Workshop helps parents talk to children about sex

A free workshop will help parents talk to their preschool-aged children about their body parts and sexuality in general, as well as answer any sexual health questions parents have.

A free workshop will help parents talk to their preschool-aged children about their body parts and sexuality in general, as well as answer any sexual health questions parents have.

Nanaimo school district’s early years program hired a sexual health educator to host the workshop next month to provide tips for parents on how to broach this subject with their young children.

“I think some parents don’t quite know where to begin,” said Elizabeth Pennell, the district’s early years learning coordinator.

There are sexual health programs in kindergarten and Grade 1, but some issues come up before a child enters the public school system or parents have questions about whether a certain behaviour is normal, she said. For example, some parents want to know if it is OK for a father to bathe with his daughter and until what age.

The workshop will also talk about teaching children the proper names for their body parts right from the start, rather than using baby names, said Pennell.

“Instead of calling your penis a wee-wee, you would call it your penis in the same way you would call your elbow your elbow,” she said. “It’s less confusing to kids later on.”

Teaching children about their bodies and the real names of body parts increases a child’s abuse resistance, added Kerri Isham, a certified sexual health educator who will host the workshop.

If children can name their own body parts, it signals to a potential abuser that somebody is talking to them at home and they are more likely to report someone touching their private parts, she said.

“The thing I want to get across to parents is at every age level, there’s things children need to know to stay safe,” said Isham. “The more information the child gets – age appropriate, of course – the safer they are in the world.”

This knowledge also helps children develop a healthy body image and sense of self, she added.

Body Smart: Right from the Start is part of Parents’ Night Out, information sessions and workshops that the early years department has organized for parents for the past three years.

The district hosted several sessions last year, including the sexual health workshop with Isham. Other workshop topics included singing and storytelling, and social and emotional development in young children.

Pennell said more than 50 parents attended last year’s Body Smart workshop.

Registration is required for the workshop, which takes place Nov. 17 from about 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association office on Barons Road. The event also includes a free pizza dinner.

For more information or to register, please call Leah Pearson at 250-740-3507 or e-mail lpearson@sd68.bc.ca.

Just Posted

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

A section of proposed Harbourfront Walkway between White Eagle Terrace and Battersea Road. (City of Nanaimo image)
Nanaimo’s proposed walkway extension project estimated at $25-30 million

City asking for feedback on concepts to connect Departure Bay Beach and ferry terminal

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Small town residents Reed and Dusty, played by drama students Niya Irving and Cole Simpson, contemplate what brought them to a condemned park and what is keeping them there in the Dover Bay Secondary School production of ‘Bethel Park Falls.’ (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
High school drama students present outdoor performance at Nanaimo’s Dover Bay

Production to be staged in school courtyard with in-person audience

Police in Nanaimo hope the public can help find Sarah Duguay so investigators can check on her well-being. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to find woman who called police for help but hasn’t been located

Sarah Duguay, 40, not reported missing, but police want to check on her well-being

Beef to the pet owner who brought his puppy into the cold beer and wine store, where it promptly peed on another customer’s ankle.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 9

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

Most Read