Did You Know?

Did you know that our newsletter is one year old this month?! We thought we’d celebrate by sharing some of the things that Power Up Workshops offers the community.
We offer K-12 classroom sexual health education, including the new B.C. K-9 Physical and Health Education curriculum. We can provide teacher and educational assistant professional development throughout British Columbia. We also offer in-home sessions for parents (you choose the topic, the date and invite some friends!) and private client sessions. And, the learning never stops with summer programming for ages 3-10.

New K-3 Physical and Health Education Curriculum

The B.C. Ministry of Education has implemented new curricula for K-3 Physical and Health Education.
In K-1 students are expected to know:

  • names for body parts, including male and female private parts
  • appropriate and inappropriate touch
  • hazards/unsafe situations
  • caring behaviours
  • emotions
  • reliable sources of information

In Grade 2 students are expected to know:

  • K/1 content +
  • strategies for accessing health information
  • strategies/skills to use in hazardous/unsafe situations
  • managing/expressing emotions
  • self-identity

In Grade 3 students are expected to know:

  • K/1/2 content +
  • nature/consequences of bullying
  • relationship between worry and fear

For more detailed information please consult the Ministry website.

The facts about abuse

From the June newsletter…

Last month we talked about play date and party rules, and how to debrief with your child. This month we’d like to share some facts about abuse that some parents may not be aware of.

Abuse happens in all types of families within all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. It is not limited to a certain “type” of family. Most parents want the best for their children, but factors like stress and lack of resources sometime compromise a parent’s ability to make good choices about the welfare of their child. Sexual abuse by strangers is rare; 75% – 85% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by a family member.

Most sexual abuse is perpetuated without force or violence. 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Children with disabilities are even more at risk. 

Finally, children rarely false report abuse. They speak from experience and cannot make up this information unless exposed to it. Treatment from a mental heath professional can minimize the physical emotional and social problems that may occur after an incident. Treatment helps the child to process feelings and fears around the incident.

                                  *adapted from Body Smart: Right from the Start (Kerri Isham, 2016)

Play Dates and Safety

One of the many ways that our children engage with the world is through play dates with other children. Safety begins with some simple rules:
-play with clothes on
-no touching of private parts
-no photos of private parts
-you are allowed privacy when bathing, dressing, using the toilet
-you have permission to say ‘no’
-we don’t keep secrets; if someone tells you to keep a secret tell an adult.

Here are some questions that you can ask your child to engage in a “safety conversation”*
after a play date or party:
-Did you enjoy yourself?
-How did you spend your time?
-What was your favourite part of the play date/party?
-What was the least favourite part?
-Did you feel safe?
-Was there anything else you wanted to share?

This kind of debrief enables your child to share the good things about the play date, and may help them to tell you if something unwanted did happen. 

*adapted from Body Smart: Right from the Start, by Kerri Isham (2016)

My Latest Book!

I’m very excited and proud about my latest book, Body Smart: Right from the Start. It’s my second publication and focuses on abuse prevention in Kindergarten to Grade 3 aged children.

You can buy a copy here.

I’m also very grateful for the continued support of my local Shaw station. Thank you for supporting the work that I do to make our community a safer place for our young people.

Watch the Shaw TV interview.

Why Start Early?

There are many important reasons to begin teaching your children about sexual health early. It is the foundation for the development of positive attitudes about sexuality. Children are naturally curious and your willingness to discuss age-appropriate material builds trust and open communication. The building blocks of healthy adult sexuality begins in childhood with trusted adults.

Children gain control of their world by naming it. With each new word, the child grows in understanding and power. Learning the correct names and functions of private body parts enables a child to talk and ask questions about them. Accurate, age-appropriate information is vital to helping a child prepare for adolescence and adulthood.

Your open and honest discussions are a way for you to connect with your children and teach them family values, rather than school-yard ones. Starting early has also been proven to increase abuse resistance, reduce anxiety and make children more likely to report abuse, injuries and see a doctor in the future.