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Education Matters

Teaching Sexual Health - Birth to 6 year olds

As a parent, you know that understanding your child and their development is one of the most important things you can learn. Follow the links provided to find information about all the developmental milestones- physical, sexual, emotional, cognitive and social- from birth up to 18 years of age. This includes the key topics or ideas your child should know at different ages, and how you can help them with that learning, at every age.

Birth to 2 Years

Understanding Your Child’s Development

Welcome to the world of parenting! Your child will go through many changes in just a couple of years. Your child’s development will follow a pattern. As babies grows, they’re able to do more—recognize people, hold things, sit up, crawl, stand and eventually walk. As they become a toddler, they will have constant energy and  strong feelings. They will also start to question everything around them. Learning about your child at this age will help you to understand their development. Read more about what your child’s going through in this stage of development.

What Your Child Needs Your Help to Learn

In these early years, your child will need your help to understand their emotions and their bodies. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Teach your child that their body is private.
  • Use the correct names for body parts including genitals and reproductive organs: penis, testicles, scrotum, anus, vulva, labia, vagina, clitoris, uterus and ovaries (Knowing the correct names for body parts promotes positive body image, self-confidence, and parent-child communication. It also gives children the language they need to tell a trusted adult if sexual abuse has happened).
  • Make sure your child is able to play with other children their own age often. Your child might not get along with others right away—they’ll learn this with time, practice and the help of you and others. Being able to play with other children will help them to form healthy relationships as they grow older.
  • Help your child understand how gender can be expressed differently. A person’s gender identity may be the same as or different as their biological sex.

For more information about teaching sexual health to your children up to two years, visit:https://teachingsexualhealth.ca/parents/information-by-age/birth-to-2-years/

 

3 and 4 Year Olds

Understanding Your Child’s Development

This is the thinking stage. As children enter their preschool years, they know what they like and don’t like. Their emotions tend to be more stable and predictable. Your child’s picking up on what you say and do. Read more about what your child is going through in this stage.

 

What Your Child Needs Your Help to Learn

Children at this age are the easiest to teach, as they are very curious and take in everything they see and hear. Your child will use their imagination to make up their own story if they ’don’t understand the explanation they may have been given. Be ready to answer to their questions again and again, as preschoolers don’t always understand the first time.

If you don’t talk about sexuality, it teaches your child that sexuality is something they shouldn’t talk to you about. To give them the facts about their body parts, what they’re used for and how babies are made, see Reproduction and Pregnancy. 

 

There are some great ways to support healthy sexuality and development. At this stage, children should know:

  • That their body is their own and no one can touch it without their permission—the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch”. This may help children to be more likely to tell a trusted adult if someone is touching them in a way they shouldn’t.
  • The correct names for body parts including genitals and reproductive organs: penis, testicles, scrotum, anus, vulva, labia, vagina, clitoris, uterus and ovaries (Knowing the correct names for body parts promotes positive body image, self-confidence, and parent-child communication. It also gives children the language they need to tell a trusted adult if sexual abuse has happened).
  • How reproduction happens. For example, you could say, “When a sperm joins an egg, a baby grows in the uterus, and is born through the vagina.”
  • Not to pick up things such as used condoms or syringes. Now is a good time to teach them not to pick up anything if they don’t know what it is or if they think it’s dangerous.

For more information about teaching your 3-4 year old about sexual health, visit: https://teachingsexualhealth.ca/parents/information-by-age/3-and-4-year-olds/

 

5 and 6 Year Olds

Understanding Your Child’s Development

Your child is starting to form their own identity and their understanding of how they fit into the world. Talking about sexual health and sexuality together now will help to start the conversation and keep it going as your child gets older. Read more about what your child is going through in this stage.

What Your Child Needs Your Help to Learn

Your child will likely understand more about body parts and what they do, but still may not know all the facts. For example, at this age children often think that girls have one opening for urine and feces, and that what girls eat goes into the same place as the baby grows. It helps to use simple and clear explanations for your child—make sure to give the facts and use the correct terms.

If you don’t talk about sexuality, it teaches your child that sexuality is something they shouldn’t talk about with you. They’re more likely to talk to and believe any story they hear from others. Give them the facts about their body parts, what they’re used for and how babies are made.

