'Sex Ed' can be taught from birth for all learners
All children need information about their bodies and relationships from an early age, and parents and caregivers are perfectly positioned to give this information. If we start early we can also use this as an opportunity for us to get comfortable with the subject matter 😉
Of course, the information we give needs to be age-appropriate and in line with a child’s sexual development. Before a child starts school they have already gone through several stages of their sexual development and just by observing others, have already started to establish their gender and how that relates to their role in life. They have also been noticing different family groups and want to know how theirs fit in. They’ll already have got messages about how they should feel about their bodies and what’s ‘normal’.
As parents, caregivers and early-years educators children will be looking to us as role-models so we want to be aware of the kinds of messages we give about bodies and relationships, and we want to give factual information.
What’s appropriate to teach at this age and how can you get started? Well, I’ll tell you!
1) Give proper names for all parts of the body. This helps normalize these parts of the body and gives your child the vocabulary they need to report abuse. Depending on your child’s language skills you could also teach them signs or provide pictures of different parts of their body.
2) Teach your child that their body is private to them, which means they get to choose who touches their body.
3) Allow your child to explore and get to know their own body in private.
4) Talk to your child about what safe touch looks like and who would need to touch ‘private areas’ of the body – of course this will change over time.
New posts coming soon so keep checking in to find out more about how you can support your child.
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