With all of the images of sexuality in our society, you may be surprised to learn that parents and caregivers are in fact the most influential sexuality educators in their children's lives. Young people receive messages about sexuality from television, movies, music, school, friends, religious communities and yes, their families. Parents and caregivers have an important role teaching their children about sexuality, shaping their values and helping them develop into sexually healthy young adults.
Silence can be a powerful teacher - it can send a message to young people that sexuality is not a fundamental part of life, or that talking about sexuality is uncomfortable, embarrassing and inappropriate.
Talking about sexuality may seem endlessly embarrassing or uncomfortable, but it doesn't have to be. Sexuality encompasses a lot - you can pick a topic you're comfortable with and start there. Eventually you will establish a comfortable dialogue and be able to bring up topics that seem more difficult to discuss. Remember, as a parent or caregiver, your actions and words have tremendous influence over the values, attitudes and beliefs that young people develop about their own sexuality.
We're here to help! Give a call or email and we can recommend a book or website, refer you to another community resource, or offer support and information to help make your work as a parent invested in healthy sexuality a little easier! Together, we can make a difference.