Sexual Misconduct By Doctors

Boundaries For Children

Children have inborn boundaries naturally so we need to nurture them and cause them to become stronger. A boundary is inborn in all of us and it is without question a characteristic to continue to nurture in children. Some people still question children's ability to decipher between what is real and what isn't and they need a lesson on the matter of what a boundary actually is and what it isn't especially in children, which would probably help more people trust children's reactions and responses a whole lot more.

For example, many people think that children naturally pretend, but they don't. They learn to pretend. Children are concrete thinkers. What is real is real, unless they have been influenced otherwise, but then that they might question because it goes against their initial thinking and feelings. For instance, many children naturally dislike broccoli, onions, etc. It is because we are born with the innate sense to reject anything bitter or noxious because it might be poisonous. As we grow or are influenced differently, then we learn that broccoli and onions are ok.

Many kids are taught to trust adults in uniforms, parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, nurses, etc completely. And secondly, many kids were taught never to say no to an adult. This increases the chances that children will be sexually abused.

It is very alarming that children are taught that it's okay for doctors to touch their private parts while it is not okay for other people. They need to be taught to be very aware of their bodies and how they are feeling in any given situation and to be given some control and say over their bodies.

Many children have been indoctrinated that medicine and doctors are always good and right. Children often have no understanding of the concept that "medicine" or doctors can be wrong or can be bad for a person. The mindset of the individual both medical system and patient is that doctors feel that as doctors they are above suspicion and rules and patients feel that doctors are infallible.

Children historically have been taught essentially to NOT listen to their own bodies/tummies and to NOT have much control over their own lives. Children now need to be taught almost the opposite. They need to be taught to be very aware of their bodies and how they are feeling in any given situation and to be given some control and say over their bodies.

Parents should encourage children to not let doctors to touch certain parts of their bodies unnecessarily. A doctor could easily tell children that their nose is connected to their bottom. Take time to educate them about different parts of their body and make sure that they know that their private parts are not connected to many other parts such as ears, nose, face, throat, feet, etc. Some children are abused by doctors and never report the abuse because they feel it's normal and they are afraid their parents will get mad at them and not believe them. For example, one girl who was about 10 years old knew something was not right when her doctor wanted to examine her breasts. But her mother dismissed her concerns saying that she felt the doctor was not doing anything wrong. When a child has chicken pox, there's no need for the doctor to examine all parts of the child's body. It is very easy for a doctor to diagnose chicken pox by looking at certain parts of the body such as face, arms, legs, etc.

Teach children that they should never give in to something that makes them uncomfortable and that they should be able to say no to doctor anytime. Some younger children may not know the word “uncomfortable” so this is why you should tell them to listen to their bodies/tummies when they feel something is not right. One teenage girl's grandmother didn't like the fact that her granddaughter would not change into a gown and felt that she should obey the doctor's order. But the truth is there was no need for the granddaughter to change into a gown since she probably had the flu and the doctor could simply listen to her heart through shirt. The granddaughter kept her shirt on and the male doctor listened to her heart through her shirt successfully.

It is best that at least one parent to be present for their child's appointment & stay with the doctor in the examining room to protect the child.

Think about how many people have not reported that they were sexually abused as children until many years later. Many of them felt intimidated and felt that their parents would not believe them.

Executive Director/Co-Founder Irene van der Zande of Kidpower has written a great article about boundaries children should have to prevent sexual abuse. Check out the article. This article doesn't mention anything about doctors, but we feel that parents & children could use this article to apply to doctors too.

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