Talk PANTS is something both myself and my children are aware of – it has been covered in their school, and there were leaflets sent home too. The Talk PANTS posters are displayed around the school too, and it’s so important that this message hits home.
It teaches incredibly important messages in a way that children can understand and relate to. In essence, it makes the point that their body belongs to them, and they can always tell an adult if they are upset or worried. It’s really easy to teach to your children too:
P – Privates are just that – private. The parts covered by pants are private and no one should ask to see or touch them.
A – Always remember that your body belongs to you. No one should make you do anything that makes you embarrassed or uncomfortable. If someone asks to see or touch your private parts, say NO and tell an adult that you trust.
N – NO means NO. You always have the right to say no – to anyone. Even if that person is a friend or family member. You are in control of your body and how you feel, no-one else.
T – Talk about secrets that upset you. There are good and bad secrets. Good secrets are things such as birthday presents. Bad secrets make you feel scared or worried or sad. You should ALWAYS tell an adult about a bad secret, even if someone else has told you not to.
S – Speak up, someone can help. Speak about the things that make you feel worried, anxious or upset. Someone can help – talk to an adult you trust. This could be your parents, a grown up sibling, an auntie or uncle, a friends parent, a teacher or you could even call someone like Childline.
Tips for parents:
- You know your child best, and you will know when they are ready to Talk PANTS. There is no ‘right’ age.
- Even if you think your child is ready, they may not be. If you start a discussion and they don’t want to talk, don’t force the issue. Try again in a few weeks.
- Don’t make it a one-off conversation. Discuss it often to reinforce the key messages and adapt the tone as your child grows.
- Make this type of conversation a normal, everyday thing. Don’t make it a big deal, make it normal. The less ‘weird’ you make it seem, the less weird it will feel for your child. If they feel comfortable and safe, they will talk to you.
- For more information, please visit the NSPCC Talk PANTS page.