How to teach small kids about private parts

Robin Sax, Parenting Safety Expert & Attorney, explains the best methods for teaching young children about private parts and appropriate boundaries for touching
How To Teach Young Children About Private Parts
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

How to teach small kids about private parts

First of all, parents need to know that most sexual assault and sexual predators out there are not the strangers, they are not the cases that make the headlines, they’re not the people who are snatching your kids from public places – they are the strangers that we all know. 87 to 92%, depending on which statistics you believe, of all sexual assaults occur in relationships where the victim knows the perpetrator. So we have to arm our kids with the knowledge that even people we love, even people we know, even people that are in our lives, could be people who could hurt them. As a sex crimes prosecutor, kids who don’t know the correct names for their body parts and use some unusual name makes it more difficult to be able to prosecute and understand the disclosures that they’re making. It’s hard as a prosecutor when they’re in my office. Imagine, if they are disclosing to a teacher. I had a case once where a kid said, “Daddy touched my pan.” And ‘pan’ in Spanish means ‘bread’ and for the longest time the teachers had no idea that the ‘pan’ meant this kid’s private parts. And so if I could give any one tip, it would be to have parents teach their kids the correct names of their body parts so everybody could understand it if they’re going to disclose. Parents should have conversations with their kids as soon as they begin speaking. So when they are getting their kids ready to dress for the summer and putting them in their bathing suits, it’s an opportune time to talk about the areas in which the bathing suit covers and the areas where the bathing suit doesn’t cover – that’s a really easy way to be able to identify private parts. You can have a conversation with your little 2-year-old and say, “Guess what – you’re wearing a bikini that covers your private parts and why is it that it’s covered? Because it’s a private area.” So normal, opportune times are during dress to start those conversations with those little wee ones.

Robin Sax, Parenting Safety Expert & Attorney, explains the best methods for teaching young children about private parts and appropriate boundaries for touching


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Robin Sax

Attorney & Legal Analyst

Robin is a legal analyst for Fox11 Los Angeles (KTTV). She appears there daily offering legal insight and analysis as well as parenting and safety expertise.  She also regularly contributes her legal and parenting expertise to The TODAY Show, Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America, CNN, and HLN. She covers both the unknown and known high profile cases including Conrad Murray, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Casey Anthony, Jaycee Dugard, OJ Simpson and many more.

Robin is also a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and Riverside County Deputy District Attorney who specialized in sex crimes against children. For over 15 years she prosecuted some of the most despicable defendants who committed the most heinous crimes, prosecuting hundreds of felony crimes including homicides, stalking, domestic violence, child sexual assault, and gang crimes. 

She is an author who has penned six books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Criminal Justice System and Predators and Child Molesters:  A Sex Crimes DA Answers 100 of the Most Asked Questions all of which draw on her vast experience as a prosecutor and victim right's advocate. Her powerful insights have regularly graced the pages of The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, People Magazine, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, The Los Angeles Times and the Women in Crime Ink blog.

In addition to advising numerous legal foundations, Robin regularly shares her valuable insight and expertise through speaking and teaching with members of the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, and the California District Attorney’s Association. Robin has served as adjunct professor of Women and Crime at Cal State Los Angeles and lecturer on criminal law and the justice system in UCLA’s Paralegal Training Program.

More Parenting Videos from Robin Sax >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter