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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/

Returning to Work Successfully After Having Kids

December 31st, 2013

By Stacey Hawley

Returning to the workplace after raising kids (for several years) poses many challenges. Before starting a new job, the guilt swells. Mothers constantly contemplate: Will I be successful at my new job? What if I am slow to catch up? Will I like the new company or my manager? Will my children suffer emotionally? How will they get their homework done? What if someone gets sick? Who will transport the kids to and from soccer practice, Taekwondo, choir or band? When will the house get cleaned? How will I prepare a healthy dinner on time?

Fears mount and emotions spike as mothers wonder: “How will I manage everything?” The answer? By pursuing a career you enjoy – one that capitalizes on your skills and competencies and provides fulfillment.

Because managing a career and family poses many hurdles, loving your job builds a solid foundation for success. If you are unhappy at work, you will be unhappy at home. You will perpetually question your choice to return to work, be consumed by guilt and stress and feel constantly “behind”.

Alternatively – as you might guess – if you are happy at work, you are much more likely to be happy at home. Think about the last time you had a bad day. How was your disposition by 6pm? 8pm? Were you more likely to lose your patience with your family? While only one aspect of our well-being, career happiness boosts our confidence and self-esteem.

Finding a job you love is critical to success.

Therefore, before returning to work, devote time to creating a career that will allow you to overcome the guilt and be successful both as a mother and as a careerist. Reframe your job search process as an opportunity to pursue a challenging and worthwhile career. Furthermore, redefine career to mean the right things for you NOW (rather than what career meant prior to having kids).

How do you achieve this? By following these five steps:

1.    Conduct a career evaluation (either a self-evaluation or partner with a career consultant)

Viewing your job search process as an opportunity to create an ideal work situation that is challenging, rewarding and personally fulfilling translates into an opportunity to find the RIGHT career. Your pre-children career might not be your post-children career. Too often, women automatically re-assume the job/career pursued prior to having children. Since raising children, you have grown as an individual – developed new skills and competencies, honed soft skills and identified new passions. Your shifting priorities may necessitate a less traditional career – or a new route.

2.    Create a career bucket list

Use this opportunity to define what CAREER means to you. Career does not necessary require long hours, two hour commutes and six-plus figure salaries. Consider typical career values (autonomy, type of organization, independence, impact on decision-making, impact on company strategy, work environments, culture, etc.) and rank them in order of importance. In other words, list what you value in a career most and what you value least. Most importantly, include intangible factors such as commute and career growth opportunities.

3.    Follow your bucket list

Finding the right job at the wrong company can quickly become the wrong job if you ignore your bucket list. Sometimes we become swayed by the salary, the charismatic people that interviewed us or the company’s prestige, and sacrifice items on our bucket list. Over time, these items will resurface and the “dream” job will drain you. Therefore, only target companies that meet your criteria. Then determine which roles within those companies interest you, rather than finding the job and then assessing the company.

4.    Develop a blockbuster resume

The amount of focus and clarity gained by completing steps 1 through 3 can be channeled into creating a blockbuster resume. Your resume broadcasts your mission statement and your brand. Completing a career assessment and targeting companies clarifies who you are and what you bring to the table. Therefore, a blockbuster resume succinctly highlights your brand, articulates your level within an organization, underscores your understanding of the business/industry and highlights your key accomplishments and the impact those accomplishments have had on respective businesses.

5.    Practice interviewing

You wouldn’t run a marathon without training and you shouldn’t interview without practicing. Your qualifications landed you the interview - therefore your qualifications must be appealing. Your next objective is two-pronged:

(1) Ensure the interviewer you are the right person for the position and

(2) Ensure yourself this job is right for you.

When you practice, you want to:

(a) Learn about the company, the interviewers (if possible) and the role

(b) Prepare answers to common interview questions that directly relate your experiences to the company and the role (i.e., the same job at a different company might require different answers). Also prepare questions that will ensure this company and role meets your bucket list

(c) Practice delivering your answers.

Finally, completing all five steps – especially number five – builds confidence. Most women start this process feeling overwhelmed – the choices seem endless and the risk seems high. By the end, confidence soars and risk is minimized. Women realize they CAN do this – they CAN be careerists and mothers SIMULTANEOUSLY and SUCCESSFULLY.

Stacey Hawley is the author of The Good, The Bad and The In-Between: A PRACTICAL Career Evaluation Guide for REAL People.

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