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YOU WANT ME TO SAY WHAT?! Let’s talk about sex… Myque Harris, MS, LCPC  Tennessee State University  Loyola University, 2005  Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist,

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Presentation on theme: "YOU WANT ME TO SAY WHAT?! Let’s talk about sex… Myque Harris, MS, LCPC  Tennessee State University  Loyola University, 2005  Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist,"— Presentation transcript:

1 YOU WANT ME TO SAY WHAT?! Let’s talk about sex… Myque Harris, MS, LCPC  Tennessee State University  Loyola University, 2005  Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist, 2007  Psychiatry Clinic, Private practice  School based mental health Adapted information “Instructions not included” from Mary B. Moore, SouthEastPsych


3 Questions, Questions, Questions  Story EBH – “Mommy…What’s dat?  Kids only take in what they can developmentally handle.  Building a foundation is important.

4 Start Early!!  DO NOT wait until you think kids will fully understand. This hurts more that helps…  Start early and build upon information  DO start talking to your children about their bodies and sex early  This will make future conversations easier to have!

5 TODAY  Today we will talk about the appropriate time to talk to your child about this topic  What you should say?  Help you determine what is important to your household and your individual child’s personality and development

6 Tips for a great sex talk  Model a positive attitude  Mindset: Talking about sex is like talking about any physical issue  Listen, Listen, Listen – Bite your tongue  Be Patient and ask promoting questions  Have a sense of humor  When your child asks a questions, respond with “Good question!”

7 We’re in this together Mom and Dad should have conversation about:  What are our family values related to sex?  What is our message?  How will our religious and/or spiritual beliefs play a role?  Is it acceptable to have sex outside of marriage?  If yes, at what age? What activity is “on/off” limits?  What are our feelings and thoughts about our son’s sexuality vs. our son’s?

8 Childhood Human Development  Physical  Growth  Puberty  Cognitive  ABC’s and 123’s  Ideas about the world around them  Social  Friendships  Relationships  Emotional  Feelings identification and articulation  Boundaries  Sexual  ???  What other areas of development overlap?

9 Birth to Toddlerhood (Age 3) Developmentally  Enjoy being naked  Curious about their bodies  Self-stimulate  Potty talk and blurt out  Concrete thinkers Parents need to  Label body parts – avoid using cute names and euphemisms  Set boundaries on behavior  Teach body and safety skills (very important foundation)  Provide choices to practice decision making skills

10 Early Childhood (4 to 6 year olds) Developmentally  Understand genders  Interested in what and how parts work  Embarrassment may start  May want to “marry” Mom or Dad  Self stimulation, may begin exploratory play with peers  “Where do babies come from?” Parents need to  Continue boundaries (privacy, body safety)  Use anatomically correct terms  Use real-life moments to illustrate explanations, e.g., pregnant woman, animals etc.  Use their baby book, ultrasound pictures to tell story of how babies  Practice and praise decision making skills “Good choices”  Answer questions simply and directly, like you would for physical concerns

11 Middle Childhood (7-9 year olds) Developmentally  Loves rules and logic  Abstract reasoning develops  Notice happenings around them  Relationships are strong: girls’ based on emotional intimacy; boys on interests and activities  Still touching  Understands many aspects of the mechanics of reproduction Parents need to  Be aware of social differences: girls – romance is in; boys – gross is cool  Reinforce body boundaries  Introduce puberty  Discuss conception and birth  Address family values regarding sex  Practice and praise good choices

12 Real Talk…  Expect detailed questions…  Ask what they already know  Correct misconceptions  Give concrete answers  Seize the moment!  Use a commercial airing about tampons as a time to talk about periods  Pregnant family member; use pregnancy to talk about baby developing inside the mothers body

