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"It is your body"

Gee, what do I tell him? Poor lad 

Silent Sufferer, 2007-February-11 

The subject came up about "inappropriate touching". Tommy raised some interesting observations. He's quite astute for his age and very intelligent. He's always thinking for himself.

We discussed this "touching" in detail after he had a lesson in school about good 
touch/bad touch
. The teacher said that no one has the right to touch his body. It nearly made him cry. 

Tommy was utterly confused, and rightfully so. How your body could be yours, but controlled by someone else is a pretty scary concept. The conversation went as follows: I pieced it together from what Tommy told me in a roundabout way. I warn you though, it's not very logical.

Teacher: (assertive)...it's you body and no one has the right to touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Tommy: But what if someone touches me (down there) in a good way?

Teacher: No. It's wrong. You should tell someone right away!

Tommy: but it's my body, isn't it?

Teacher: Yes, it's your body. That's why no one has the right to touch it.

Tommy: (confused) But if it's my body, why I can't I say who can touch it?

Teacher: (frustrated) because your body is yours. 

Tommy: No it's not. It's yours.

Teacher: what do you mean? (Cocks head to one side)

Tommy: how can my body belong to me if I can't choose? If it's MY body why can't I say who can touch it and who can't? What if I wanted a girl to kiss me? You mean she can't even if I want her too?

Teacher: (like a broken record) because your body belongs to you and no one else. You can kiss girls when you get older. If an adult tries to touch you should run and tell someone right way.

Tommy: (at this point he was so confused he began to cry and ran out of the classroom.)

He told me all about it. Now he wants me to explain it to him, but I don't know what to say?

How can I tell him that even though it's his body, he doesn't own it yet? What a terrible reality he has to face. It must be devastating for him.

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