When to talk to child about innappropriate behavior/touching?


My 5 year old, Kindergartner, just told me that a boy in another class calls her his “girlfriend”. And then the Principle said what a cute couple they made. She called him her boyfriend too. I know some people will say that this is a normal part of growing up but I disagree. I am really against this.

I guess what really freaked me out what that she woke up from her nap today screaming and crying and when I asked her what happened she said “I can’t tell you.” She said someone hurt her. I asked who and tried not to push but then once she was fully woken up she said she couldn’t remember. I really can’t say if it was coincidence or what but I do know that outside of the time she is at school she does not leave our sight.

I just a have a big knot in my stomach. It occurred to me that we haven’t even talked with our daughter about inappropriate touching/comments/etc.

She is in public school, because of special services there, and suddenly I am really missing the Catholic school!

Please help.



As soon as I started potty training I began talking about the private places that no one else was allowed to touch or look at besides daddy and mommy.

It sounds like she might have been having a nightmare to me…


I’d go with Lillith about the nightmare thing.

I’ve got three girls and I can tell you I started young with the inappropriate touching talks. And I’m glad I did. When my oldest was in a public pre-school, I couldn’t believe what I saw and heard from some of the kids. I typically don’t mind too much about if someone says my daughter and a friend make a cute couple (because sometimes they do) because I’m not going to attribute adult sexuality to a phrase identifying two small children. But if it goes beyond that (like an adult practically forcing it onto my daughter), then yes, I put the brakes on.

And it’s just really important to teach the kids to not fear any type of reprisal for saying no, even if they have to shout it to get the other person to stop.


My DH and I did discuss it when potty training but it was more general as in “That is a private area…etc. etc.” but not so much about what to DO if someone does something inappropriate.

I guess I have just heard so much on the news and I get really freaked out. There are so many loving people out there, but so many weirdos too!


I think that sounds more like a nightmare…

I wouldn’t be too concerned about the the boyfriend/girlfriend talk… I think that’s very normal and it’s a great opportunity to reinforce the innocent aspects of being friends with the opposite sex, holding hands, etc…

If you’re really concerned I’d talk to the teacher. Find out if she’s noticed anything innapropriate…
Sounds pretty innocent to me…

But, to answer your question… it’s important to talk about privacy and modesty from an early age… ingrain it in them early and teach them how to respond to anything innapropriate.


I can see why you would be troubled at the boyfriend/girlfriend talk. But if it makes you feel any better, I sometimes “lightly” teased my soon-to-be niece about that sort of thing. She would tell me about her friends at school and if one was a boy, I would say, “Oh, is he your boyfriend?” And she would say “Noooooo!” Then I’d tell her I was just teasing her. She has a good sense of humor.

About the private part thing, I can remember my mom telling me that as far back as I can remember. Probably after I showed that I could soak in information from her, she told me that.


With all the crazy stuff that goes around, I to started talking to my son at a very young age and again bring it up every now and then.

When he was younger, with the exception of daycare staff (only for diaper change and cleaning) and aunty, dad & mom were allowed to touch privates or doctor for checkup.

Also we used the right names so he knew to tell us if anything was amiss. Also, now no one must touch or see. With the exception of whoever is helping him with his bath/shower and at to doctors office for a checkup.

The no see came about because of when they go swimming at school, the boys sometimes use the same change room.


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