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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/

The First Six Weeks of School: Getting Off to a Good Start

August 28th, 2014

Submitted by Oxford Learning Centres

Grades 1 to 3 – What To Watch For

  1. Young children often have difficulty concentrating, paying attention and getting settled.

  2. They may have trouble learning to read, write or do math.

  3. Organization may be a challenge.

Tips for the First Three Weeks

    • It often takes time for young children to learn the "school game." They are restless and unable to adjust to the new classroom environment. Practice for this by playing different concentration games – even make a game out of sitting still or not moving. Time each other and try to make each other move or laugh, etc.

    • The primary grades are for the teaching of basic academic skills, such as reading, writing and math. Students graduating from Grade 3 should already be reading fluently, writing without spelling mistakes and understanding basic math concepts.

    • While planning is not essential in these grades, it is an excellent low-pressure time to introduce these skills. Kids will love having their own planners and will enjoy writing down their different activities. Begin by entering personal activities in the planner – soccer games, dance classes, birthday parties, etc.

Tips for the Second Three Weeks

    • Play games such as Parcheesi and Concentration to help continue in the development of concentration skills.

    • Begin to break words into syllables and play listening games. Practice sounding out words as you read with your children every evening. Don’t just read stories; play with them, discuss them. Who did what? Why? What could have been different? Be silly! Enjoy! Have fun!

    • As teachers assign reading, projects or homework, enter the work into the planner. By the time your little student is in the senior grades, time management problems will be a thing of the past.

Grades 4 to 6 – What To Watch For

    1. The workload increases dramatically and students must learn new organizational skills.

    2. Basic skills, such as reading, writing, spelling and math should be mastered by now. If your child is struggling to read fluently, it is time to take action. Students in grades 5 and 6 are at risk if these skills are still weak.

    3. Too much time should not be spent on homework. If your child is unable to complete homework in a decent amount of time, it may be time to seek academic support.

Tips for the First Three Weeks

    • Reinforce the use of a day planner to record daily homework assignments, deadlines, after-school activities and upcoming quizzes and tests.

    • If basic academic skills are weak, consider enrolling the services of a supplemental education specialist to help develop appropriate basic academic skills.

    • Do not judge your child’s homework requirements by the first three weeks of school. It often takes three weeks or more for a class to have a homework rhythm established.

Tips for the Second Three Weeks

    • Reinforce the use of the day planner and monitor it daily.

    • If basic academic skills are weak, consider enrolling the services of a supplemental education specialist to help develop appropriate basic academic skills.

    • Keep track of how much time kids are spending on their homework. More than one-half hour in Grade 4 and one hour for grades 5 and 6 probably means that they are not getting their work completed in school. It may also suggest that they need help with organization.

Grades 7 to 8 – What To Watch For

1. Weak self-esteem or confidence.

2. Lack of organizational skills.

3. Not setting goals.

4. Weak basic skills.

Tips for the First Three Weeks

      • Social issues emerge as children mature. This transition often triggers problems with self-esteem, as school challenges are compounded with social ones. It is important to help your kids learn to believe in themselves. When communicating with them, be sure to use "I"messages, clearly stating your expectations – rather than voicing judgments. Try, "I can see that you are upset about your mark in Math. How can we work together to overcome this difficult situation?" instead of, "You have to study harder to pass Math. Why don’t you ever listen to what I tell you?"

      • As social pressures mount, you will be required to help your kids juggle friends, sports, and even some part-time jobs. Do not lose focus, and keep monitoring the day planner. Many good courses are available to help kids develop advanced planning and organizational skills.

      • At this age, a long-term goal often involves plans only for the next weekend. It is essential for students in grades 7 and 8 to begin to learn to set goals and plan to reach them.

      • Consider enrolling the services of a supplemental education specialist to help develop appropriate basic academic skills.

Tips for the Second Three Weeks

      • Continue your support.

      • Reinforce the use of the day planner and monitor it daily. Make sure that tests and projects are also broken down into component parts and entered into the day planner. Every student at this level should have extra work in the evening on top of any homework assigned.

      • Reinforce and celebrate when goals are met. Help in the setting of new goals. Make sure to include personal as well as academic goals.

      • It is essential that all academic skills are sound by now. Spelling, grammar, reading fluently with comprehension, and math skills must all be excellent. If not, act immediately.

Tips for Parents

      • Regularly encourage children with their homework and assignments.

      • Instill excellence as your family standard, encourage a strong work ethic; and set high but realistic standards.

      • Give priority to homework, assignments and other academic activities over non-academic endeavors such as television, music, video games, telephone calls, friends and part-time jobs.

      • Meet with your child’s teacher and get to know current schoolwork and activities.

      • Make sure you understand your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses.

      • Have a quiet place to study at home that is free from distractions. Keep reference materials, books, dictionaries and stationary items nearby.

Established in 1984, Oxford Learning has grown to include more than 100 locations across Canada and the United States. Oxford Learning goes beyond tutoring to help students reach their learning potential, not just for one grade or one year but for a lifetime. The unique programs teach children to learn how to learn. Visit Oxford Learning on-line atwww.oxfordlearning.com for complete program information.

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