The SEX Talk (Guidelines)
Toddlers (1-3 years of age)
(The right words for private body parts, such as "penis" and "vagina")
• Be honest with your children and avoid vague answers (Do not tell the stork story, but rather tell them the truth.)
• Expect your child to be curious about his or her body parts (Playing with their private parts.). Simply let them knowthat it is normal but private activity.
Preschoolers (3-5 years of age)
(Where does a baby come from? They won't understand all the details of reproduction -- so a simple "Mom has a uterus inside her tummy, where you lived until you were big enough to be born" is fine.)
• Good Touch vs. Bad Touch (Let kids know that it is not appropriate for people to touch specific parts of their bodywithout their consent)
• When they ask questions be open and answer it in a way they can understand (e.g. If they see a Tampon and asks “Mommy what is that?”)
• Seize the moment (Take advantage of teaching moments, to discuss issues that come up in Movies, TV shows etc.)
Middle Childhood (6-11 years of age)
(They should have a general idea of how babies are made. ("Mom and Dad made you.") Or if your child demands more details: "A tiny cell inside Dad called a sperm joined together with a tiny cell inside Mom called an egg.")
• Build an open/mutual relationship to make them comfortable around you as early as possible (Create more Family Time e.g. Family Dinner)
• Don’t expose your kids to sexual activity, (e.g. anything with pornographic content, your private life etc.). Children are inquisitive, they could exhibit adult behaviorprematurely and they in turn could pass these behaviors on to other vulnerable kids.)
• Provide your children with accurate information to enable them to be prepared for any life situations.
• Get to know your kids and be observant of their body language. (Only then you can know when something is wrong.)
Young Teens (12-14 years of age)
(They should know what changes happen to their bodies during puberty. Also be ready to discuss sex-related topics your child sees in the news.)
• Be prepared to look into any sex related questions that your child has that raises alarm bells in your head.
• Pragmatic approach (Do not beat around the bush!!)
• High Jack Method: Using an opportunity to talk to them when you are alone with them. (e.g. car ride or bed time)
• Watch the company they hang with. (Get to know their friends)
Teenagers (15-17 years of age)
(By now, kids are formulating their own values, so check in every so often to provide a better context for the information your child's getting. But avoid overkill or you'll be tuned out.)
• Parents need to be comfortable talking about sex.
• Share some of your appropriate childhood experiences. (an open relationship with your child must first be established )
• Send/carry them to a forum or a workshop on the teen sexuality.
• Parents should be prepared for any situation. Do your research on certain topics before engaging in any conversation.
• Recognize that your child is a sexual being. (i.e. all humans have sexual feelings)
• Explain the consequences of sexual activity. (physical, mental and social)
• Honor your kid’s wishes if he/she doesn’t want to talk about sex at that point in time. (Try again at another time)
• To convey that you are there for them use the word “WE” instead of “YOU”
• Make sure to appropriately define sex. Children need to know that being sexually active includes oral, anal, and vaginal sexual activity.Sources: (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html) (http://www.parenting.com/article/talking-to-kids-about-sex-21335549)
The Family Meal
Benefits and Purpose of a Family Meal
• Builds a relationship between you and your children
• Better academic performance
• Builds a more comfortable family environment
• Gives you time to find out what’s going on in the life of your child/children
• Helps your child to build up his/her social skills
• Passing on the family’s heritage and values to the children
• Show children how a family should interact and communicate
• Helps to build up their self esteem
• Helps them to bond with their family
• Helps them to understand that they are an important part of their family
• Helps you to understand your family
• Pass on your religious morals and principles
• Keeps children out of trouble
• Gives the family structure and organization
• Home cooked meals help to build a healthy family
• It’s cheaper to cook at home
• Everybody could be involved in making dinner, which encourages team work and builds a sense of responsibility
• Builds new family rituals, and a new bonding experience
• Creates memories that last a lifetime
• Gives you an opportunity to pass on family traditions and customs (e.g. family recipes)
• Helps to build an independent and confident child
• Gives you the opportunity to watch your child develop and mature
• Helps you to identify the varying abilities of your children (e.g. through playing games)
• Creates a time to get and give advice
10 Tips for Organizing Family Dinners
Don't let this mission feel daunting! Even the simplest meals -- like order-in pizza -- qualify as family dinners. The goal is to get everyone to the dinner table and to spend quality time togetherwithout any distractions. Here are tips on pulling it off:
• Set a goal. Once a week, perhaps? Build from there.
• Keep it simple. Family meals don't have to be elaborate.Try to incorporate healthy foods.
