• Thanks Richa for highlighting this issue. I’ve always maintained, the moment children understand us completely we should tell them about Good and Bad touch. 3-3.5 years is a decent age to initiate. The workshops that I know of generally start at 4 years. This incident has shaken me up to bits, I take longer to trust people, specially when it comes to taking care of my child. I know what I’m doing is not right, but teaching them about ‘Good/Bad touch’ is a wonderful way to avoid such heinous acts of crime. We sure can prevent such incidents. As parents it’s our responsibility to avoid these situations.

    • *Rachna

      • Thank you Falak for connecting with the post. You are absolutely right. I started speaking to both my sons when they were about 3.5 to 4 years old. And, they did understand. I regularly ask both of them pointed questions about touch. It is better to be safe than sorry.

  • I have seen this video earlier, but I did go and watch it again and reminded myself to show it to my son too. It is scary at times about how the world can be. But we can certainly spread awareness among our children and take responsibility for them!! Thanks for reminding us via this article.

    • Thank you Simran! I found this workshop very useful because it gets down to the level of really young kids and conveys the concept in a language they understand. I play it for my younger son every few months.

  • I too remember having seen this episode of Satyamev Jayate and making a mental note of this workshop. My son is 16 months old now but I get very worried about the time when he would step out of home for playschool etc. And therfore, I am not in favour of sending them to playschool too young like at 1.5 years or so. They should atleast undestand what is happening and be able to communicate that to us!

    • I agree Seema! I did send my elder son to the creche at around 1.5 years of age. But, you are right. They are too tiny at that age to understand or communicate anything. It is best to wait a bit longer and also be vigilant with your baby sitters if you have one.

      • I have outsourced all the other home chores like cooking and cleaning etc but not the babysitting. I never leave my baby with anyone other than his dad. I may sound like a control freak but I am going to stick to it for another year till the time he starts playschool at 2.5 years. Then also I would probably pick and drop. This is the time when he needs me, eveything else can come later, not this stage. Keeping our children safe is one of our primary responsibilities, isn’t it?

        • No, you are not a control freak at all, Reema. I did pretty much the same thing with both my sons when they were young. I just never had a baby sitter for the same reasons. It can be tough for the parents but it really is desirable. Even with my elder son, I had quit my job and had pulled him out. Take care. I am proud of moms like you who are so clear about their priorities.

  • After reading this, while putting my 3.5 yr daughter to bed I went through the drill again. What do you do when someone other than mamma or pappa touches you “wrongly”? She parroted – “I will shout and scream and tell my teacher or mamma or pappa”. Thanks Rachana, for bringing this up!

    • Thank you Divya! And, I did the same, and he parroted the same. He even came and told me that some kids in his class were trying to touch him inappropriately and he complained to the ayyamma. I was happy that he shared this with me and that he remembered the simple lesson.

  • Koel Ghosh Mishra

    I completely agree with the discussion here. This is such an important part of bringing up kids. A similar incident happened in one of the branches of the renowned Mother’s Pride chain of pre schools. A 3 year old repeatedly molested by a male helper!!! We as parents need to be there for the child at all times and shed all inhibitions and speak to kids about things that will make them aware of possible danger around them!!!

    • Thank you so much Koel! You are absolutely right. We need to enable our kids and stay watchful as well.

  • Fab

    Excellent post!!! I have talked to my son about it too, though I’m not sure he understands the gravity of it, since he’s just 4. But , talk we must, and we’ll have to do it at regular intervals too, so that it is always somewhere at the top of our kids’ minds. Again, very good article!

    • Thank you so much, Fab! You are right; they don’t understand the gravity or the significance of it. But, they do understand that it is wrong and what they must do if they are in that situation. At least they won’t be guilt ridden or confused when such a situation presents itself. There are so many perverts out there :(.

  • This Good touch Bad touch education is the need of the hour. With everyday bringing in more reports on abuses, its better to inform and educate our children on these issues.
    All the times the child doesn’t know whats happening to them – what kind of abuse they go through and that its all wrong !!!
    Its time to change that !!! I too saw that Satyameva Jayate show on this issue !!! An important lesson to teach the children which might go to protect them !!!
    Good post Rachna !!!

