I Love You, But I Hate Blogging

No matter how I try to convince myself that I’m teaching and offering something important and valuable to  you, dear reader, it doesn’t work: I hate blogging.

Therefore, it’s time for me to stop! Thanks for reading – thanks for commenting – thanks for being so engaged in the Birds + Bees talks.

You can easily keep up with me on Facebook or Twitter or via my newsletter. And you can always email me! Amy@BirdsAndBeesAndKids.com

Thanks for reading and keep on talking.

Take care, Amy Image

 

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Uncle Creepy: How To Spot a Pedophile

The Sandusky verdict prompts me to remind you it’s an adult’s responsibility to protect children. This means if you are concerned about an adult in your child’s life, please do something about it, rather than putting your head in the sand. Contact Stop It Now! for help if you have questions about an adult’s behavior.

Here are some things to watch out for with regard to adult behaviors that could be “red flags.” Share this info with your kids – they need to be empowered to tell you if an adult or older kid is doing something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

These are just suggestions and won’t actually “diagnose” a pedophile but will give you guidelines if you are worried. And remember, 93% of the time, the person is known to the family.

1) Are they more interested in hanging out with kids than adults?

2) Do they have loose boundaries and insist on tickling, wrestling, hugging and touching kids even when the child has asked them to stop? Do they have loose emotional boundaries as well?

3) Do they hang with kids and make their home very welcome to kids (even though they don’t have any of their own)? Do they have all the latest and greatest toys and video games?

4) Do they seem “too good to be true”, i.e. frequently babysits different children for free; takes children on special outings alone; buys children gifts or gives them money for no apparent reason?

5) Is their contact with a child outside of their job description/role? i.e. Coach giving rides home, teacher offering special tutoring sessions out of class/school, texting “just to say hi”,  school music teacher offering private lessons, etc.

6) Takes the child into their confidence by sharing secrets or adult information? Do they talk to children about sex?

7) Do they view child pornography?

8) Do they give you an uncomfortable our “uh-oh” feeling when you see them interact with kids?

9) Do they photograph children “for fun”?

10) Did they sexually abuse or molest you when you were a child?

11) Are they a pillar of the community? Charming, attractive, nice, friendly and very  concerned with the plight of children in your community?

12) Do they buy special gifts for your child, praise them, tell you how amazing and special your child is?

13) Do they volunteer and/or work with children at school, church or in community organizations?

14) Do they seem preoccupied with your child?

If the adult is a problem, most likely there will be more than one thing on this list. Just because someone is actively involved in a youth ministry, it doesn’t mean they are a problem. But if they are involved in the youth ministry AND shower your child with praise and gifts, I’d be on alert.

Learn more here:

http://crime.about.com/od/sex/p/pedophile.htm

http://www.stopitnow.org/

Prevention tips – your kids need to know how to protect themselves:

http://savvyparentssafekids.com/

http://www.stopitnow.org/faqs

 

 

 

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When The Kids Walk In On You!

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! How fabulous that you managed to make time for some loving.

Secondly, BUMMER! Nothing spoils the mood like the pitter-patter of tiny feet, gasps, and commentary along the line of “What the heck are you two doing?!”

Here’s how to handle it.

Prevention! Right now, today, institute a “knock first” policy. This means if a door is closed the family rule is you “knock first” and get permission to enter.

Get a lock put on your door.

Script! Already know what you’re going to say before you say it! Whoever is most able to speak at the time can say, calmly, “Hi! We’re having a private moment – can you please wait outside the door for a minute, one of us will be right out.”

Afterwards! Now for the damage control (if there is any to be done).

3 – 7 years old:
“Hey, I’m so sorry you walked in on us when we were having some private time. It probably looked a little weird and maybe a little scary, but we we’re just fine. In the future, you really need to knock before you come into our room. Thanks!”

8 years old and up:
“Hey – I’m so sorry you walked in on us while we were making love and having some private time. If you felt uncomfortable, that’s totally normal. We did too, because making love is private and we were surprised to see you. Sex can look and sound a little weird so I’m sorry if you were upset or scared.”

“In the future, please knock first before you come into our room. We’ll do the same for you.”

“Do you have any questions?”