• Be prepared. Keep ingredients for healthful meals on hand, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
• Keep healthy 'appetizers' on hand. Stock the kitchen withfruit cups, nuts, and stuff the kids can snack on after school, instead of chips.
• Get the family involved. Let kids help prepare meals and set the table.
• Eat more fish and less red meat.
• Occasionally order take-out, or simply eat out. It still counts as quality time spent together. Avoid eating fast food every day.
• Avoid portion distortion. (i.e. keeping portion sizes under control, whether you're at home or eating out)
• Make it enjoyable, but set aside time for serious discussions.
• Play quiet music.
Here's another hint -- no TV or phones allowed! This is time for listening to each other, sharing the day's stories, and nurturing the family connection.Source: (http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/family-dinners-are-important)
Initially, you bond with your kids when they are infants. However, it's also important to maintain that bond throughout their childhood--and beyond.
You do this already, without even thinking about it, every time you listen to your kids, play with them, or simply allow your actions to demonstrate the unconditional love you have for them.
Here are some tips from actual parents for fostering and/or renewing your bond with your children that you can adapt to your circumstances:
One of my favorite moments with my 10-year-old daughter is when we make faces at each other to see if we can make each other laugh. It can happen anywhere, like the other day when we had a long car ride to go see Grand mom. It was really boring and mundane, so I started making faces at her. Before long we were both giggling uncontrollably. It’sfun to let loose and just be silly. —Jennifer
Things that can be done in just 15 minutes
My children are of kindergarten going age. I have had to include a lot more activities to do together with my children such as: 1. doing homework together - This has helped me understand my children's attitude towards certain subjects and activities, and I have helped them cope as a super baby mum. 2. Time keeping - Helping children understand the importance of time management is very crucial in bonding. This has helped me learn to set priorities and be there for them on time. 3. I bought a globe map to help my children and I understand the global perspective on things, and this has increased their interest in recognizing and reading print. 4. Buying a notice board at home where everyone pins an idea or event and then it is read by everyone. Here the spirit of appreciation has been built and everyday my children look toward my coming home, knowing that when we have 15 minutes, we'll be doing all these interesting activities together! —Deborah K
Every day when I pick my 6-year-old daughter up, we talk about her day. We talk about the highlights, the lowlights, and the in-between. Not only does it keep our line of communication open and keep me in the loop with what's going on inside that pretty head of hers and what's going on in school, but in the long run it will teach her that in life there is the good, the bad, and all of the in-between stuff. And in the end, it's all good because looking at life through this lens teaches us to keep things in good perspective. —Care77
Play "Remember When"
My son and I tell stories (that can turn into fish stories or a Whale of a Tale). I find the sense of humor he developed at 4 to be the point where the story telling took off. We would tell something we did that day, and then something fantastic we wished we would do - like jumping up and down on the moon or have a party with Dinosaurs in their underpants. Now his recollection of events is superb, and we write and illustrate homemade "books" together. — Annette
Have Dinner Together
One of the best activities to maintain the bond with my kids each and every day is by having dinner together at the table. We talk about our day, laugh, and just discuss the random, interesting, and funny events that happened to them at school. In addition, every night before they go to sleep, we pray together.—Angela
Share Your Bonding Tips
Every night over dinner we each share something that was good about our day. We also name something that we're thankful for, and we make a point on a regular basis to tell each other what we love about each other. —Terry O.
We Read Together
The other night, my 10-year-old asked me to read a book out loud with him, taking turns with each chapter. Of course I had other things to do at the time, but I stopped what I was doing to lay down and read with him. I mean, how much longer is he going to want to do this kind ofstuff together, right? Before I know it, he'll probably be off with his friends, not wanting anything to do with me. LOL... So I try to take full advantage any time he initiates doing something like this together. —J.J.
I have three kids, and I like to try to take little private moments with each of them as often as possible. Sometimes it might be as mundane as taking only one along to the grocery store, when we can shop and talk without interruption. Other times it might be something a little more special. Yesterday, for instance, I slipped a little gift into my oldest child’s pocket when I picked her up from school. She'd been having a rough time and needed a little pick-me-up. —Laureen Brunelli
Best Activities for Maintaining the Bond
My suggestion is to give quality time to the kids and listen to them with your heart. Become like them. Get on their level and play along with them the games they play. Teach them the way they should go, and when they are grown up they will not forget it (Proverbs 22:6).—WayengeraGodfreySource: (http://singleparents.about.com/u/ua/communication/bond_with_your_kids.htm)