    • Thank you Uma! It is sad that kids have to be initiated into this topic. But, it is better to be safe than sorry.

  • Amrita Thavrani

    Where the world is heading to , when we have teach our young brains about sexual abuse ? Such a tricky but unavoidable lessons these are. Thanks for bringing it up.

    • It is sickening, Amrita, I agree. It is shocking to read the crimes on kids these days. They are physically abused, raped and murdered. What is this world coming to? As parents, we are so much more scared.

  • Important post, Rachna. We hear of cases where the autorickshaw drivers who ferry children to school kissing the girls on their mouth. One child luckily complained and the issue was taken up. As you said, so many children just become frightened and stay silent. It really is the parent’s responsibility to make their children aware.

    Hugs! Thanks. So well expressed!

    • Thanks Vidya! It just gets more disgusting each day. What kind of perverts are we dealing with day in and day out? It is frightening for parents as well. Hugs back.

  • Yep, good that you wrote this post. We need to spread the message and talk about good and bad touch to kids. Many of the mothers are uncomfortable speaking about it and their kids suffer. My sister-in-law thankfully took the SJ episode seriously and talked to her daughters who in turn talked to their friends–although the eldest is only 5 years old. Thats how the message needs to spread. I hope teachers also talk about it.

    • So true, Bhavana! That is really nice of your sis-in-law. I remember broaching the topic with both my elder son and younger son by the time they turned 4. Yes, they do not understand the enormity of it. But, they understand what is inappropriate touch and what to do about it. That’s most important at their age.

  • Oh my god!! I didn’t know of this news, Rachna..really sad..what’s happening around us? We are living in a world full of perverts around us..don’t these insane a…. Know what they are doing? I know it’s important to talk to kids…but a 4 year old?? I wonder what their tiny brains would really understand..am speechless…now that my son is almost 10, I keep reminding him frequently..and my daughter will turn 4..god..I should talk to her too…

    • I know Latha, but perverts are all around us. You must broach the topic with your girl. I did it around the age of 4 for both of them. Take the tips from that workshop link that I shared. It is really easy for little kids to understand. At their age, this is all they need to understand.

      • Just watched the link, girl..love you loads…you made my life easy…:)

        • Love you too! You’re welcome. It is really simple isn’t it? Gautam parrots out the areas that no one has to touch and the things he has to do. The other day, he slapped a boy in his class who was touching his groin region. He said you cannot touch that :).

  • Hi Rachna,

    very timely post. I shared that workshop with my daughter too! I explained her the types of touch, when to feel alarmed and what to do in that case. We can’t be with our children all the time but alteast can show that we are all ears whatever and whenever that have something to say. Inculcating the faith in child in very important.

    • So true, Meenakshi! It is really nice that you shared this with your daughter. I hope each parent does it.

  • A very educative and sincere post which the parents need to take note of! Rachna, keep up the good work of spreading knowledge!!

    • Thank you so much, Rahul! You are always very encouraging.

  • Hi Rachana… I think you are absolutely right when you say talk to ur child…when we talk about hundred things making them aware about dangers lurking outside is a must in today time.

    • Thank you Desi Traveler. Times are such that kids need to be informed.

  • It seems the little girl who was molested knew it wasn’t ‘good touch’ without anyone telling her, which is why she was being threatened to keep silent about it. I agree the most important thing is to “…keep talking to your kids every single day.” Thank you for this thought-provoking post 😉

    • You are absolutely right. The girl would have known it was bad touch. But she did not know how to deal with it. Had her mom spoken to her, she might have come to her mother earlier.

  • I shudder to think the direction in which the world is heading to. I have seen two or three episodes in Dastak, highlighting this and related issues. I can’t imagine that the perpetrators of crimes as these have no thoughts whatsoever about the innocent children. This post offers practical and timely advice for teachers, parents and all others who work closely with children and young adults. Thanks Rachna for this spot-on post.

