Parents And Sex Education At Home

Are you a mum?

Are you a dad?

Is your child starting primary school and about to receive sex education?

Is your child asking difficult questions about sex and relationships and you don’t know the best ways to advise them?

Are you a parent and not sure how to talk about sex with your child?

Is your child rebelling as they go through puberty and you as a parent feels helpless because they won’t listen to you?

Hundreds of parents e-mail me asking for advice about their situation when talking to their children about sex and relationships education. Parents find sex and relationships one of the most difficult subjects to discuss with their children as they are frightened that:

  • If they give too much information to their children then this encourages them to have sex
  • If they don’t tell their children about sex and relationships that this leaves them vulnerable to abuse.
  • If they don’t tell them they worry that their children will turn to pornography or their friends to learn about the information they want to know.
  • They don’t have the correct and up-to-date knowledge to teach their own children about sex and relationships.

Don’t fear Dr Triece Turnbull is a Chartered Psychologist and Sexual Health Consultant who is happy to help and guide parents on the best ways to talk to their children about all aspects of sex and relationships education. I have worked with families for years and given them the help that they need, so if you are a parent that needs help and advice when talking to your child about sex and relationships education, fear no more. E-mail me at ‘triece@parent-zone.com’ and tell me your problems. I do not share, sell or tell people of the confidential e-mails that I receive, so if you are a parent and you need help don’t hesitate to contact me – You are not alone and help is here. Perfect parenting is a tough job!

For all those parents who are new to knowing about Dr Triece Turnbull’s website and services take a look at some of my publications and recent blogs as these will possibly have some of the answers you are looking for. I welcome all parents to join the Parent-Zone family and together we will soon be giving out children the sex and relationship education they need and deserve to keep themselves safe and make informed choices over their behaviour and personal relationships.

If you would like a FREE e-book on ‘The ten things your kids want to know, but daren’t ask’ ~ please register now. Join us at parent-zone.com and also receive top tips on how to talk to your children about all aspects of sex and relationship education. You will also be eligible to get involved in competitions so you can receive other FREE stuff that is going to help you raise your child – Parenting doesn’t have to be a hard task, especially if you have the right people supporting you. Call on Dr Triece Turnbull and take your worries away!

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Parents & Sex Education:A Step in the Right Direction

It is no surprise that parents are in support of good sex education for their children. This has been demonstrated in a recent report by the National Association of Headteachers who found from a 1000 parents 88% wanted ‘sex education and lessons on adult and peer relationships to be mandatory in schools’ and that 83% want issues concerning pornography to be included in the sex education that is provided (NAHT, 2013). However, parents also want to be involved in the sex education that is provided to their children.

In recent blog posts I have addressed what more needs to be done to support parents in the sex education they give to their children. The 3 part series looked at ‘Parents, Puberty and Sex Education in Schools: Part 1 – Where do we Start’; ‘Parents, Puberty and Sex Education in Schools: Part 2 - How do we move forward’ and ‘Parents, Puberty and Sex Education in Schools: Part 3 – Last in the Series’. Although Part 3 focused on providing parents with good, honest tips on how to talk to their children about sexual matters a communication model based on my research was given to help parents, schools and sexual health professionals. Further developments have included supporting Lucy Emmerson – the Co-ordinator of The Sex Education Forum in producing ‘Let’s work together, a practical guide for schools to involve parents and carers in sex and relationship education’. Lots of help and support is now available to support schools and parents in giving every child the sex education they need and deserve. However, the government need to be doing more by ensuring a comprehensive programme of SRE is in place from primary school, which is then built upon each year as children develop so we can support and meet their needs.

Although great work is being done by myself and others in relation to sex education and supporting schools and parents I firmly support Jane Lees – the Chair of The Sex Education Forum who says “the current situation is clearly a disgrace and something has to change. Guaranteeing that every pupil in every school receives good quality SRE is a duty that government can and must fulfil”. Let’s hope for change in the near future, but in the meantime we need to continue supporting parents so they can feel more involved with the sex education they provide to their own children. Please feel free to use the ‘Book Shop’ now and in the future for great resources that parents have said they want and need when talking to their children about sexual matters. Are you a parent who needs to talk to their son or daughter about all aspects of puberty? Fear no more – the answers are in the e-books so download your FREE sample copy today. Also don’t forget to download your FREE e-book on the ’10 Things Your Kids Want To Ask, But Daren’t Ask’ – a good read that allows parents to be prepared for many of the questions that their children are wanting the answers to as they reach adolescence.

If after reading this article you would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact us at www.parent-zone.com. Parents have asked for an open forum, which is now being developed so register now and get involved.

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Parents, Puberty & Sex Education in Schools – Part 3

Part 3 – Last in the Series …

Part 1 ‘Parents, Puberty and Sex Education in Schools’ looked at the challenges of sex education within schools. We then looked at ‘How do we move forward’ giving practical advice for teachers and health professionals by focusing on what more needs to be done to support parents in the sex education they give to their children. Now in Part 3 we are going to look at the best ways parents can engage and start talking to their children openly about growing up, puberty and sex and relationships. I will include FREE stuff along the way to help parents, but also use the ‘Book Shop’ as there are great resources to help and support parents with the information they say that they NEED and WANT.

