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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/

FAQ Parents Ask Long & McQuade About Music Lessons!

November 28th, 2016

What is a good age to start Music Lessons?
Many of our teachers will accept students as young as 4 to 5 years old depending on the instrument. Some of our locations offer special keyboard-based group programs that cater to preschool children, ages 3 to 5. The most common instrument choices for private lessons for the youngest students are piano, guitar, voice and violin. Both the guitar and the violin offer the convenience of smaller scale fractional instruments for these younger beginners. Curved head joints are also available for young flute students to reduce the overall length of the flute. Students wishing to learn to play full size wind instruments such as trumpet, trombone and saxophone should be able to meet the physical requirements these instruments pose. You will find the Lesson Staff and Teachers at Long and McQuade quite willing to discuss your child’s situation.

Do I need to own an instrument to take lessons?
It is necessary to have an instrument for regular practice at home, enabling the student to learn and progress with his or her newly acquired skills. Long and McQuade offers convenient and affordable student instrument rental plans for new players who do not have their own instrument.

How long does it take to learn to play an instrument?
With regular practice, new students will see results very quickly on their chosen instrument. However, it is important for students and parents to approach the study of a musical instrument as a long term process comparable to the process of learning a new language. The results should be both fun and rewarding as the student’s skill level improves incrementally. Hopefully, the study and playing of a musical instrument will become a fulfilling life long pursuit.

Can my child prepare for Royal Conservatory Examinations?
Long and McQuade teachers are able to prepare students for nationally accredited examinations with the Royal Conservatory of Music if they so desire. The successful completion of specific RCM examination levels (usually Grade 8 and higher) with the corresponding theory level exam is recognized as an equivalent secondary school music credit in many provinces. Consult your provincial Ministry of Education for music equivalency requirements.

My child will be taking piano lessons. Do we need a piano or can we use a keyboard?
This is a common question as there are many instrument choices for parents of new piano students. The traditional acoustic piano is certainly well-suited for piano study as are many of the newer and affordable ‘weighted action’ digital pianos. The smaller portable keyboards will provide touch sensitivity for some dynamic expression but because their keyboard actions are not ‘weighted’, it is more difficult for the student to develop the hand and finger strength and control that are required for piano technique. Long and McQuade offers convenient rental and purchase plans to suit any budget for keyboards, digital pianos as well as for acoustic pianos.

When can I start lessons?
Lessons at Long and McQuade can be started at any time of year. In fact, many students enjoy the opportunity of learning a new skill during the less hectic summer months.

What is the best instrument to learn on?
Certain instruments, due to their larger physical size, are not as well suited for the smallest beginners. For the most part, the ‘best’ instrument to learn on is the one that the student is most interested in. The prospect of achieving positive results will generally be higher with an instrument that the student wants to play and practice with, on a daily basis.

Can we take a ‘Trial Lesson’ to start?
We would encourage prospective students to try their new instrument for a least a month. For this reason do not advise taking a single lesson to start. However, students are able to discontinue lessons at any point with notice - even after the first lesson.

Will my child learn music theory and learn to read music?

Regardless of the musical style (pop, jazz, classical) it is important to establish a strong musical foundation with all beginners. This foundation includes an understanding of notation, music theory and technique specific to the instrument. Students will be working with a method book as well as supplementary books to achieve this. The vast selection of innovative materials and resources for beginning players on all instruments has never been greater. Being a literate musician opens the door to limitless musical possibilities for a musician.

Do you offer lessons for adults?
Adult students are always welcome and in fact, make up a sizeable segment of new lesson students. For the adult beginner, it’s never too late! In fact, despite popular opinion to the contrary, adult beginners have a distinct intellectual advantage over younger students that enables them to learn and progress faster with a new skill. Whether a mature student is pursuing a recreational approach to music making or a more traditional curriculum, Long and McQuade has many excellent instructors and materials to assist both beginner and experienced players.

What’s better to learn on, the electric or acoustic guitar?
In most cases, the exact same method books and teaching approach are used with beginning guitarists on either steel string acoustic or electric guitar. If the student is asking for an electric guitar they probably are interested in learning rock and pop styles as their skills progress. Electric guitars are the best choice for this style. Our advice to most parents is to go with the instrument that the student has expressed interest in. Electric guitars of course require an amplifier as well to get started and Long and McQuade offers a number of affordable starter guitar /amp packages. Guitar and bass amplifiers are provided for use at the music lesson.

What is the benefit of learning to play an instrument with a teacher as opposed to a self-study approach?
Learning from a teacher will enable you to progress faster by developing proper techniques with good practice habits. You will learn to read music and music theory and become a literate musician. A teacher will broaden your musical horizons by exposing you to and assisting you with learning new pieces, new songs and new styles. A teacher will motivate you, provide feedback and encourage you to continue to progress and improve your musical skills even when the going gets tough. A teacher will allow you to interact musically through the playing of duets, ensemble or group playing and develop your improvisational skills.

Visit, call or check out the website for Long & McQuade North or South

You can also watch this Global Spot  where they talk about the benefits for kids! 

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