    Joy always,

    • Thank you Susan. I am with you when you say that these perpetrators are depraved. They don’t care for the children. So, we have to try and protect our kids by making them aware. It is sad the things we read in the papers about rape, incest, murder of young kids.

  • Nidhi

    Very well written and timely post. And thanks for sharing the video – I haven’t watched SJ – but this seems very useful!

    • Thank you Nidhi. I am glad that you found the post useful.

  • VERY VERY Important message

  • Rachna,very informative.
    There is a right time for everything and children must be taught at the right time lest one repents at later stage in life

    • True Chowlaji! Sadly the times are such that kids have to be told about these issues.

  • Rachna, I made special efforts to teach my kids the difference between good and bad touch. Infact a year back this helped my daughter in sensing a child molester’s move and reporting it to us parents immediately. We took care of the situation Thanks for this very important message.

    • Kavita kudos to you. We need watchful moms like you who educate their kids.

  • This is so scary…I am looking for a creche for my 1.5 year old as I am planning to start working again, and believe me I have rejected almost 4-5 renowned daycares because they did not pass my criteria ( most of them has male cleaning staff). That workshop is so useful, I might start talking about it the day my daughter starts understanding things…but till that time I feel really scared.

    • Nibedita, This is the biggest dilemma all moms face. I had put my elder son in the creche as well when I began working. He was 1.5 years then. But, I quit in less than a year. The schedule, the worries for my child’s safety, the time crunch took its toll. I am very happy today that I took that step. I am happy to be working only when kids are at school. With so many perverts around, we have to be even more careful than our parents were with us.

  • I am so thankful for that workshop that Amir conducted. It’s something that can be of great help to us moms and dads. But then we need to be reminded every now and then about its importance and in turn remind our kids. And this post does just that.

    • True Divya! And we need to keep repeating that to our young kids. We also need to really invest in establishing good communication with our kids.

  • Roshni

    Thank you for this post, Rachna! Perverts were there and will be there in this world from time immemorial. As small children, it is not necessary to download the entire sex talk on them, but even they are aware enough to know and tell a good touch from a bad touch. You are quite right that we should talk to them as soon as possible to make sure they understand their rights.

    • Exactly, Roshni! We just need to tell our kids the basic minimum which will help them deal in the event of an unfortunate incident. The information must always be age appropriate. Let us not hesitate now and repent later.

  • its very sad.. its very touching kids at the tender age being molested,, demons ..beasts all over ..its necessary to teach kids and make them smarter to differentiate bet good and bad touch ..
    thanks for sharing

    • Thank you Harman! I can’t begin to tell you how heart wrenching it is to read in the newspapers with sickening frequency about rape, molestation, abuse and murder of young kids :(.

  • A very important issue and no nonsense steps to deal with it. With the society deteriorating to such an extent, it is best to be prepared than repent. And as you have pointed out, it is a preventable crime.

    • You are right, Zephyr! What has the world come to? Every single day, the newspaper is filled with such news. It makes me sick to the stomach and very scared for my kids.

  • Excellent post, Rachna! It is increasingly becoming a scary world to raise our children in. Yes, we as parents need to be extra cautious, extra-alert about the safety of our children. Completely agree with you on the need to encourage open communication with your kids.

    “As parents, we cannot protect our child from every eventuality. But we can give them the power of awareness and also the knowledge that no matter what they can come to us, and we will be there for them.” Absolutely!

    Very pertinent issue raised, Rachna. I sincerely wish more and more schools would start making their pupils aware of such issues as good touch bad touch, sexual abuse, etc.

    • Thanks Deeps! I wish too that schools had counselors and actively encouraged discussion on these issues. Maybe, I will provide a feedback to them.

  • KP

    A very nice post alerting primarily the parents and particularly mom,their role in making aware to kids of what is proper and what is improper when dealing with others,teachers,strangers and even relatives.
    More than this the mom should give the feeling to the children that they can freely confide anything with her they consider out of ordinary without fear of being scolded.Kids should have such a confidence and secure feeling in her.It is for moms to make a self appraisal in this regard.

