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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 Many Degrees of J’Adore Dance

September 1st, 2016

By Chantel Sampson

This year J’Adore Dance celebrates its 10th anniversary. Over the years J’Adore has had thousands of dancers pass through its doors and has grown from a portable studio started by Jessica Baudin-Griffin offering classes at different locations, to a permanent studio with two teaching spaces in Lendrum Shopping Centre now owned by Chantel Sampson and Jenna Brenan.  J’Adore’s philosophy of offering non-competitive dance in a supportive and welcoming environment has helped to make it a favourite among dancers of all ages and abilities.  They believe that movement is more important than medals and continuously updating their curriculum as well as creating new programming keeps them current and fresh. But what sets J’Adore Dance apart from the rest? Their award-winning programming, their expertly designed curriculum, their all-inclusive philosophy? Yes, all of these things but most importantly their highly educated and trained staff!

Did you know that all J’Adore Dance teachers hold university degrees in either Education, Dance, Science, Music Therapy, Psychology or are currently working towards completing their degree?  Many J’Adore teachers also have additional training beyond their initial degree, holding Masters’, PhDs, and/or additional certifications such as Yoga Instruction, Pre/Postnatal fitness, Coaching, Fitness Leadership, Infant Massage, Integrative dance and non-violent crisis intervention. This makes them experts in curriculum design and delivery.

Owners Chantel Sampson and Jenna Brenan both hold Bachelor of Education degrees with distinction from the University of Alberta. They were both nominated for Excellence in Teaching awards and together they have a combined 28 years of teaching experience. Chantel and Jenna have been classroom teachers in inclusive arts settings as well as having designed and implemented dance programs for Edmonton Public and Catholic Schools.  They also recently became members of the Alberta Dance Educators Association and completed their Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification holding a designation in Exercise Theory and Group Exercise with portable equipment and are working on their post-natal exercise certification. Both attend yearly dance educator courses such as the Summer Dance Teacher Intensive offered at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, Dance Teacher Web Summit in Las Vegas, or the annual Alberta Teacher’s Association Fine Arts Council’s Annual Conference (where they will be presenting this fall).  Chantel also recently returned from New York where she completed a Certificate in Performing Arts Healthcare through the American College of Sports Medicine.

But that's not all! All staff are encouraged to have and maintain their first aid and level C CPR.  All instructors teaching Intellidance classes have gone through the Intellidance method certification program developed by Jessica Baudin-Griffin. The in-person certification is a comprehensive course including 40 hours of in-class learning, observations, written assignments and practical assessments.

As a staff they also come together multiple times throughout the year to review lesson plans, discuss things such as choreographic process and technique and dancer skill development and assessments, as well as to review basic teaching techniques for working with dancers of all ability levels. Instructors are able to attend each others’ classes at the studio as a form of peer professional development. J'Adore also organizes and offers new professional development opportunities for its staff. Last year staff participated in an Infant Massage Certification from Trimesters Massage.  Ms Annie and Ms Pam recently travelled to Calgary to certify in Integrative Dance which they were able to bring back and share with our staff. This fall, we welcome Kerry Koble, founder of Fly Girlz Dance Crew, to mentor our Creative Hip Hop instructors. In the new year, we look forward to having Terry Goetz, school director of the Creative Dance Center,  return to our studio for a teacher training workshop.

But why is all of this so important?

Having a highly trained staff that not only understands dance and movement but how children learn and what developmental stages they are going through makes them experts in the classroom. They understand that children are not ready to skip before they can hop on one foot. That if a child is not able to isolate and ground their lower half of their body that there may be some emotional grounding concerns that will be present in the classroom setting and will need addressing. That including shoulder stabilization activities such as bear walk and crab walks not only work on upper body and core strength and coordination but are vital for fine motor development such as penmanship. Emerging studies reveal a substantial connection between movement and cognition, meaning that the more students move, the better they may learn. Highly trained dance teachers understand this and can make a significant, life-long impact on children and adolescents.

At J'Adore Dance, they feel having this level of instructor knowledge and understanding of the growing and developing child is absolutely necessary to giving each child the very best experience and is why their programs are such a success.  J’Adore classes not only offer a safe, encouraging environment for kids but also provide children and adolescents important developmental opportunities. Because of their ongoing training and professional development J’Adore instructors are able to recognizing the nuances of a child’s stage of development and drawing on their enhanced background knowledge and depth of experience they are able to find ways to modify an activity to meet the needs of each individual dancer. In essence, J’Adore Dance has instructors that are highly trained in all areas of dance and movement education and great teachers and great owners make J’Adore Dance the number one choice for inclusive, non-competitive dance education and dance fitness.  

To find out more about the wonderful staff of J’Adore, check out their Instructor Bio Page https://jadoredance.com/instructors

Chantel Sampson has been dancing since the age of three. A lifelong passion for dance continues to fuel her spirit. Her background includes tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, modern, ballroom, and Irish Dance. She has studied, trained and competed under many talented teachers from across Canada and the United States. Chantel embraces the philosophy of dance as a universal form of expression. For Chantel, dance is a family affair and she has always been excited to share dance with her parents, husband, and three beautiful children.

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