• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

The Messages We Give Our Children -- Part 1

Updated: Mar 5


When people find out that we teach Empowerment Self Defense to kids as young as five (and sometimes even younger), they’re often surprised.

I’m not sure what kinds of scary discussions they think we’re having with the kids.


But really, we keep things clear, simple, and as not scary as possible.

With very little kids, we talk about the “bathing suit” areas of their bodies.


The idea is very easy for them to imagine, and gets rid of the need to use the actual anatomical names for body parts (whether or not to use those names is a choice we leave to the parents to make).

All we have to say is that other people aren’t allowed to touch their “bathing suit areas.”

But, like everything else, that message can be complicated.

What about bath time? What about being at the doctor?


Well, the difference between certain types of situations, and the concept of “what is good for me and not good for me” are things parents can and should be talking about with their kids.

Well, the difference between certain types of situations, and the concept of “what is good for me and not good for me” are things parents can and should be talking about with their kids.

And the message gets even more complicated as kids get older.


What do we say when our small child is suddenly ten and asking how babies are made?

That’s when we need to explain that, “Until now, we’ve talked about bathing suit areas being off limits.


But someday, you’ll find somebody who is good for you and…”

Then what do we say? We don’t want to scare them. We want them to know that sex is a good and healthy thing when done with respect and consent, with the right person, at the right time.


The idea isn’t to scare children. In fact, I’d argue that building confidence, discovering their strength, and learning that they have autonomy over their own bodies is the opposite of scary.

The idea isn’t to scare children. In fact, I’d argue that building confidence, discovering their strength, and learning that they have autonomy over their own bodies is the opposite of scary.

The same is true for adults, too. Would that we had started learning in when we were 5.


Part 2 >>>

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