So how do you turn ‘playing with a friend’ 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 the video below.
[00:00:00] How do you turn your child playing with a friend into a teachable moment? Let’s find out.[Music].
[00:00:13] Hi, I’m Cath Hak from Sex Ed Rescue and Sex Ed Rescue is that channel where I talk about all the things to do with sex education and hopefully, get you more comfortable with talking to your kids about sex. This week’s teachable moment is about how to turn having a kid have a friend, a play friend or a playmate over for a play. How do you turn that into a teachable moment?
[00:00:35] Now, a little bit depends on their age. There’s lots and lots and lots and lots of possible teachable moments that you can find in this one. You can have conversations with them afterwards about sharing or during about– I had my son I got railroaded into not having just one friend over after school but five of them and they were revolting nine-year-old little boys and what they ended up doing is ganging up on one of the younger kids who was a little bit more vulnerable. So that was really interesting because lots of opportunities there to talk about playing properly, about being respectful, not bullying, not telling secrets.
So my son, he’s a real showoff has friends come on proceeded to tell all of them a secret about another boy who wasn’t there. This kid had told him so great opportunity to talk to my son about secrets and peer group pressure and all that sort of stuff so they throw lots of opportunities at you.
[00:01:40] I find that if I hang around and I listen, not hover. Our house is open leading so the upstairs is all lounge, dining, kitchen and downstairs is bedrooms in the yard so whenever my kids have friends over, they tend to be where I am upstairs so I can listen and I can just check what’s going on, intervene if I have to so that young kid was being picked on and bullied making sure that I intervened to keep their kids safe but also having conversations afterwards.
So for example, after I spoke with my son that night about the fact that how would he feel if he’d told someone a secret and then that person went and told everyone else. How would he feel? So trying to bring in those conversations about empathy and also conversations about playing appropriately and being good friend. What makes a good friend? And then, also, there’s also that opportunity or that possibility when kids are playing that they then go off and disappear into the bedroom quietly so sometimes, that’s because they’re playing doctor or they’re looking at the gender differences between them or their genital differences. So you know, do you have a penis? No, I’ve got a vulva. What does that look like? Let’s have a look.
[00:02:54] So providing guidance and that sort of stuff as well. Having a little peek for the first time or being curious about the differences is okay but if it keeps becoming- if it keeps on happening and if this coercion or forcing that’s when it can become a problem. I do have some blog posts on the website that talk about that as well so there’s that as well. What else have we got?
And it’s also about that fact I think I’ve just been respectful as well and also conversations about what your family rules are about nudity. So for example, my daughter when I think she was seven or eight. We had friends over and she was out in the backyard with her other friend in her room. They’d stripped off all their clothes, they were jumping on the trampoline and they thought they were quite– It was okay, they’re at home, it’s okay to be naked at home but they had forgotten about the fact that we actually had visitors at the time so it probably wasn’t an appropriate time for them to be naked as well.
[00:03:55] So conversations about that as well so as you can see there’s some of the opportunities and I found with having friends over and it’s more that they just give you the great opportunity to talk about some of the social stuff which is an important part of being afraid. This is a whole thing about sex education. It’s about sexuality and sexuality is also about relationships and how we get along with people. So you know if you can’t have– be a good friend, treat people respectfully and appropriately and all that sort of stuff, how the hell are you going to be able to have a healthy relationship with one day with someone?
So learning these social skills and friendship skills when kids are young that is really really important because their skills that the internet later on. It also makes your life a hell of a lot easier as a parent if you’ve got a cue to socialize and mix well and have good friends because as they go through they’re teenage years, having those friendships are really really important to help get them through it as well, so they’re good things to want to nurture.
Okay, I hope some of that helps.
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.