Necessary Conversations

Ask The Experts by Susan Fell and Lisa Khoury

Q: When should I start talking with my children about sexuality and how do I start this kind of sensitive conversation?

A: The "big talk" is a thing of the past. Experts today suggest that talking with your child about sexuality should be a life-long conversation.

Discussions should start from the moment children are born. Use the correct names for body parts with toddlers. Help teens understand their changing body, peer relationships, sexuality and safety. Support adult children through marriage, child-bearing and in some cases, same-sex relationships.

An early start is important because parents need to be the first person children go to when they have concerns or questions about their body, their own sexuality and sexual experiences.

Children will find information in other ways if they believe these topics are "off-limits" in the home. Today children seek out the internet, television or peers when they have questions about anything. This information may be inaccurate or even dangerous.

While discussions are usually uncomfortable, the more parents talk, the easier it gets. Starting the conversation can sometimes be the most difficult part. Use naturally occurring situations to help stimulate the discussion. Talk about body parts and good touch/bad touch when your child is dressing or in the tub. Use TV, movies and song lyrics to talk with middle and high school aged children about relationships and choices portrayed. Prepare your child for unsafe or questionable situations they may encounter by "what would you do if" discussions in the car.

Susan Fell, LMSW, is a school social worker with the Grosse Pointe Public School System (GPPSS) and Lisa Khoury, Ed.S, is a school psychologist with GPPSS.

SAVE the DATE

March 2, 2017

Necessary Conversations

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm 6:30-7:15pm Sexuality and Safety: How to Be the "Go-To" Person for Critical Conversations with Your Children with Susan Fell and Lisa Khoury

7:30-8:15pm When is the right time to speak to your children about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes? NOW! with Ghada Abdallah

Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Farms FREE

RSVP online www.familycenterweb.org or call The Family Center 313-432-3832.

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