Good luck with the last one – be honest and answer as simply as possible. They really don’t need to know the details of why daddy likes to be tied up or why you have that cool silver rocket ship. :)

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Sexualized Girls – Laura Ingalls Style

The setting: The Little House on the Prairie.

The scenario: Pa Ingalls is playing The Arkansas Traveler on the fiddle, while, Ma, Laura, Mary and baby Carrie are listening as the sun sets on a long day.

The dance moves: Laura sweetly gyrates her hips and bends forward to show the world her sexy 8 year old booty and Mary shimmies and shakes her 10 year old breast buds all around, both flaunting their bodies for all they’ve got.

Ma looks on, bemused as she watches her two big girls dancing their hearts out. She hears a voice inside of her say, “Hm. This behavior seems a bit mature for their ages. I wonder if it’s okay for them to be dancing like bar girls? Oh, well, it must be, everyone else is doing it. What harm can it do?”

 

Posted in Sexualization, Tweens | Tagged , ,

Kids Who Drink Alcohol are More Likely to Have Sex

As you know, alcohol consumption = lowered inhibition = sex . Or as my witty British friend once said, “Gin is a panty dropper.” Except for me. I hate it.

Talking to kids about the relationship between drinking and sex is super-duper important. You know drinking makes sex more likely, so talk about it when you talk to your kids about sex.

Please don’t bother to think “not my kid” or “she’s got a good head on her shoulders” because you know that your parents thought the same thing about you.  My guess is they were, well, wrong.

Kathy Slattengren of Priceless Parenting has a great blog on this very topic. Check it out and join me on April 21 as I torture Milo, once again, with seemingly useless information for an 11 year old boy. :)

Posted in Alcohol and drugs, Talking to kids about sex, Teens | Tagged , , ,

Is puberty starting earlier?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes as well.

Remember! Girls start puberty before their periods start!

Here’s what we know and be sure to read this awesome article from the NY Times:

The most legitimate reason for the earlier onset in girls is because they are fatter (have more fat, not poundage) and/or healthier and therefore ready to make babies sooner.

Boys are starting puberty sooner too and my guess is that it’s for the same reasons – fatter = healthier = ready to breed.

Stress may be a big contributing factor to early puberty.

We’re seeing puberty in typically developing girls start as young as 8. The average age seems to be about 9 or 10.

Boys start puberty at about 11 as opposed to 13 or so which was the standard go-to age.

The study that told us girls have periods at 12 or 13 was flawed. It was done on a bunch of white, middle class girls from the same neck of the woods.

The “real” age girls start periods is “12 years old, plus or minus 3 years.” Not helpful, really. It seems to be most girls start around age 11. If you daughter is your bio kid, then when you started is about when she’ll start.

Boys choirs are suffering because their sopranos’ voices are changing by 13 instead of 15.

Talk to them sooner than you think – age 8 – about puberty. If they aren’t quite there yet, one of their classmates is sure to be.

 

 

Posted in Puberty, Talking to kids about sex, Tweens | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

How to explain “virginity” to a child

Everyone has a story about the first time they had sex. Your kids may ask you about when you lost your virginity. They may not.

When you talk with them about this, you have a choice about how much you tell them, and whether you talk about it at all. Please don’t lie to them. They have great BS detectors and you will completely discredit yourself if you lie and get caught.

I’m going to give a couple of scripts for fielding this question, but it’s ultimately up to you to figure out how you will respond to this question.

Early Childhood
The first time someone has sex is sometimes called “losing your virginity.” A virgin is person who has never had sex.

I think it’s smart to wait until ____________ before you have sex for the first time. I believe this because…

Tween
I had sex for the first time when I was a teenager. When I look back and think about the choices I made, I feel good. I was ready and with someone I loved and trusted. We made sure we wouldn’t get pregnant or an infection and talked a lot about our decision.

When I look back at the choices I made, my hope for you is that you will wait until you are out of high school, in a loving committed relationship, have protection and are really ready for sex and can handle all the consequences.

I had sex when I was too young and completely unprepared for the consequences. What I hope for you is…

When do you think a person should have sex for the first time? When do you think someone is ready for sex?

Posted in Scripts, Talking to kids about sex, Teens, Tweens, Values | Tagged ,