Tag Archives: boundaries

When healthy exploration gets out of hand

Sad WomanAs a child I was raised fairly protected. I am the youngest of four children of which one is a very caring and protective brother. Although we grew up with a brother, us girls were never allowed to see him naked and he wasn’t allowed to see us. I know that this might not be the case for all children, but I am thankful to my parents for setting those rules. It taught me respect for my brother and more importantly, respect for myself. I knew that certain parts of the body were sacred and wasn’t to be exposed to any boy’s eyes. It kept a kind of innocence in me that I wish upon every child. That ended when I was 6 years old.

A family friend of my parents came to visit us over the Christmas holiday and she brought her two sons along with her. They were raised in a different culture to ours. They got to shower along with their mother. Sexual boundaries weren’t put in place and there were sure consequences. One evening I went to my mother’s Ai??en suite bathroom that was hidden behind closet doors without a lock. It was late, I was tired and I didn’t think I needed to be on my guard. By the time I was already seated on the toilet, the youngest of the two boys came into the bathroom, forcefully pushed me to the back of the toilet, and started groping me. I didn’t know what hit me. I was too young to understand. All I knew was what he did was wrong. Instead of feeling used and victimized, I felt guilty so I kept it a secret in my heart for years. I knew that if I spoke up about it, I would be blamed since I was one year older than him and it happened in my parents’ home.Ai??

As an adult I still carry scars from that seemingly innocent experience. I have once endeavored to open up my heart to a boyfriend and tell him of my experience. He laughed and said: “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine. That’s cute. Ai??All kids do that and it’s totally normal. All children want it explore. It’s healthy.” I thought to myself: Really?! One of the most painful experiences of my life is deemed normal? Do you mean to tell me that everybody truly goes through this as a child? I knew this wasn’t true, but his comment made me feel like opening up to anyone else about this would only leave me more hurt and confused. So I shut myself up and threw away the keys.Ai??

My question to you is this: when is abuse abuse? Where does one draw the line between ‘healthy exploration’ and sexual violation. I didn’t want to be explored. I didn’t want to be touched. Why is then that I feel to blame. Why do I feel like the fool who failed to recognize that this behaviour towards me is normal and that everyone goes through it?Ai??

If there’s one thing that I want to shout from mountain tops it’s this: one can NEVER be too guarded when it comes to ones children. If you allow your kids to sleep over at their friends’ houses, you have to keep into consideration that their culture might be very different from yours. Your children could very possibly be exposed to things that you don’t want them to be exposed to, and they might never have the courage to tell you. Do you allow your daughters to sit on men’s laps. Has it ever occurred to you that there are pedophiles out there who can take advantage of your innocent children and you might never know about it? Do you allow your children’s cousins of the opposite sex to see your children naked. Do you allow your girls and boys to bath together, get dressed together and play naked together? You might be doing your children a bigger disservice than you can ever imagine. We are living in an age where 2nd graders are being raped. Little boys are exposed to pornography and nothing is left sacred anymore. The rape statistic in our country is high as it is, but consider that the majority of people who get raped never tell a soul, because they feel that they are to blame. That little boy, who forever changed the way I see myself, was taught by his mother that what he did was okay. So tell me: what happens when this little innocent boy gets older and starts developing? That is most likely the teenager who will rape a girl in the school dressing room, because he was taught that sexual violence against minors is acceptable. If you want to change the way our society sees sex, then you need to start in your own family. What are you exposing your children to? What are you allowing? You have more power in this than you think. It’s never too late to change the sexual culture in your family. We can change the way society sees sex, one family at a time. “

Disclaimer: this is a truthful narrative of my own experience and individual opinions. It is not a reflection of Ukankhanya’s views or opinions in any way.

More Information:

Educating Children about their bodies.

Signs of abuse in children.

How to build a healthy and long lasting relationship with your teenager

Many times I get the question how do I build a relationship with my teenager? The answer is not an easy one as it starts the day your baby is born. The day your baby lies in your arms for the first time you need to start building on that relationship for the day he/she becomes a teenager.

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Child Body Safety – Educating Children About Their Bodies


This is an article that has been copied from a website called TheMammaBearEffectAi??please click on this link to read the article in its original format, and with pictures.

Ukukhanya seeks to prevent abuse in all forms, but does not specifically work with sexual abuse, if you suspect a child of being sexually abused please contact PATCH:Ai??0218526110 Ai??If you suspect an adult (over 18y) is being sexually abused contact RAPE CRISIS:Ai??0218525620

Below you will find age-by-age suggestions for educating children about their bodies & child body safety, and empowering them with techniques to deter the threat of sexual abuse.

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Setting Boundaries

Everywhere we look there are boundaries. We have them around our homes (fences), our workplace (policies and rules) the road (traffic act) and we need to keep to this otherwise there could be consequences for us. Why then is it so difficult to have boundaries in our relationships.

Between two partners there need to be certain boundaries. One such a boundary between me and my husband is that we need to inform each other if we are going to be late returning home from somewhere else. This is for safety reasons. As you could see, boundaries should be reasonable and also have got good solid reasons which both partners are happy with. Some of these boundaries can be no shouting, no swearing, no physical harm etc. In severe cases it may even be no contact. Sometimes it is difficult for two people to agree to some of these boundaries and then they need the help of the court in setting these boundaries by taking out a Protection Order against their partner. Ai??By taking out a protection order it will most likely mean that one of the parties would not be happy with this protection order and the conditions contained in this. That is why it is so important to set these boundaries early in the relationship even before it becomes a problem.

With our kids we also need to set boundaries from birth. Do not think you will set these boundaries when they are older and understand better. No by that time it should be part of their and your life. Be firm in setting these boundaries and do not move them around because that will cause unnecessary problems in your relationships. You cannot expect a 4year old for instance to understand why mommy/daddy allows him to have a cool drink with his meals the one day and the next he is not allowed to have any. You have got to put the rules down and then stick to it yourself. You cannot tell a 4 year old not to have something to drink with a meal and then do the exact thing you do not want him to do..

By setting down boundaries in a child’s life they will be so much better in putting boundaries down in their own life when needed. It can stop so much unnessacary heartache for them and you as the parent.

If I expect my husband to let me know he is going to be late I have to do the same when I am going to be late. Boundaries/rules are there for both parties. This will stop unnecessary heartache and disagreements later in your life.

Remember boundaries should always be reasonable and have solid reasons and be acceptable to both parties.

Hilda Lourens, CEO, Ukukhanya