How did you find out about puberty and sex? Do you want to be the same or different?

I know it’s March, but it has taken me a bit of time to get into the full swing of 2019.

How did you find out about puberty and sex ….and everything else in between, (because it is far greater than just these two conversations)? Do you want your conversations to be the same in 2019, or will it be like the way you might have found out as a kid?

 My mum and dad never had ‘the talk’ with me. I came home from school one day and there was the book sitting on my bed. I still have that exact copy, ‘Where Did I Come From?’ by Peter Mayle. It used to be one of the only books around in those days and to this day it is still very funny, even though it only talks about babies being conceived in one way.

The book ‘What’s Happening to Me?’ is the follow-up and still I would recommend it even though there are now so many other books around. As a pre-teen I read this book and got the shock of my life!  That was it! done and dusted...no questions asked, and no conversations with mum and dad necessary. Even though my parents were quite progressive (they both worked full time and believed in equality back in the day) it must have been difficult for them to have these conversations, as it is today.

 At the age of 10 I got my periods. Once again I got the shock of my life because I wasn’t ready for this. I felt lonely as I don’t think anyone else had them. I had never talked about it, I was totally embarrassed, and I had no one to talk to. I stole pads out of my mum’s drawer until she found out. I breaks my heart to write this, because it did not need to be this way.

In our fast-paced and ever changing world, I believe we not only have a choice to talk to our kids about this, but a responsibility, regardless of our values and beleifs or how we feel, or what our past experiences may have been. We owe it to our daughters, and our sons too, to give them all knowledge and every opportunity to be prepared for all that lies ahead for them.

So how did you find out about puberty and sex? It can be the same for your kids, or it can be very different. It’s up to you?

 

It’s a scary world out there! Why we need to be talking about sex education more than ever!

We teach our children water safety, road safety and sun safety just to name a few but what about body safety around private parts? The statistics for sexual abuse amongst children are alarmingly high all over the world and as we know, the impact of sexual abuse has lifelong harmful effects.  Research suggests that children can become even more vulnerable to repeated abuse in the future if not addressed as early as possible.

 The perpetrators come from all walks of life. Statistically, over 90% are known to the victim. Child sexual abuse occurs when someone uses their power, force or authority to involve a child in sexual activity. Sexual abuse usually starts with grooming and can include sexual comments, flashing or touching, masturbation, oral sex, penetration, taking photographs and showing pornographic images.

 It is so important that we as parents and carers, know how to talk to children about body safety, what to do, what to say and who to tell, so that we keep them safe. This should happen as soon as a child knows how to talk and must continue throughout their lives. We can start to empower our children by teaching them the right names of the genitals and what private means, how to be body safe, unsafe feelings, touch, secrets, who to tell and what to say when they have warning signs that something is not right. Research shows that confident children who know the names of their genitals and who have supportive safety networks are less likely to be abused.

 As a parent the thought that my children might be sexually abused is one of my worst nightmares! So let’s be parents who are always there and available for our children no matter how hard the conversation might be.