Do’s & Don’ts Of Consent For Kids: Part 4

(Continuing from Parts one, two, and three) In summary of the points in the previous parts, I have some suggestions for how to proceed. Check it out. DO Think about what comes up for you when consider this topic. Will YOU be embarrassed? Do YOU think it’s rude? Why? Were YOU forced to do this when you were little? How you feel is likely different than how your child feels because you are different people with different experiences. Recognize this isn’t...

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Even Santa Needs to Get Consent: Part 3

(Continued from Part 2) I get it. This is “new.” No one raised these issues when we were kids. But, just because it wasn't brought up as a problem back then, does that mean it wasn't a problem? I will take a controversial stance and say one should never force their child to sit on Santa’s lap neither. Why? Think about the lessons we give to our kids about "Stranger Danger"? How is it suddenly okay to talk to and sit...

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What Does Allowing Kids To Refuse Hugs Have To Do With Consent? Part 2

(Continued from Part 1) For years now, I have gotten push back on my position that children should not be forced to hug relatives. The response once came to me: Shouldn't children be encouraged to move beyond their "comfort zone?” I think if a parent says go ahead and hug Aunt Carol, that's teaching a child to be forthcoming and affectionate, and to appreciate those close to them. It's part of good manners, in a way. If I am seeing this...

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The Girls Scouts Are Right: It’s Never Too Early To Reenforce Good Consent Practice (part 1)

I started to write in support of an article written by the Girl Scouts, but as I talked about it with others, I realized some people were confused about why you should let kids choose to hug grandma or other relatives. Why is it important to allow children a choice about showing affection with family over the holidays? How does this affect future relationships? Trying to answer these questions takes time and is more than I can cover in...

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Adolescent Body Hair Police?

Where we live in California has great weather. But this Spring, a new concern surfaced for my 7th grader. My youngest daughter isn't a big fan of shorts; she has a lot of hair on her legs. Cindy told me she was feeling a little nervous because she doesn't want to start shaving her legs but she was concerned about what to do or say if she wore shorts and the Adolescent Body Hair Police did comment on the...

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Why do we have a Masturbation Month?

If you have been following my Instagram this month, then you have probably noticed an increase in posts relating to masturbation. Why do I do this? Because during the month of May every year Sexual Health Educators celebrate Masturbation Month. I've written about masturbation a few times in the past, here and here, and recently here. So, why do we do this? Quite simply, to educate. Masturbation can be talked about, and people should learn that it is a common and natural behavior,...

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The Sexual Education Gospel According to Me

I spend a lot of time thinking, talking, and working with people about sex and sexuality. There are other people who do this work as well and the internet has many different voices. Lately, I feel a need to share more about my approach or philosophy so people can decide for themselves - Why should you listen to me? I've written my Sexual Education Manifesto. So, why should you listen to me? Because I started out like a lot of you. I only got...

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Realizing Worth as a Teen: Living, Learning, and Leaving

When you were young, did you have a defining moment that helped you realize your worth? What about a moment where you realized you didn't have to tolerate someone treating you poorly? If not when you were young, how old were you? I've meant to write about a situation that happened to my daughter in middle school that has shaped how she sees her value. It's a situation that probably happens daily to kids and having a support system seems to...

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A Proper Response When Someone Asks You To Dance In Middle School

How many parents talk to their kids about how to ask someone to dance? What about a discussion about how to reply when they do get asked? Parents are not given an instruction manual when a baby is born, and that sucks sometimes. Once a kid reaches puberty, I think this topic needs discussion. Spring is here where we live, and the middle school spring dances happened. I helped to chaperone the 7th-grade dance, and I felt like an anthropologist watching a...

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Teens Developing Communication Skills and The Slut Protocols

Some really valuable tools exist to help adults develop excellent, clear communication skills to express their needs and to set clear boundaries to protect themselves. But when you're still dealing with teenagers, these tools can be slightly modified. I put training wheels on The Slut Protocols for my daughter. My oldest daughter is 14 years old, and she's been hanging out with her core group of friends, as teens are known to do. These are friends who have been mostly hanging out together since 7th...

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