Supportive conversations that include:
- How to talk to children and adolescents about bodies, sex, sexuality, and consent
- Navigating your own personal attitudes towards bodies, sex, sexuality, and consent
- How non-judgemental language facilitates honest conversation
- Topic specific presentations and workshops
- Promote conversations that are often difficult to initiate at home
There are three types of sexual conversations that adults can have with children or teenagers:
Spontaneous Conversations – These are ones that come up unexpectedly when a question comes out of the blue! Talking with other adults about sexuality prepares us for these situations.
Structured Conversations – These are situations where you create a specific time to talk about a topic or situation that has come up in a structured way e.g. puberty, watching pornography. Attending a workshop and getting resources to assist you will make this less daunting.
‘Silence Speaks’ – When parents / caregivers are silent about sexuality, for whatever reason, it speaks volumes to their child. It may tell them that ‘sex is dirty’, ‘something we can’t talk about’, ‘I can only talk with my peers about this’, ‘I must find out about this from somewhere else’ etc. Some adults may be survivors of sexual abuse or may not have received sexual information as children. Listening to other adults share their fears, questions and concerns may be helpful. Getting help about how to confidently speak to your child is not just a responsibility, but a great gift.
From the Start – Early childhood
Children are sexual beings from birth, and caregivers / parents need to respond to questions or situations that arise without feeling uncomfortable or dismissing the issues. This presentation or workshop addresses these issues and invites conversations and sharing from all who attend. Questions: “My toddler ‘touches himself’ when he baths, and we don’t know what to do.” “Is it okay to walk around without clothes on in the house?”
Questions are collected from participants before the workshop where possible.
Bridging the Gap – Puberty preparation
Be proactive by creating conversations about body changes and self-esteem well before puberty starts. This presentation will provide ideas for initiating these conversations. Question: “How can I tell my son about ‘wet dreams’?” “What do I do about exposure to pornography?”
The Sexy Smart book is used to facilitate this discussion.
‘What is a blue waffle?’ – Teens and Sexuality
Teens are asking many questions about sexuality! Resilience and child-rearing concepts are introduced. Parents / caregivers will listen to some of the questions teenagers have and we suggest some helpful ways to promote resilience and sexual well-being in adolescence. Parents are invited to share opinions and ideas.
The experience facilitated a change in the journey of our understanding of each other.Mother's response
I can also give answers to those who can’t understand what sexual abuse is because I have gained knowledge.Participant
She made tough things to talk about, seem simple.Participant
Sr. Ruth was the ideal person to deal directly with sexual issues. She invited learners to write down questions on sexual issues they needed answered. With the necessary medical knowledge as well as her ability to communicate with young people, her effervescent personality and irrepressible sense of humour she was a hit. The learners could ask her anything that they were worried about and could expect a sound answer.Organiser