimsuit are private. Though this is only part of a big conversation as situations like these start with innocent touches and playing with children’s hair for instance. It s really helpful to give kids clear rules and teach them using scripts. These scripts don’t need to be scary and should help them understand the difference between good and bad touch and what to do if somebody touches you.

Examples of good touches – Hugs and kisses from parents, bathing and cleaning your private parts by parents, pat on the back from your teacher.

Examples of bad touch – Someone hitting, pinching, or hurting the child, someone putting their hands over the child’s private parts, and someone putting their hands inside the child’s clothes.

What to do when your kid touches another kid?

When your child touches another child, it can be a difficult situation to navigate. It is important to take the time to talk to both children and ensure that everyone involved feels safe and respected. The first step is to ask your child why they touched the other child, as this can help you understand their motivations and address any underlying issues that may have caused the behavior. Additionally, it is important to talk with the other child s parents or guardians so that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what happened. Finally, it is essential to provide guidance and support for both children so that they can learn how to interact appropriately in future situations.

Tips to teach your child good touch and bad touch

Clear guidelines: Ensure that the child knows, it is not okay for anyone to touch or even have a glance at their private parts. It becomes easy for children to follow a rule, and they will be able to recognize a bad touch. For children below 7 years, you can use the swimsuit rule to explain private parts (parts covered by a swimming suit).

Limit media exposure: Parental control settings are available on almost every device. Be cautious that children may knowingly or unknowingly discover adult sexual behaviors through screens.  Pornographic content may be shown to a child by peers or predators in your absence. Ask your child to report this to you if any such thing occurs.

Using the right words: Make the children learn accurate names for all body parts including genitals words (like, ‘penis’, ‘vagina’, ‘breasts’, and ‘buttocks’). Made-up names may be indicative of something wrong and may also make the child curious to find proper names.

Encourage queries: Don’t refuse to answer the questions of a curious little mind. However, your answer should depend upon the child’s age and ability to comprehend.

Handling curiosity: Don’t laugh or mock even if you find the queries to be silly. Even don’t react in an aggressive or disgusted manner. Be sensitive and don’t make the child feel ashamed for his/her curiosity. Answer the queries clearly and precisely, using simple words.

Keep it short and simplified:  Don’t go into an elaborative explanation. For instance, a pre-schooler needs not to know the details of sexual activities or reproduction. All information shared with the children must be appropriate for their age.

Big ‘NO’ to forced affection: Do not ask your child to give hugs or kisses to people if they do not wish to do so. Be it grandparents or other relatives or even the parents, it should be the child’s right to tell whether they want or don’t want to hug someone.

Keep reinforcing the idea that their body is their own and they shall protect it. Also reassure your children that you will listen to them, trust them, and want to protect them. Opt for online counselling via HopeQure for the best therapy services in India.

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