    • Thank you KP Sir. It is the responsibility of the parents to establish a comfort level as well as open communications with their kids.

  • Jas

    You have brought out a very important issue here Rachna and I am glad you did. This is extremely important and unless we provide an environment ot children where they can come home and talk about everything, we cannot get through this.

  • Thank you Jas. I hope more parents are aware of this.

  • Rape and molestation of young children is not new – it’s just that the media is actually bringing such things to the into the public eye. It’s a good thing that victims and their parents are now willing to speak out and even move to prosecute the perpetrators.
    Children instinctively know what is a bad touch – however, like you very rightly said, we must educate our kids to speak out when someone behaves inappropriately with them. Often, parents don’t want to believe what their children tell them, especially when such incidents involve close family. But we must always believe children in this matter.
    Thank you for writing about this very important issue, Rach.

    • Completely agree with you, Corinne. These incidents happened earlier too but are coming out in the open with more regularity now. That certainly is good. You are right when you say that the child knows that the touch is bad but does not know how to approach it. The shame, guilt and the threats eat up the poor child. Very young ones don’t even know what hit them. It is so distressing. While, we cannot eliminate all perverts, we can tell our kids clear cut things to do if caught in an unfortunate situation. And, we can only prevent major emotional damage from abuse from family members or strangers if we are open with our kids and they know that it is never their fault. Thank you for your encouraging words as always, dear Corinne.

  • So true. We have to make what is not spoken, spoken – so there are ways our little ones can express themselves on those rare and distressing occasions that someone takes advantage of their position.

    • Absolutely agree with you, Kate! We have to read more into what is not spoken. And they should be taught to voice the unspoken. Very well put.

  • It is a very disturbing issue, scary too. I am glad you have told your boys about it. I wish every parent does the same.

    • Thank you Destiny’s child. It indeed is disturbing and hurts me every time I read about an innocent child being violated this way. I just hope that parents actively do whatever is within their reach to protect their kids.

  • chattywren

    Thanks Rachna, this issue is really important. After reading about news about what’s been happening in India and even otherwise I think it’s important we educate our children at home about all these issues. I am already talking to my children. You are right, we as parents need to shed the cobwebs of antiquated thinking from our minds.

    • Thank you chattywren for being a proactive mom.

  • A very important issue which needs to be addressed by all parents, mandatorily! Such incidents, really scare you. As parents, we need to be vigilant and of course, all the channels of communication should be always open within the family.

    • Very well put Shilpa!

  • I’m bowled by your post. The choice of words, the flow of the article and the message in it; Rachna, with very few words, you’ve done a great job in highlighting the importance of open talks at dining table in families. Me and Husband both read this article, not that we didn’t know this or agreed with the concept, but the way you’ve written it has once again strengthened our decision of having a conversation with our 19 months young daughter at the appropriate time 🙂

    • Scribby, Thank you so much for such warm words. I am so happy that you are going to broach this subject with your daughter. Considering how dangerous the world has become for the most vulnerable people — our kids, we really need to be on guard when it comes to our children. Most of us are aware of it but we normally put it on the backburner. I hope parents start initiating these conversations with their kids. Thanks again for your comment and encouragement.

  • No kids yet, but all this is so much important to know. I remember watching SMJ too and filing it in the back of my mind for later! Much needed post Rachna!

    • Thank you Deepa! There were many episodes of SMJ that deeply impacted me. It is not as if we are not aware of these issues but bringing them to the centerstage helps initiate action. The world is a dangerous place to live in these days.

  • I totally agree, the good touch bad touch education is so much important for both the girl and boy child, and I have incorporated it alreasy since Zoey turned 3 and she could understand and reciprocate. Thanks for bringing this up Rachna!

    • Thank you so much, Poonam. I am glad that you initiated the talk with Zoey!

  • Hi Rachna,

    You couldn’t have put it any better. The good touch bad touch needs to be explained to children whether it is a boy or a girl. I have mentioned it to my son and he is aware that such things can happen if he is not careful. We desperately need to make our children aware about such things in today’s world.

    • Thank you Shail. I agree that we must take suitable steps.