Thank you to Arielle Buyum for a very informational parent education night about ‘How to talk to your children about sexuality’. Unfortunately not a lot of parents were in attendance due to the weather, however I feel the information shared should be made available to all our parents.
To a large extend it is the parent’s job to teach their child about sexuality and yesterday’s education night was applicable for children of all ages. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of those teachable moments and start, or continue having those conversations about: setting boundaries and recognizing boundaries of others, having empathy for others, understanding the functions of the different parts of the body, gender identity and gender roles, encouraging a positive body image, etc.
Allowing your child to have these conversations with you in a matter of fact manner and creating a trusting and safe environment will ensure that your children will continue to share their concerns and questions with you instead of them finding the answers elsewhere. Having these conversations now will also allow you to instill your values and your child is more likely to share those values later on in life.
For the older children topics such as safe sex, STI’s, birth control, healthy relationships, body changes, etc. should start finding their way into conversations with you. I know I was shocked to learn the % of students in the CNMI who report being sexually active by the age of 11 and the % of middle school students who reported having had sexual relations with 3 or more partners. Did you know that roughly 50% of the parents admitted to not having had a discussion about the use of condoms with their sons?
Arielle left a helpful article: ‘Hey, What Do I Say? A Parent to Parent guide on how to talk to children about sexuality.’ The article is available in the office and we will make copies for anyone who is interested. The article is also available online at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjT9czemKTPAhVP8GMKHSPIAV8QFggeMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.plannedparenthood.org%2Ffiles%2F2514%2F0034%2F8138%2FParentGuide.pdf&usg=AFQjCNELrXEZ1LRHdgeIRTCpNpYAlUy20w&cad=rja
If there is enough interest, I am confident we will find Arielle willing to do another Parent Night. If you are interested in learning more, please stop by the office or email me.