• Lizzie Charbonneau

3 reasons to STOP saying "Good and Bad Touch", and say "Safe and Unsafe" touch instead




When I was researching safe and unsafe touch, a few things surprised me.


The first was how few academic articles I could find on best practices for teaching kids and unsafe touch.


The second was how many curricula and guides I found that talked about "good" and "bad" touch instead of "safe" and "unsafe" touch.


❗️❗️❗️WE NEED TO STOP SAYING GOOD AND BAD TOUCH❗️❗️❗️


Here are a few reasons why:


⭐️ "Good touch" implies it feels good.



But safe touch doesn't always feel "good". For example, getting a shot at the doctor's office feels "bad" but is still safe touch.


⭐️ "Bad touch" implies it feels bad.

As hard as it is to hear, CSA might involuntarily feel "good" to the child. If they think unsafe touch feels "bad", they might not understand that what they experienced was unsafe touch.


⭐️ "Good" and "Bad" add morality to the touch

If a child knows they have experienced "bad touch", they may internalize that *they* are bad or that they did something bad. Children must understand that unsafe touch is *never* their fault and does not make them bad.


If you've been saying "good" and "bad" touch, don't worry. What's great about body safety conversations is they're ongoing and evolving. You can always change the words you use, and if your kid is old enough, even explain why you're changing them.


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