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Underwear Rule for Children - What Is It? How to Explain to a Child?

  • Published:
    26 May 2023
  • Updated:
    01 February 2024
The underwear rule

In the safety rules that are taught from a very young age, there is the concept of the "panty rule" (underpants or underwear) or "underwear rule." With the help of this easy-to-remember comparison, children are explained what they should know about personal boundaries (physical in the first place).

Underwear Rule for Children - How to Explain?

The rule looks something like this:

"P - Private means intimate body parts belong only to you. Only your parents or a doctor can touch them in certain exceptional cases.

"A" - Always remember your body belongs to you - and no one has the right to do anything with it. Especially without your consent.

"N" - No means "No". There is no other meaning to this word. If you say no to someone, and this person keeps trying to touch you and violate your boundaries - this is a good reason to tell an adult (parent) about it. Saying "No" is not shameful! Saying "No" is not guilty!

"T" - Talk about secrets that upset you - talk about everything (all the secrets) that upsets you. If an adult tells you, "Let this be our little secret," that's a reason to tell other adults (parents) immediately. Because there are bad and good secrets, anything that makes us feel bad is not worth keeping a secret.

"S" - Speak up; someone can help - and someone will help you. If something bad happens to you, share it with friends, parents, teachers, and the school psychologist. People who hurt children and teens always count on the fact that they are afraid to share what happened with someone because of guilt or shame. Share!!!

At What Age Should You Introduce the Underwear Rule?

It doesn't matter how old you are, five or sixteen. These rules are relevant at any age. Asking for help is important. No one should have to go through abuse or even attempted abuse alone. It is not shameful to ask for help. If someone has committed violence against you, it's not your fault! Speak up, ask for help - you have the right to do so.

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