Over the last few months I've been traveling around doing lots of work in rural communities. In fact, one week there were 7 schools in which I ran 24 classes working with over 500 students. The same week I also ran 4 parent evening workshops which were very well attended. Some parents travelled up to 60km one way to attend after hearing about it in their local paper. Many of them came because Protective Behaviours was not being taught in their children's schools and they wanted to know more about it so they could push for it to be implemented in the schools their children are attending.
I had provided professional development for the teachers at the beginning of the year, training them in my 10 week lesson plan. I was then invited back to model one lesson from the plan with each class. Teachers could choose any one of the 10 lessons but 12 out of the 24 chose the public and private lesson. Luckily for me it's my favorite lesson - but when you have to do 5 of the same lessons in one day with students from Kindy to year 9 you may think it might get a little boring. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had one very clever little girl in Kindy tell me that a girl's front private part was called a vulva, which totally blew me away. At the other end of the day and spectrum I had year 8's openly trying to talk about how much pornography they watched. This does nothing but confirm the absolute necessity for programs which educate children.
I'm always speaking to parents in my training sessions about the prevalence and destructive nature of pornography, especially after I attended a talk last year in which a sexologist who had just done a study of 3000 young people aged from13 to 17 Australia-wide found 70% said that they were learning sex education from watching porn. I never call it porn when working with children, I use the term private pictures, and explain what that means. Even very young children, if they are unsupervised on the computer, can be exposed to some really explicit pictures. One teacher told me that earlier that day he had googled peanut allergies and had explicit pictures show up. Others have said don't google koalas, fairies, wool and children's toys.
We need to be able to speak to children and young people about what to do if they see these types of images. I have had some very interesting conversations with teenagers about the problem with sexting, which is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos via mobile phones. Most young men don't think they can get into trouble if they didn't take the photo. They don't realise that forwarding it on, even to one other person, is a criminal offence. We need to educate the whole community about this huge problem. It is especially crucial if young people are watching pornography and thinking that is normal.
These 2 links have 2 very good articles that have been in the Australia Women's Weekly.
Please take the time to read them and share them with as many people as you can.
Product of the Month
I am promoting my new book again this month as it's still the lesson most adults find hardest to talk to children about - which is what prompted me to write it in the first place. It is written in a direct instruction style but I'm hoping adults will be comfortable using it as a teaching tool.
Lauren feels unsafe at school when Hayden-Reece appears over the wall of the toilet she is using. She goes to tell her teacher Miss Martin, who is a person on her Network. Miss Martin teaches her class the difference between Public and Private, and explains that no one should see or touch your private parts, and that Private means ‘Just for you’.
This book will help both parents and teachers explain this important subject so that children of all ages will understand the difference between public and private, and how that applies to them personally in their daily lives.
Hayden-Reece learns a valuable lesson that Private means 'Just for You': BK2
Price AUD $20.00 (inc. GST)
I am also pleased to announce that I will be selling Professor Freda Briggs new ‘Smart Parenting for Safer Kids’ book. Professor Briggs is a renowned expert in the child protection field and has written many books on the subject. Her latest book covers Bullying, Cyberspace and Internet safety, Sexual Abuse, Parenting through Adolescence, and so much more.
Smart Parenting for Safer Kids: BKFB
Price AUD $34.99 (inc. GST)
‘Be Brave’ by Karen Rochester is another book that I will be stocking as it has powerful messages that will help children to speak out about things that are making them feel unsafe. It is suitable for children 8 years and onwards, and in fact I will be using it with teenagers in remote communities.
Be Brave: BKBB
Price AUD $24.99 (inc. GST)
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
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