There are some great ways to encourage healthy sexuality and development. At this stage, children should know:

  • That their body is their own and no one can touch it without their permission—the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch”. This may help children to be more likely to tell a trusted adult if someone is touching them in a way they shouldn’t.
  • The correct names for body parts including genitals and reproductive organs: penis, testicles, scrotum, anus, vulva, labia, vagina, clitoris, uterus and ovaries (Knowing the correct names for body parts promotes positive body image, self-confidence, and parent-child communication. It also gives children the language they need to tell a trusted adult if sexual abuse has happened).
  • Other body parts and body functions: urine, stool, bladder and urethra.
  • How reproduction happens. For example, you could say, “When a sperm joins an egg, a baby grows in the uterus, and is born through the vagina.”
  • Basic information about body changes during puberty.
  • Not to pick up things such as used condoms or syringes. Now is a good time to teach them not to pick up anything if they don’t know what it is or if they think it’s dangerous.

For more information about teaching your 5-6 year old about sexual health, visit: https://teachingsexualhealth.ca/parents/information-by-age/5-and-6-year-olds/

 

 

Top 5 Ways to Cheer Up the Lonely Days - Edmonton Public Library

Written by Hilary Kirkpatrick, EPL Outreach Worker

As a social worker for the Edmonton Public Library, I know the importance of community building and making connections for those who are feeling lonely. Having a supportive network of people and meaningful connections can give us the boost we need to feel better about ourselves and have a positive outlook on life. At EPL, there are programs specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of all EPL customers, which help bring people in the community together.

Here are the top 5 ways to utilize your local library to help alleviate loneliness:

1.     EPL Book Clubs – Book clubs offer a space where you can meet new people with similar interests (hello, fellow avid readers!) and discuss the means and motives of your favourite literary characters. Friendships are sure to blossom over a cup of tea and a wonderful book! 

2.       Baby Lap Time and Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn Programs – New parents are at times isolated by the needs of their new little family member, and early literacy programs can provide the opportunity to make a connection for parents while babies learn through play, song and story. These interactive, free, drop-in programs are a great opportunity to connect with other new parents and give your little one a head-start.

3.       Makerspace Programs – Did you know that expressing yourself creatively in a way that is meaningful to you can help you combat loneliness? EPL Makerspace programs offers sound-booths to record a song, binding and printing services for your writing, or the opportunity to create a mini-movie with the green screen! Make friends and enjoy a fun project all at the same time!

4.       Adult Programs – Find ways to socialize based on what interest you such as learning a new hobby at the library: sewing class, adult colouring, film series, traditional arts and crafts, and more! Hobbies are a great way to meet new people, and to help yourself get out of the house. If you are feeling left out of the community because of a language barrier, EPL can help you improve your English conversations skills. We host conversation circles for English language learners that are set at your pace.

5.       Assistive Services - If you are experiencing a significant barrier or are physically unable to leave your home or a have disability, EPL provides home service where you live, whether that's an extended care facility, a seniors' lodge or your own home. We also offer specialized computers and assistive technology. If you are far away from family across the world, EPL staff can show you how to use email and Skype with your far away family members!

With EPL, connection is always possible. Let’s work together to combat loneliness and connect with our community and loved ones. A step towards visiting your local public library is a step towards ending loneliness! https://www.epl.ca/

What Teens Can Do To Keep Busy This Summer

by Bronwyn Hartman - Edmonton Public Library

 

1. Make something great: Our Makerspace has everything teens need for their next creation, including 3D printers, sound booths, a vinyl cutter and more. Encourage teens to drop by the library and get creative!

2. Find the next great read: Teens can check out our Staff Picks, talk to staff for recommendations, access eBooks and magazines through our digital collection, or just come and browse our teen section. They can also participate in one of our Summer Starts Here events happening at branches throughout the city.

3. Get in the game: Teens have a love for gaming and can join us for our many gaming programs: Minecraft, retro gaming and even old-school board games!

4. Learn something new: Our non-fiction collection and online resources have everything teens need to learn something new - from a new language, to photo editing, to digital design and more.

5. Come and hang out: On hot summer days the library is an even a cooler place to hang out! With study spaces, meeting rooms, computers and more, teens can come and lounge in an air conditioned space with us at any of our branches.

Be in the know with EPL! Sign up for EPL eNewsletter to learn more about programs and events for teens and the whole family!

 

For more information about Edmonton Public Library and their awesome programs, visit: https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/what-teens-can-do-to-keep-busy-this-summer/

Deciding Who Matters

October 25th, 2010

By: Andrea Redmond and Patricia Crisafulli

When setbacks happen, vulnerability often follows. Feeling unprotected and exposed, we don’t want people to know what we’re facing, whether it’s a professional upset such as the job loss, or something more personal like the need for serious medical treatment or the ending of a relationship. The more upsetting the circumstances, the more we may fear what other people think and say about us. Not only are we concerned about the opinions of our friends, family, and co-workers, we can become preoccupied with what “they” think—the people beyond our scope of influence.

