Consent education is most effective when it begins at an early age. Children who learn how to assert themselves and respect boundaries with their friends and family are more likely to grow into teens and adults who can apply those same skills to their romantic and sexual relationships.=
Dag, y'all! Intermediate level students have so much to learn about puberty! Real talk, this is a subject I wish the 2015 HPE curriculum had moved to an earlier grade. The average onset age of puberty for youth born with uteruses is around 10 and a half years old. For Black and Lantinx youth, it's even younger than that. The curriculum covers puberty in Grades 4 and 5, and by that time some kids are already going through it. Ideally, I prefer that kids have information about bodily changes before they happen so that understand that it's normal. Furthermore, there's a LOT to learn about puberty: hormones, growth spurts, new and complex emotions, sexual response, periods, vaginal lubrication, erections, ejaculation, pubic hair, acne - and those are just the basics!
All of this to say that you can start talking to your kids about puberty at home before the Ontario curriculum does. If you introduce it earlier, say when they're around 8 years old, you have lots of time to introduce the information gradually over time, and over several conversations. But if you do have to teach puberty in a classroom setting, hopefully, the exercises in the video and the info sheets below will help the lessons land with your students.
Thanks once again to graphic artist Greer McNally who created a whole bunch of sexual anatomy diagrams for you to use as part the Anatomy Puzzle activity described in the video! You can download the PDFs below
If you need diagrams to do the anatomy exercise outlined in the video, you can download them here.
this can be really tough to think about as a parent, but we don’t have to telegraph our concerns to our children. For the most part, we’re helping them identify people that they like and trust. In many ways, this is a positive talk.
Children being able to name their genitals properly is foundational sexual knowledge. It’s information that kids can use when they're young, and then build on as they move through their childhood and adolescence.
Learning to express anger, sadness, upset with others in appropriate ways is a really important foundational relationship skill. For children, it’s something that will serve them in their relationships with friends, family and their community. Later on, it’s a skill they can bring into any romantic or sexual relationships they might have.