The other day, a parent asked me if it is okay that her 5 year old daughter pinched her butt. I love questions like this because there is so much opportunity to talk about aspects of her child’s sex education that can benefit the parent and the child.
The first thing I asked the parent was if she liked it or not, that is, was she bothered by the pinch or worried about something else. She said it was fine with her, but she wondered what might happen if her daughter did something like this to another person. By asking this question, I was trying to learn about the values of her particular family as well as pinpoint any specific concerns. Since she thought it was funny in context it was then possible to focus more on the main concern – consent.
You might notice that I wasn’t focusing on her worry – that is something every parent experiences almost every day. Getting stuck in the worry can block parents from actually talking with their children about the issue they really care about. In this case her bigger question was, “How do I help my daughter learn the difference between what is okay for us to do at home and what is okay out in the world?” [Read more…]