Although both men and women can find themselves in this predicament, for women, who tend to be more relationship-oriented by nature, the effects may be more difficult to deal with. Suddenly, despite your accomplishments and strengths, everyone’s opinion matters. We become so preoccupied by other people that we invest too much precious time and energy trying to manage opinions and perceptions and not focusing on how we can effectively deal with the issue we are facing.

What “They” Think

Our concerns over what other people are saying and thinking can take away from our own ability to cope with what is happening in the moment. With all our focus “out there,” we may rob ourselves of the physical and emotional energy we need to support ourselves and move on from the setback. We may even be so focused on people outside our circle of intimates that we pay too little attention to the help being offered by those who are closest to us. The tape that plays in our head, our self-talk, can drown out the little voice in the background that may be saying, “Take care of yourself right now; be kind to yourself.”

In other words, we have to decide who really matters.

When facing an upheaval in any area of your life, a good way to move above, beyond, and through it is by drawing a “line in the sand.” The people you know and care about are on one side; they are the ones whose opinions really matter to you. It is their support that that you rely on to endure the difficulties and begin a comeback. On the other side of the line are those whom you do not know or who don’t know the real you, and whose opinions, therefore, do not matter. Trying to influence them or manage their perceptions is futile.

Drawing A Line in the Sand

This is brought home in the story of highly successful leader Patricia Dunn, who had been CEO of Barclays Global Investors, one of the leading investment firms in the world, and a member of the board of directors of computer giant Hewlett-Packard. In the midst of a management transition at Hewlett-Packard, Dunn was asked to become chairman of the board of directors.

When an internal investigation at HP into leaks of confidential information went awry, Dunn suddenly came under fire. Although she was not in charge of the investigation, she was among those indicted on four felony counts related to alleged corporate espionage. At the same time, Dunn was also dealing with ovarian cancer, undergoing surgery and treatment. But she cared about her reputation and her legacy.

Although the double threat that confronted her might seem beyond any one person’s capability, Dunn approached these challenges with her typical grace, intelligence, and self-awareness. “I really had only so many first-place enemies to be fighting,” she says. Choosing her battles literally, Dunn made her priority cancer treatment to achieve a state of remission.

In the meantime, to deal with a barrage of assaults on her character and reputation, particularly in the press, Dunn had to find a way to deal with the emotional pain and duress. For her, the key was separating in her mind those who were among her supporters and whose opinions matter the most and those who were outside that circle. As she explains, “I had to make a cosmic distinction between those I knew and didn’t know, and those whose opinions matter to me and those I could never know and therefore what they thought was less important.” By making that separation in her mind, Dunn was able to remain grounded through incredibly difficult times.

In the end, Dunn was completely exonerated when charges against her were dropped. In September 2006, she was inducted into the Bay Area Council’s prestigious Hall of Fame, a high honor and a rare achievement for a woman at the time. Today, she is provides energy and leadership to a variety of philanthropic endeavors.

Dunn’s example provides lessons that can help guide us when we, too, face upsets and upheavals. Instead of worrying what everyone is thinking or saying, we stay in the realm of what is real and relevant to our lives.

Staying Real and Relevant

 As you face your own upheavals and setbacks consider these tips:

  • Don‚Äôt focus on what ‚Äúthey‚Äù think. Spending your time worrying about people whom you don‚Äôt know wastes your energy. The only ones who matter are those with whom you have a connection or relationship. Their opinions are the only ones that really count.
  • Surround yourself with allies. Friends, family members, and other positive supporters are crucial when you face an upset. Allow them to help you with encouragement, suggestions, or other assistance.
  • Stay positive. You will get through this difficulty. Reach out to others whom you know who may have had similar experiences for advice on how they made it through the tough times. Listen to the little voice in your head that is nurturing and supporting, not doubting and critical. Realistically, a good life is not the same thing as an easy life, so be grateful to those who are there for you.
  • Pay if forward. Having gone through a setback will make you more empathic and supportive of others. When someone in your circle faces an upset, be a positive support for that person. Get the focus, attention, and intensity off your own problems and move forward, on to helping others.

Enduring a setback in your personal or professional life can be overwhelming. You do not need to compound the problem by focusing on what “they” think. The only ones who count are those who are closest to you and whose opinions matter. Chances are they are already on your side.

Andrea Redmond and Patricia Crisafulli are the authors of Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from Leaders who Suffered Setbacks and Recaptured Success on Their Terms (Jossey-Bass, 2010).  Read more about them at www.AndreaRedmond.com and www.PatriciaCrisafulli.com. The story of Patricia Dunn was directly related to the authors during research for their book.

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