So how do you turn ‘billboards and signs’ into an opportunity to teach your child something important.
Teachable moments should be your Number 1 strategy for sex education!
Learn more about what a teachable moment is.
Watch this teachable moment here.
[00:00:00] How do we turn billboards into a teachable moment?[Music].
[00:00:12] Hi, I’m Cath Hak from Sex Ed Rescue. Sex Ed Rescue is a channel where I talk about all things to do with sex education, puberty, growing up, love, and relationships. Each week, we do a different teachable moment and this week is all about billboards and signs.
If you live in a city, you’re going to see advertisements everywhere. You’ll see them on buses, billboards, buildings, trains, even if you’re driving from the country into the city, you’ll see them on the side of the road. They are everywhere. Even if you go into a shopping centre, you’ll see lots of signs too.
I tend to avoid shopping centres, but with school holidays it’s hard to avoid them. So, I took my kids and we walked past Victoria’s Secrets, the lingerie shop which had lots of advertisements out the front. We walk past and I said, ‘Oh, what is she wearing?’. My son said, ‘She’s wearing nothing.’ I said, ‘Well, she’s got underwear on. Do people wear their underwear out when they’re shopping?’ He said, ‘No.’ We talked about that sign and he felt that it shouldn’t have been there because there were other children walking by.
What was interesting was that it was a very multicultural shopping centre. There were a lot of Muslim people walking by, covered from head to toe and other people from conservative backgrounds. But it was interesting to have that chat with my son about clothing messages, what’s appropriate, and what’s not.
[00:02:25] For example, we might see a bus go by that has a picture of two people kissing or an engagement ring advertisement and we’ll talk about that. We’ll go, ‘Oh look, there’s a picture of two people kissing, why do you think they might be kissing? Where is it okay to kiss? Where isn’t it okay to kiss? What do you think that message gives to people?’
Also, there are some great books. I don’t have a physical copy, but there’s a book publisher called Educate2Empower. They write books that help children look at messages regarding sex. They’re quite a valuable resource to help our kids unpack the advertising that’s around us and to start pulling it apart to try work out what it means and what message they are getting across to us. Because at the end of the day, we don’t want our kids growing up to think that they must look like a beautiful, blonde, photoshopped woman or a man that has a six-pack, bulky, beefy and have gorgeous hair. Diversity is fine. It’s about teaching kids the skills to be able to unpack and to understand a lot of the messages, to understand that these images aren’t reliving real people.
We need to make sure our kids grow up knowing the difference between fake and real. That’s another lesson that we can also chat about with billboards. I’m sure there’s a lot more that you can talk about because it depends on the message that’s there.
You might see one about meat and you might be vegan or vegetarian, so it would be a great opportunity to talk about food choices. It’s not just sexual stuff but all sorts of other stuff as well.
Okay, I hope that helps. Cheers.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. To find a better way to talk about sex, you can join my community of parents and visit my shop for helpful resources.