How do we address sex and sexual behaviors with children and youth? Talking about sex can be especially difficult for parents, as well as for teachers or other professionals who work with children and youth. Yet discussing sex and sexuality is very important for families and professionals when implementing strategies to keep kids safe during childhood and their youth. By normalizing sexual behaviors and having open, honest communication about sex with children and youth, it can make sexual development less of a taboo and build trust where children and youth can better express themselves.
An additional issue that can make these talks even more difficult is when instances of child sexual abuse have occurred. How do we tell the differences between typical sexual behaviors and sexual behaviors that can be problematic? This fact sheet entitled, What We Can Do: Understanding Children and Youth with Problematic Sexual Behaviors from the National Children’s Alliance, breaks down these differences and provides red flags to watch out for. They also go into risk factors and protective factors, appropriate use of language when talking about these behaviors, and effective treatments.
To continue the conversation on understanding typical as well as problematic sexualized behaviors, MFLN Family Development is pleased to announce our upcoming webinar, “Sexualized Behaviors in Children & Youth,” which will take place on May 22, 2019 at 11am EST. In this webinar, Dr. Shelley Martin, a Colonel in the US Air Force and a licensed child abuse pediatrician, will review her work on sexualized behaviors expressed by children and youth.
This webinar will also provide opportunities to receive FREE CEUs! If you are unable to attend the live event, this webinar will be archived on our website for viewing at your convenience. CEUs will be available for this webinar until May 22, 2021.
Additionally, if you are interested in this topic, we have an ongoing Sexual Behavior in Children and Youth Series that will continue throughout 2019. Within this series will be future webinars, podcast episodes, and other additional resources on this topic. Be sure to RSVP for all the upcoming events here!
*Revised on 9/10/19 to reflect series title change
National Children’s Alliance (2015). What We Can Do: Understanding Children and Youth with Problematic Sexual Behaviors. Retrieved from: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2017-PSB-Fact-Sheet-Overview-3.pdf
This post was written by members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Learn more about us at https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/family-development, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter. Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.