This is quite a hard post to write because you want to think of your 5 year old only knowing innocent things in their lives. But with the things that have happened in our family and had been bought into my own home over the past few weeks and months, it was a subject I had to broach with Tilly who is 5.
The subject is The Underwear Rule, something bought about by the NSPCC to help children understand what is right and what is wrong when it comes to your body. I had first kinda mentioned this a year ago when she was four, but I wanted to know what understanding she had of what was right and wrong. It wasn't mentioned it again as I felt I didn't need to keep bringing it up, After all my little girl was safe and nobody that I deemed a danger to her was allowed near her. But I was wrong! The subject of child porn was bought into my own home by my daughters boyfriend.
So before I talked pants with Tilly again, I downloaded and read the PDF offered by NSPCC, this helped me to get it right and not scare her or make her get embarrassed (okay, she is 5, she gets embarrassed anyway)
The thing is not to scare kids when your talking to them. Tilly is totally unaware of what her sisters boyfriend was up to and until I hear more, I don't know how bad it all was. My own daughter has closed up and won't tell me if her little sister was ever in any danger when the boyfriend and her were taking Tilly out. So as I was getting Tilly dressed one day, we approached the subject of pants!
We talked about secrets and how there are good secrets and bad secrets, if anyone tells her to keep a bad secret, then she must tell Mummy, Kimmy or another grown up because if somebody does something you don't like and then tells you keep it a secret, then it is a bad secret and she certainly wouldn't get into trouble by talking to a grown up about it. She could of course keep good secrets and she then proceeded to tell me a secret that I wasn't to tell anyone. Of course I said I wouldn't tell anyone, I want her to know she can trust me.
We also talked about no meaning no! if someone tries to make her do something and she doesn't want to then she should say no, and the person should listen. This is one that she needs to take through to her adulthood because not enough people do understand that no really does mean no! If she says no to someone and they ignore her wishes, then she is to tell a grown up like mummy or Kimmy. If she doesn't want to do something, then people should obey her wishes.
I want Tilly to know like my older children did, that they can come to me to talk about anything and Tilly is lucky because if she doesn't want to talk to me, she has her brother and sisters. If she needs to talk to a grown up about something then she should feel safe. What ever she needs to talk about, it isn't anything to be scared about doing because grown ups can help them and no matter how bad it is, there is always someone to talk to whether it is mummy, Kimmy, the school, friends mums.
I was personally advised by Kent Social Services to talk to Tilly about this as I had been in contact with them over the incident with my daughters boyfriend. It is an amazing rule to know and the NSPCC have got it right all the way.