Care For Kids

“If we don’t teach our children healthy sexuality, someone will teach them unhealthy sexuality.”

In my role as Prevention Education Coordinator, I am constantly shocked at the amount of information that my students have been exposed to at such a young age. Anyone who watches television, listens to the radio, or even drives past billboards knows that our society is constantly becoming more sexualized. Our children are getting messages about sex every time they go online, listen to their favorite song, or watch their favorite show.

The majority of the time, these messages about sex and relationships are extremely unhealthy. Take Justin Beiber’s song “What Do You Mean” whose lyrics ask, “What do you mean? When you don’t want me to move but you tell me to go.” I think when someone tells you to go, it is very clear what they mean. He then goes on to state, “We’re running out of time. What do you mean? Better make up your mind.” There should never be a time limit placed on affirmative consent. We should be teaching our youth that anything less than a clear yes should be considered a no. Yet, the last time I checked this video had over 600 million views online. That doesn’t even count the number of times the song has been listened to over and over again on the radio.

Our culture is definitely talking to children about sex. We as parents, teachers, role models, community members, friends, care givers, and concerned citizens have a responsibility to talk back and counteract the negative messages that our children are receiving about sex on a daily basis. I know it can be uncomfortable. I know that sometimes it can be hard deciding when and how to start the conversation. But Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands is here to help. The younger we start talking to our children about sex, the sooner they start getting accurate and healthy information. This is why STSM now offers Prevention Education to children as young as three through the Care for Kids program, a curriculum from Prevent Child Abuse Vermont. For more information on the curriculum or to find out how to bring this curriculum to your child’s school, contact Caroline Burns at pec@www.stsm.org.

Caroline Burns

Caroline Burns is the Prevention Education Coordinator and assists with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of practice and evidence-based violence prevention strategies. Caroline implements the Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© to middle school and high schools in throughout the Midlands community.