This is a hard letter for me to write. You are so small—only four months old—and I cannot stand to think of anything bad happening to you. But it’s my job to keep you safe, and I take that job very seriously. It’s my responsibility to buckle you in your car seat, put you to sleep on your back, and childproof our house. It’s also my responsibility to teach you to value your body and empower you to have boundaries around it.
I want you to feel comfortable having conversations about your body, and I need to start telling you some of this now so that I feel comfortable talking about this tough subject. We’ll talk more as you get older, but as a young child, here is what you should know:
- You never have to hug, kiss, or touch anyone—even me, Dad, other relatives, friends, or your teacher—if you don’t want to.
- Dad and I will teach you about your body and use proper names for your body parts. This will help you feel open and confident talking to us about your body.
- Some touches—like handshakes, high fives, and pats on the back—are good touches from adults and other kids who care about you.
- Your whole body is private whenever you want it to be, but some parts of your body are always private. For now it is OK for adults you trust to help you dress, use the restroom, and take a bath, but once you are old enough to do those on your own, no one should touch you where a bathing suit covers.
- If anyone ever touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, it is very important that you tell me. You will never be in trouble.
- No one should ever ask you to keep secrets from me or Dad. If anyone asks you to keep a secret, tell me. You will never be in trouble for that either.
We won’t talk about these things all at once, but body safety will be an ongoing part of our conversations at home—at bath time, when we play, and when you get dressed. I may be nervous, but you are counting on me to keep you safe.