Last month's article outlined a communication model to highlight the barriers and facilitators parents face when talking to their children about sexual matters, but what are the main things parents need to do to get started? Although parents cringe at the thought of mentioning anything to do with sex and their children it is vital that we stick with the following golden rules …

  • Parents need to be honest with their children – Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something and suggest that you find out the information together. This will not only help in talking openly about other aspects of sex in the future, but it will allow for an honest relationship to continue between you and your child.
  • Parents - always try and respond to a question no matter how embarrassed you may feel. Believe it or not, the embarrassment is far worse for your child, but they are asking YOU about personal and sensitive information because they trust you. Utilise upon this trust and be honest and open, without judgement and criticism.
  • Parents need to learn and refresh their memories based on the things they have learnt in relation to puberty, sex and relationships when they were younger. Many parents were given bad sex education themselves so they know the pressures and worries that come with growing up, but remember nobody knows it all, so don’t be afraid to find out the information you need, preferably before your child starts asking questions. Parents generally only feel embarrassed when they don’t know something, so learn as much as you can before you are put on the spot to answer difficult questions.
  • Parents – try and use humour when talking to your child about sex. It doesn’t all have to be so serious! Your child gets the serious sex education at school, but you can make learning about growing up, puberty and sex and relationships fun. To help, try and bring up topics in general day activities like watching TV, doing the ironing, cooking tea or even going for a walk and remember if the subject gets a little too personal divert it to someone else or something you have seen in soaps or from when watching a film together.

With the Do’s comes the Don’ts …

  • How many times did your parents say ‘I will tell you that when you get older?’ I remember those days and all it did was stop me asking questions in the future. Children only ask questions that they want answers to and all they are trying to do is piece together information that they have learnt so it is best to answer them honestly.
  • Try not to govern conversations relating to sex and relationships. Parents are often curious to find out more about what their children know, but they will mention things when they are ready and then this is your opportunity to step in and have a two-way conversation, without criticism and condemnation.
  • If your child asks a question don’t be afraid to not only answer it, but give them your opinion on the subject. Ask them if they agree and have an open conversation – this way they will learn more.
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Parents, puberty & sex education in schools – Part 1

Part 1 - Where do we start?

Last month's article on ‘supporting parents across the world’ looked at why it’s important to understand some of the difficulties parents face when talking to their children about sensitive subjects associated with sex. This month, we will take it a step further by looking at parents, puberty and the challenges of sex education, often provided by teachers in schools.

When it comes to parents and sex education in primary schools, the first thought that comes to my head is ‘when do we start talking to children about sex?’ The simple answer is … we don’t! What we do though is that from as young as they can learn and understand, we teach our children about how to take care of their bodies (e.g. hygiene), differences between boys and girls, friendships, keeping themselves safe and aim on increasing their self-esteem. Some refer to the teaching of these subjects as ‘Sex Education’ which causes much hysteria and debate, when in fact the information given to children is centred around ‘Personal, Social and Health Education’.

Parents do a great job in teaching their children before they go to primary school and then teachers reinforce and add to this, so ‘YES’ I agree with Simon Blake the Chief Executive of Brook who in a Guardian article said that “It is completely misleading to say that four-year-olds are being taught about sex”. However, Lucy Emmerson the Co-ordinator of the Sex Education Forum in the same article has hit the nail on the head when saying that “a planned curriculum is needed and that this should be built upon year by year to address pupils’ needs as they learn and develop”. The question is … where do parents fit into this education and what is their understanding of what is being taught to their children as they reach puberty and develop into young adults?

In reality parents know that their children will be taught about puberty and given sex education in secondary school. The thing that parents often don’t know is what topics are taught, and when. As a result parents do not know when to initiate conversations with their children, which acts as a barrier for discussing sexual matters openly with their children.

Admittedly some parents get embarrassed when talking to their children about aspects of puberty and sexual topics with their children, but this is mainly because they had poor sex education themselves. However, this does not mean that parents do not want better for their own children and therefore they want to talk to their children, just as children want to talk to their parents about sexual matters. Children trust their parents and therefore this closeness allows for intimate issues to be discussed. Is it therefore not the case that instead of just focusing on giving young people the sex education they need that we also give parents the sexual knowledge, skills and confidence to teach and talk openly with their children about sexual matters?

Here at www.safecoolsex.com we aim to do just this, but parents would be helped massively if they knew about sex education in schools and the related topics are taught to their children and when ~ an area that schools need to build upon.

Read Part 2 of this article here

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What SRE do Parents and Children Want?

It is essential that we start listening to parents and their children regarding sex and relationship education.

Public health organisations keep referring to the rise in teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and abortion rates. However, when are we going to acknowledge what SRE parents and their children want and give them the knowledge to help prevent the negative consequences associated with sexual behaviour? It is a fact that some young people will have sex, but we need to give them the information to make informed choices over their personal relationships and sexual behaviour if we are going to affect the negative consequences of sexual behaviour. Also, we need to give parents the confidence, knowledge and skills so they can support their children. Most parents received poor sex education themselves so it is no wonder they have difficulty talking about this to their own children. However, it is important we change history and break the cycle by helping parents to be the sexual health educators they want to be. Read the article and listen to the voices of parents and their children - let’s give them the sexual information and support that they so desperately need and want.

Click here to download the full article published in British Psychological Society: North East of England, 2011.

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