Protecting Our Children: ‘The Underpants Rule’

By | July 10, 2013


It can be hard sometimes to talk to our children about things that are, well, scary and hard to talk about.  But, as we all know, it is those things we need to talk to our children about the most!  Check out the ‘Underpants Rule’ from UK based for a great, easy to use guide to help kids understand and remember how to keep themselves safe from abuse!

 Talk PANTS and help keep your child safe from abuse

The Underwear Rule is a simple way that parents can help keep children safe from abuse by teaching them that:

  • their body belongs to them
  • they have a right to say no
  • they should tell an adult if they’re upset or worried

We know talking to your child about their private parts and staying safe can seem difficult, but doesn’t have to be scary or mention sex.

Simple conversations can help children understand that their body is their own and help protect them from abuse.

Learn the Underwear Rule and you’ll have it covered

Using PANTS is an easy way for you to explain to your child the key elements of the Underwear Rule. We’ve also developed a child-friendly guide that you can use when explaining it.

You don’t have to go through each of the elements of the Underwear Rule all at once. It’s much better to keep the conversations small and often as the subject comes up.

Details of the Underwear Rule are listed below and we have also provided you with some useful download materials.

Privates are private

Be clear with your child that parts of their body covered by underwear are private. No one should ask your child to touch or look at parts of their body covered by underwear.

If anyone tries to touch their private parts, tell your child to say “no” and to tell an adult they trust about what has happened.

In some situations, people – family members at bathtime, or doctors and nurses – may need to touch your child’s private parts.

Explain that this is OK, but that those people should always explain why, and ask your child if it’s OK first.

Always remember your body belongs to you

Let your child know their body belongs to them, and no one else.

It can be helpful to talk about the difference between good touch and bad touch:

Good touch is helpful or comforting like a hug from someone you love.

Bad touch is being touched in a way that that makes you feel uncomfortable.

No one has the right to make them do anything with their body that makes them feel uncomfortable. And if anyone tries, tell your child they have the right to say no.

This can be a good time to remind your child that they can always talk to you about anything which worries or upsets them.

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