Parents to discuss sex education for children
Northborough – Sex education is more than just about "the birds and the bees," according to Planned Parenthood Senior Parent Educator Mindy Craver. At the Assabet Valley Mothers and More meeting Tuesday Sept. 30, Craver will explain to parents how opening the lines of communication while children are young can ease difficult discussions down the road.
The program is called "Let's Be Honest: Communication in Families that Keeps Kids Healthy," and is a program Craver presents to community organizations, workplaces and in home settings. Stemming from the idea that parents are the primary sexuality educators of their children, Craver, a mother of one, explains that you should begin talking with children about their bodies when they're infants.
"It's never too early to talk [to children] about feeling good about who they are," Craver said.
In her workshop, Craver explores issues such as terminology, body image, facts, feelings and values. She discusses ways to keep kids safe by explaining "good touch" and "bad touch." For young children, learning what it means to be a boy or a girl, and discussing feelings about gender may be the first step in sex education.
Instead of dictating what to tell children, Craver helps parents define their own values.
"I'm not telling you what to think at all; I'm just helping you figure out what you do think," she said.
Craver stresses the importance of teaching children the diff erence between fact and opinion, and encourages honesty and openness. Recognizing that most parents have difficulty discussing sexuality, Craver's goal is to make parents more comfortable in their role.
According to Craver, her workshop last year with Mothers and More was a hit, inspiring several groups of women to continue the discussion with Planned Parenthood's "Home Talks" program. For more information about the group's programs, visit www.plannedparenthood. org.
The Assabet Valley Mothers and More organization will meet at Whitney Place, 238 West Main St., Northborough, at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information, visit www. mothersandmoreassabetvalley. org.
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