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When Kids Don't Talk to YOU about "IT"

talkingwithkids Feb 09, 2018

Imagine this... You've noticed the first signs of your son or daughter entering puberty. Hair in new places, body odor, breasts budding, and the wonderful new attitude that hormones seem to ignite. You've had a good, strong relationship with your child. You still do. But … you know you need to keep conversations going about body changes, crushes, relationships, sexuality and suddenly, you're talking, they're not. Maybe they're rolling their eyes, looking past you, shrugging their shoulders. Or, maybe they listen when you talk, but they are silent. Now what?

First of all, it is normal for teens to have their silent times, their talkative times, and indifferent times. 

Second, remember that you have been communicating with your kids about sexuality and relationships from the moment they were born—whether you've ever actually had "THE Talk" about these topics or not. They have been watching you, listening, and absorbing your...

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Undercover High Documentary Comments

 

A new documentary series recently aired on A&E called Undercover High.  It follows 7 young adults (25 and under) who go back to High School in Topeka, Kansas to see what it is like to be a teen today. They acted like normal students while attending classes, making friends and participating in school clubs and activities, according to the show’s website. Each “student” – a youth pastor, former teen mom and others – was tasked with enacting positive change. What they saw, heard and experienced became an 11-part documentary series. 

Of course this is one high school, in one part of the country, but the producers carefully selected one that was diverse and represented the country the best possible.  Racially, the student body is one-third black, one-third Hispanic and one-third white. Before you dismiss this show because it isn't in your town, I believe there may be something for adults and parents to learn here.

So far, some of the...

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Should You Talk With Your Kids About Sexual Harassment?

 

"Mommy, what's sexual harassment?" Have you gotten this question yet?  With all the accusations in the daily news reports it wouldn't be surprising. 

With very young kids there is no reason to talk about it unless they bring it up. But be prepared in case they do. Here are some tips to help you broach the subject. 

Ask questions. "Where did you hear that?," "What do you think it is?," or "How did it make you feel to hear that?"

Watch your tone and be reassuring. Kids can sense if you are upset or angry. Be sure to let your children know you aren't mad at them. Try saying something like: "I love when you come to me with your questions and it's OK to ask or tell me anything even if you think it's something bad."

Keep it simple. There is no need to over-explain to young children. You want to satisfy their curiosity though and use terms they can understand. Try saying something like, "Harassment is a fancy word for bullying. Sexual harassment is when someone...

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Talking to Kids about Tragic News (Like the Las Vegas Shooting)

First thing Monday morning my husband told me the news about the Las Vegas shooting. It was a news alert on his phone and he gasped as he shared the awful news with me.  We both poured over the little bit of information that was available about what had happened. Just the weekend before we were both in Las Vegas which made everything hit home just a little bit more. I immediately jumped on Facebook to check on two friends of mine that I knew were at the concert to see if they were safe.  Thank goodness they were not harmed physically but were definitely traumatized by the whole situation.

Over the next few days, I kept hearing stories of friends of ours that had loved ones there.  One friend had a loved one that was shot in the leg and was one of the 500 injured.  Two Manhattan Beach residents including a middle school teacher (Sandra Casey) and police department employee (Rachael Parker) were killed.  I know many of you had friends and family there as well,...

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Parental Controls on Devices

Uncategorized Aug 02, 2017

We get many requests to address parental control apps in our social media classes. In fact, recently a friend of mine had asked me how to handle an incident she had with her 15 year old son. While confiscating his phone after getting in trouble, she saw that he had messaged every girl in his contact list on Snap Chat to "exchange nudes".

She was livid and needed advice on how to handle this!! She decided to delete the app off his device and take his phone away for a few weeks. During that time he downloaded the app on a different device and was accessing his account. 

This got me thinking A LOT! What do parents do in situations like this?  What would you do in a situation like this?  The question of how much monitoring should I do is a gray area for parents and we struggle with the right answer.  And really the right answer is, it depends.  That can be the frustrating part.  What I mean is ideally when a child gets a device (e.g. cell phone, tablet,...

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Talking to Your Children About Body Shaming

Uncategorized May 05, 2017

This past February on Super Bowl Sunday (2017) we watched an amazing half-time performance by the performer Lady Gaga.  Love her or hate her, I'm sure you are familiar with many of her popular songs and found yourself humming along.  Social media blew up about her performance and once she shed her bodysuit for a pair of football pads and briefs, the incredibly fit 30-year old's stomach became a HUGE topic of conversation.



There was even someone who posted an image of a Pillsbury dough roll busting open and said that it looked like Lady Gaga's belly.  I was horrified when I saw this in the news and on my social media feed.  If Lady Gaga was considered fat, what does that mean about my body?  This type of body shaming is so prevalent and it got me thinking about young people today.  The fact that both men and women were making these comments about her and how these trolls thought it was okay to make hurtful comments like these. It reminded me why I do...

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3 Tips to Talking to Your Kids About Sex

Uncategorized Mar 04, 2017

 

Our first Tip is to Prep!


Are you ready to have THE Talk?  Many times parents are wondering if their child is ready to learn about sex and growing up, but often times the real question is Are YOU Ready?  Have you taken the time to think about what your beliefs and values are and which you’d like to leave behind and which you’d like to instill in your child.  A great place to start is to inventory where you learned about sex. What values did your parents instill in you? What beliefs and values do you have about sexuality?

How about your partner?  It’s equally important to have important conversations with your co-parent about this topic. Get on the same page and discuss tactics and timing of your talks. You both need to talk to them as well. Don’t leave this up to one parent to do. Kids need both of your perspectives.  If you are a single parent or separated from your child’s parent it may be difficult to get on the same...

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The Top 10 Toughest Sex Questions that Kids Ask and How to Answer Them

Uncategorized Feb 01, 2017

 

Welcome back. Jen Elledge here, Sexual Health Expert and Founder of The Talk Institute, here to share with you the top 10 toughest sex questions that parents get asked and how to answer them.

So before we dive in and get into the 10 toughest questions, I want to go over some quick guidelines no matter what your child's question is, because let's face it, there's more than 10.  So, in general, some things to keep in mind always when your child is asking a question that is a sex related question, or even just a question that really surprises you is you want to do your best to have a poker face. Meaning, try not to show your emotion if it's one that's shocked, embarrassed, or maybe concerned. You don't want to show that expression on your face right away. What that will do is shut the door to them talking to you. That's definitely what you don't want to have happen.

The other thing you want to be really careful about is your tone. Your tone says so much. Next to your body...

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5 Things Parents Do Wrong When Talking THE Talk!

Uncategorized Jan 30, 2017

 

Jen Elledge here Sexual Health Expert and Founder of The Talk Institute here to share with you 5 things parent do wrong when Talking “The Talk”.


     Want to avoid making some of the most common parenting mistakes? Of course you do. Go ahead, start by taking a second to think about what you expect would be on this top 5 list! I’d like to begin with a quick story as I actually remember one of the first questions I had about sex. I didn’t ask a parent though, I asked my oldest sister...I was about 5 years old, we were in the car, and I asked the most popular sex question, “Susie, where do babies come from”? Her reply, “Honey, I think we need to talk about that when you are a little bit older.” I may have been young and I know she thought so and maybe she wasn’t comfortable or sure how to share that information me. Either way, I wasn’t happy because later that day I had a smart aleck comment for...

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