Raising the new sex-positive generation
Inclusive, age-appropriate Sex Education is critical for the safeguarding of children and prepares them for many life choices, whether that be sexual or not.
Studies show that comprehensive Sex Education actually reduces the rates of sexual activity and decreases STI & pregnancy rates.
Education (or lack of) that is full of shame however does the opposite and as we know, school sex ed lacks (due to funding/religion) and often the quality depends on who your child has teaching them.
So what can you do to ensure you child knows how to make the right decisions when it comes to their (and others) body?
Simple Tips On Being A Sex-Positive Parent.
Teach consent as early as possible.
Teach that masturbation is normal - it's a healthy part of development!
Teaching children that masturbation is shameful leads to negative patterns in future developmen and many individuals experience feelings of abnormality - we all have a right to explore our bodies. This resource is fab.
Teach that they do not owe their body to anyone, ever - and vice versa.
This can be practiced simply by letting your child know it's their choice if you want someone to hug them for example - even other family members like grandparents.
Teach the anatomically correct words for their bodies.
Teaching them to call their genitals 'moo moo' or even 'front bottom', makes it super hard to identify if they are having a problem or, to the extreme if they are being abused - example story here.
On top of this, we are adding to the shame that they shouldn't be talking about their genitals.
How Do I Teach My Kid Consent?
Teaching consent is an important part of educating your child about sexual health and life in general. It is a fundamental concept that can be learnt at any age and also means they will learn to respect the choice of others in any scenario.
In the UK at primary school, consent is taught through everyday games and teaching. It is then taught explicitly in secondary through RSE (sex ed).
Here are some top tips:
- Teach kids to ask permission before touching or hugging someone – “Would you like to give Auntie Jo a hug?” or “Ask Lily if she would like a hug goodbye”. If they say no, teach them that we should listen to and respect their decision.
- Teach kids that ‘no‘ and ‘stop‘ are important words that should be respected – “Just like when the teacher says stop, our friends need to stop when we say no too” and vice versa!
- Talk to them about their ‘Belly Voice’ – teach your kid about their gut feeling and how it is important to listen to it. If they are confused by their feelings, they can come to you for help.
- Encourage kids to wash their genitals – parents need to help sometimes but explaining that keeping ‘down there’ clean is important is a great way to encourage body pride and a sense of ownership. You can also model consent by asking for permission to help wash your child’s body.
- Teach kids to help others who may be in trouble and alert trusted grownups
- Help create empathy within your child by explaining how something they have done may have hurt someone – “I know you wanted that toy, but when you hit Mikey, it hurt him and he felt sad. We don't want Mikey to feel sad”
- Allow your child to talk about their body in any way they want without shame – teach them the correct names for their body parts.
Great Books For Teaching Consent
Books are a great way of teaching consent to young kids in a subtle way. I have put together a list of my favourite ones👇
It can be super daunting entering this world and it can seem like there's not much help out there for parents.
Here are some amazing resources (tried and tested) for ensuring you're clued up for your kids.
It can often be hard to find inclusive resources for your classroom + courses to further your learning, so I have compiled a list of my favourite RSE (sex ed) resources for school teachers, parents/guardians + sex educators - free & paid.
The Sex Positive Blog
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