Provider-Parent Partnerships Parent-Provider Relationships
Supporting Parents
Child Growth & Development
Guidance & Discipline
Children & Learning
Family-Child Relationships
Health & Safety
Making Connections
 
Home
About Us
How to Use This Site
Site Directory
Tell Us What You Think
Search
 

Tips for Providers
Authors: Jessica Dunn with Judith A. Myers-Walls, Ph.D., CFLE

These tips can help you deal with sexuality issues with the children in your care. These same tips may be helpful to parents who have questions about their child’s sexuality. When a child asks you a question related to sexuality:

• Find out what the child already knows.

• Talk with parents about their attitudes. Ask how they would like you to discuss these issues with their child. Keep their
   views in mind when issues arise with their child.

• Understand the child’s question before you answer.

• It is OK to admit that you don’t know everything.

• Watch for signs that the children are interested in sexuality.

• Answer questions about sexuality directly. Try not to go into more detail than the child wants. Children will ask more
  questions when they are ready for more information.

• Let the child know that it is okay for him to ask you questions.

• If the child asks you questions about sexuality at the wrong time, tell her that you will answer her questions as soon as
  possible. Then answer the questions as soon as you can. Talk with the child about good places and times to discuss
  sexuality.

• Let the child know that people have different beliefs about sexuality. Tell him that the differences are OK.

• Relax. It is OK if you feel embarrassed talking with children about sexuality. Tell the child that it is OK for him to feel a little
  embarrassed.

• It is OK if you make mistakes when answering a child’s question. When you find out that you were wrong, go back and
  correct yourself.

• Use correct terms for sexual organs and functions (e.g. vagina, penis, vulva, testicles, breasts, etc.).

• Parents should start talking about sexuality early. Providers should talk to parents to see if it is appropriate to bring up sexuality issues in childcare. Talk to parents about your sexuality education policy statement.

• Consider using anatomically correct dolls and books to guide you through discussions.

• If you see children masturbating or engaging in sex play, calmly redirect them to another activity. Talk with children about
  sexuality at an appropriate later time.

• Do not allow children to use the word “gay” as an insult.

• Be patient with children and their families. Also be patient with yourself. This is a difficult area.



Go to:  • Red flags – recognizing sexual abuse
           • Books for parents and children
          
  Sexuality education policy statement




For more information, contact Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE at jmyerswa@purdue.edu

Please feel free to link to, print off, redistribute, or reprint
  any of these materials as long as the original credits remain intact.

Parent-Provider Relationships | Supporting Parents | Child Growth & Development | Guidance & Discipline
Children & Learning
| Family-Child Relationships
| Health & Safety | Making Connections

Home | About Us  | Site Directory
| How to Use This Site | Tell Us What You Think | Search
 Welcome Pages               Parent Pages
              
Purdue University logo                                                                                                        HD Extension logo
Copyright © 2006-2013, Purdue University, all rights reserved.
If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact the webmaster at hdfs@purdue.edu