Just recently I’ve found myself having to Risk on Purpose teaching Protective Behaviours to teenagers. When discussing the second theme, ‘We can talk to someone about anything,’ the question comes up about what ‘anything’ could be. When speaking to young adults the answer is that sometimes that something is sex. So, who would you go to if you had a question about sex? Not surprisingly, most of the students answered that they would ask their mates, and girls most often say they would ask their friends. No-one says they will ask a parent, a teacher, a family friend, a relative, a youth worker, or anyone who may have knowledge on the subject.
This is of great concern to me, which leads to a discussion about, ‘how well do you think your mate or friend will really know all the answers?’ or ‘Where do you think your friend got their information from?’ Usually, it is gained from watching pornography. Young people are gathering up information about this important subject from a variety of sources; the internet, pornography, overheard conversations, misunderstandings, misinformation given to them by others, being exposed to inappropriate behaviours, insufficient handling of the subject from adults, and this should be of great concern for all parents.
The strategy I’ve been using when we are doing the young adults Networks is to give additional information. So, as well as giving them the Kids Help Line number I am finding it is also essential to provide other associated help line numbers, such as Family Planning or, around Alice Springs, the number for Clinic 34. These are numbers that young people can ring and ask all the questions they need answering. There is no judgment, just dedicated people who are interested in helping young people in whatever capacity they can, and those young people can expect that their enquires will be handled with diplomacy and confidentiality.
When I’m invited into a school, the first question I ask is, ‘What was the critical incident that got you to contact me?’ Years ago, for pre primary children, the most they had to contend with was, ‘You show me yours and I’ll show you mine’, which is quite normal behaviour for 5 year olds. But all too often now it is in fact much more than just curiosity even with kindy and preprimary students. They are exhibiting very sexualised behaviours well beyond their years. This is, for the most part, learned behaviour. Our young people are being exposed to careless information and images in relation to the sexual relationships of adults, and the appalling result is a generation of children who are exposed to completely inappropriate sexual stimuli.
I’ve attached a link to this wonderful new book, which helps with this very tricky subject.
For more information about, ‘Is this normal? Understanding your child’s sexual behaviour,’ go to the link below to download a brochure.
For more tips and to keep up-to-date with other resources, you may like to follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe4Kids/118883254812505
Product of the Month: Sing Yourself Safe
Safe 4 Kids Sing Yourself Safe
This CD contains 14 songs; it comes in a bright green case and is complete with a lyric booklet. Children love to sing, dance and perform, and this music collection allows them to do all that. This CD uses the language of Protective Behaviours, reinforcing to the children the themes they have learnt, and encouraging them through the use of catchy, easy to learn songs which will soon become family or classroom favourites.
Price AUD $29.95 (inc. GST)
Safe4Kids Training Programs
Holly-ann provides specialised training for teachers, childcare educators and parents to provide them with skills and practical ideas for teaching Protective Behaviours to children. You can begin to implement this program in your school, childcare centre or home with a basic training workshop - in two hours you can gain enough knowledge to immediately start teaching your children and begin modeling the language, concepts and strategies of Abuse Prevention Education.
Basic Training is a two hour professional development for teachers and childcare educators, presented by Holly-ann Martin as an introduction to her ten-week lesson plan.
Classroom Mentoring is also available for more detailed and practical training for teachers.
Parent Workshop is a two hour session packed with fantastic ideas for parents to begin practicing pro-active behaviour and language with their children at home.
Holly-ann is also available for customised in-house training and consulting by request.
If you would like more information about training, or would like to engage Holly-ann as a speaker at your event, please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org