13 Real Talk…7-9 year olds  How do babies get inside a mommy's tummy? You might say, "A mom and a dad make a baby by holding each other in a special way.“  How are babies born? For some kids, it might be enough to say, "Doctors and nurses help babies who are ready to be born." If your child wants more details, you might say, "Usually a mom pushes the baby out of her vagina.“  Why doesn't everyone have a penis? Try a simple explanation, such as, "Boys and girls bodies are made differently.“  Why do you have hair down there? Simplicity often works here, too. You might say, "Our bodies change as we get older." If your child wants more details, add, "Boys grow hair near their penises, and girls grow hair near their vaginas.“ ~ Mayo Clinic 2011

14 Late Childhood (10-12 year olds) Developmentally  Abstract Learners  Puberty begins – Yay hormones!  Friends become more important, so does peer pressure  Multi-media usage  Embarrassment increases  Attraction begins “He’s so hot!”  Crushes and dating  Self stimulation  May be in Sex Ed class at church or school  Increased understanding of the mechanics of sex  Understand sex is not just for making babies

15 Am I normal?  Kids between the ages of 8-12 years old start to observe changes in themselves and those around them.  They may wonder if they are “normal”.  Especially in regards to breast and penis size

16 Late Childhood (10-12 year olds) Parents need to  Be an active listener and assume innocence  Prepare for puberty early (body changes, body odor, period and wet dreams)  Discussions include more intimate content about relationships  Reinforce social and body boundaries (privacy, dress, words, reputation, technology)  Know your child’s friends  Be involved, maintain rituals and regular opportunities for open communication  Be an E-parent, monitor  Encourage tolerance to differences  Discuss how child makes decisions

17 Real Talk…10-12 year olds  What's an erection? You might say, "A boy's penis is usually soft. But sometimes it gets hard and stands away from the body. This is called an erection." Describe how an erection can happen while a boy is sleeping or when his penis is touched. This might also be the time to describe a wet dream.  What's a period? You might say, "A period means that a girl's body is mature enough to become pregnant." Explain how menstruation is an important part of the reproductive cycle. You might offer details on bleeding and feminine hygiene products. ~Mayo Clinic 2011

18 Real Talk…10-12 year olds  How do people have sex? If your child wonders about the mechanics of sex, be honest. You might say, "The man puts his penis inside the woman's vagina." Consider using a book with illustrations or diagrams to help your child understand.  Can two girls have sex? Or two boys? It might be enough to say, "Yes. There are many types of intimate relationships." If your child wants to know more, you might take the opportunity to talk about respect for others or to share your personal thoughts about homosexuality.  What's masturbation? You might say, "Masturbation is when a boy rubs his penis or a girl rubs her vaginal area." Remind your child that masturbation is a normal —but private—activity. ~Mayo Clinic 2011

19 The Goals:  The facts  Healthy sexual attitudes  Your ethics and values  Preparing our kids for exposure, complexity of relationships, temptations, fears, joys, responsibilities  Teaching critical thinking and self-discipline  Responsible sexual behavior  Build open communication and establish that you are approachable about all issues – large and small

20 Other considerations  Cervical cancer vaccine  Talking to Teens about Sex  How will I know I'm ready for sex?  What if my boyfriend or girlfriend wants to have sex, but I don't?  What if I think I'm gay?  Healthy relationships

21 Books For Kids &Parents  “What’s Happening To Me?” by Peter Mayle  “The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls,” by American Girl Books  “Where Did I Come From?” by Peter Mayle  “The Body Books for Boys,” by Rebecca Paley  “Boys’ Guide to Becoming a Teen,” Amer. Med. Assoc.  “Girls’ Guide to Becoming a Teen,” Amer. Med. Assoc.  “It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing up, Sex and Sexual Health,” by Robie Harris

22 Resources for Parents  “Talking to you kids about sex: Turning the Talk into conversation for Life,” by Laura Berman (Online article)  “Talking to Your kids about sex: from Birth to pre- teens,” by Lauri Berkencamp & Steven C. Aikins  “What your Kids Need to Hear From You About Sex: The Talk,” by Sharon Maxwell  “Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Sex (but were afraid they’d ask),” by Justin Richardson

23 Go into the world…  Start the dialogue  Give your child the language and the context to guide their sexual development


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