I remember when I first started teaching 18 years ago, just mentioning the word “gay” in a grade 6 or 7 class would bring on swarms of laughter, snickering and barfing noises from students. But thanks in part to national awareness campaigns like Pink Shirt Day we’ve come a long way in the past decade when it comes to people understanding that homophobia isn’t OK.
On February 2, 2016 I was asked to be a guest on CTV Morning Live to discuss some videos that had just been uploaded to YouTube. The videos featured girls engaging in physical fighting on high school grounds during lunch. Their male peers filmed the fighting and egged them on as they did. The videos were quickly removed, but the damage had already been done. Thousands of people watched them and many, like me, were left feeling sad, angry and discouraged.
Parental consent for a fieldtrip. Informed consent to participate in a study. We throw the word consent around without thinking about it too much, but what about sexual consent? What is it and what do we need to teach our kids about it?
Ok parents, school’s back in session which means our kids’ inquiring minds are back in action. Awesome. Before you worry about exactly what to say, here are some tips to help you normalize the topic of sexual health in your home and establish yourself as your kids’ number one source of information for years to come.
A good friend of mine called me the other day for some guidance on how to talk to her grade 2 son about people who are transgender. Apparently at recess he and a few of his friends were talking about how much it hurts to get kicked in the testicles (she did confirm they were using the scientific names for this body part, at least!) and one of the boys said, “Not for Caitlyn Jenner, she doesn’t have balls anymore.”