Many parents delay talking to children about inappropriate touching, poll finds

Many parents delay talking to children about inappropriate touching, poll finds

Experts recommend starting conversations about inappropriate touching during the preschool years, but less than half of parents of preschoolers in a national poll say they've begun that discussion. Meanwhile, one in four parents of elementary school-age children say they have not yet begun talking about inappropriate touching, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of Michigan. The report is based on responses from 1,106 parents who had at least one child age 2-9 years. This is a conversation parents should be having multiple times in age-appropriate ways." Sarah Clark, Mott Poll co-director Three in five parents agree that the preschool years is the right time to talk about inappropriate touching. But among parents of preschoolers who have not talked about it, 71% believe their child is too young. Many parents also say they want more help navigating the conversation – but two in five say they haven't received any information on how to talk with their child about inappropriate touching. Just a quarter of parents have received such information from a health care provider. "Many parents have not gotten any information about how to talk with children about inappropriate touching. Without practical tips or suggestions, parents may be at a loss for how to begin." Clark notes that parents may start this process during the preschool years by teaching the anatomically correct names for body parts and explaining what parts are private. Among parents of elementary school-age children who have not talked about inappropriate touching, the most common reason was just not getting around to it (39%). Another 18% said that discussions are unnecessary because inappropriate touching of children rarely happens. Related Stories



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