So...I was examining an 8 year old, slightly precocious little girl the other day. She is at the age where she is not sure if she needs a gown on while in the exam room, but at the same time is becoming more aware of her body, so she decided to wear the top half of the paper gown, but forgoes the bottom sheet to wear her underwear. (I try to let the patients know that they can decide how they want to be "covered" up as they get older, and they are all different for sure!)
While I was examining her abdomen, I find it is an opportune time to discuss who can and cannot pull down your underwear. I start this dialogue when a child is around 3 years old and out of diapers, but continue it throughout the elementary years.
As I am talking to her about this, she quickly sits up in all of her precociousness and draws an imaginary line from beneath her neck to the top of her thighs as she says, "don't touch me there, that's my No-No square" after which she erupts in giggles. Well, I must admit, that was a far better way of discussing appropriate boundaries as to touching "private parts" than I had come up with!!!
I immediately asked her if I might share this clever line with others and she told me "all of the girls in my class know this" so I guess I am a little behind.
Can you think of a better way to tell little girls about places they cannot be touched? So now with little boys, I draw a line around their underwear and tell them that this is their "No-No square" too. They seem to get this concrete idea very well. Just a simple one sentence is worth a million other explanations as to boundaries and what is appropriate.
Now I'm going to have to figure out a comparable way to talk to those older boys and girls. Any ideas you have for clever words, please forward to me! I need one that works as a text message!
That's your daily dose for today. I'm Dr. Sue Hubbard from The Kid's Doctor.