The real key to giving children a positive, happy sense of ownership of their own body is to focus on the wonder and beauty of the physical and to make the body the subject of respect and awe. This works so much better than negative, fear-based approaches.
A good analogy that many parents have used successfully with their children is that of a horse and a bridle. Simple discussions with fairly young kids can build around questions like this:
How much do you weigh son?
Do you know how much a horse weighs?
About 10 times as much as you! And how strong do you think horses are?
Then let me ask you this. How can people ride horses and make them do what the rider wants?
A bridle is an interesting thing. It has a bit that goes between the horses teeth, and you can make them turn or stop or do what you want with just a gentle pull on the reigns. Isn’t that cool?
Now here’s the thing: Our appetites are kind of like horses. What are some of our appetites? For what?
Are these appetites pretty strong?
So just like with the horse, what might we need?
What could be a “bridle” for our appetite for food? What could be a “bridle” for our appetite to just sleep all day? What could be a bridle for our appetite to try drugs? What could be a bridle for our appetite to try sex while we are still too young?
If you are intrigued by this “bridling” metaphor, a whole book is available on it, written by someone with the pseudonym of “Dr. Bridell” which you can find on Amazon.
The Car Analogy
For many kids, an interest in cars starts early, and peaks as it gets close to the time when they can drive. So car analogies often work.
What determines how long a car will last?
What do we have to put into a car?
How do impurities affect it?
What can ruin the paint?
How do we fix it?
The analogies are endless.