Helping parents and young people, one conversation at a time
Importance of discussions at home
Many parents grew up in a home where these topics were not talked about, so they don’t have the experience to draw on when supporting their young person. Sometimes caregivers are so concerned with ‘getting it right’ that they avoid or miss the opportunities to talk with their children. Rather than focusing on being perfect, parents can best support their child by letting them know they are open to talking about their questions and concerns. Being open sends a clear message that children can come to their trusted adults for advice and support, and that talking about these topics is not shameful or embarrassing.
Values and beliefs from home
Most children will receive some form of sexuality and relationships education at school, but it is from home that children and young people get their values and beliefs. Parents’ availability to talk and listen, and their influence in the home, are more important than ever, with the internet’s increasing impact on what children learn and what they are exposed to.
Parents and caregivers are vital partners in the education of their children, and SEA is committed to working together to deliver sensitive, age-appropriate sex education. We can provide tips and strategies for starting or continuing those conversations that can seem awkward or embarrassing.
Religion and culture
For some families, where religion and/or culture is in the mix, it can be seen as shameful to talk about these topics. No matter what their background, children need education about puberty, body safety and other areas of human development, especially with the easy accessibility of the internet via home computers, mobile devices and online gaming. Age-appropriate information helps keep them safe. Likewise, secondary students need age-appropriate and fact-based information that will help support them to make healthy decisions, have better relationships, know their rights and responsibilities as they mature into adults.
Parents are the most important influence on how young people grow and develop
Parents are essential in this area of education. Children and teenagers want to hear what their parents think and to know that they have support at home. It’s not just the education they may receive at school that matters; having conversations at home and knowing they can ask questions and check in about what they may be hearing from others, or seeing online, will make them feel they aren’t having to manage on their own. As well, these conversations provide parents with the opportunity to pass on their values, beliefs, attitudes and expectations. And because families have different approaches and feelings about these topics, it’s important the child or teenager hears about their family’s values.
'A fantastic, informative evening filled with great practical advice delivered with compassion and humour. Highly worth attending for anyone who wants to raise resilient, informed, confident kids who feel comfortable asking questions and handling issues relating to their bodies, friendships and other complex issues faced by kids today.'
- Parent of 7 year old attending attending 'Talk to Me First’ community webinar