Friday, October 2, 2009

Sue Scheff: Educational Things Your Child Should Never Know

Educational Things Your Child Should Never Know

Source: Nurse Practitioners Schools

Because education doesn’t just begin and end with school, parents can take an active role in shaping their children by discussing the following.

28. The Holocaust. Waiting until an appropriate age is always a good idea when discussing this tragedy. A good idea is to check with your school to see when they are teaching it, so you can help your child through it. The ADL also has a very useful guide containing the stories of the children who survived the holocaust.

29. Sex ed. Chances are they will come across it in school, but parents are still the best place to learn. Find out when and what your school is teaching to your child regarding sex so you can be ready. You can also consult with your family or church on ways to discuss. If you need a starting point, Advocates for Youth has help for getting started, keeping the conversation going, and more.

30. Just say no. A good starting point, but children need to know why to say no. Explain to them carefully and in context how drugs ruin lives and the best way to defend against it is to never start. The best thing parents can do in this situation is set the example.

31. Alcohol is okay. Children see parents, movie characters, and others drink alcohol, so why shouldn’t they? Talking to them about why and how much adults drink, if it all, is essential for children. Talking With Kids even provides a useful online guide that can be found here.

32. Sometimes violence is okay. Although an adult may know when and when not to use violence, it is a heavy burden to place on a child. Yet even the most cautious parent has a child that is exposed to violent imagery at sometime in their life. Stop here to download a booklet on how to speak with your kids about and even get booklets for other issues.

33. The family finances. All families go through their highs and lows financially. If a parent lost his or her job, reassure the child that everything will be okay and even suggest things such as turning off lights and clipping coupons that the child can help with. If the family suddenly comes into money, set an example by spending, saving, and investing it responsibly.

34. The nightly news. Full of horrific and graphic images, the news is generally not a family friendly program. However, much discussed news items have a way of finding your child’s ears. Create an open environment where your children feel safe in asking about something they saw that is troubling them. A helpful guide for discussing the murder of Sandra Cantu can be found here.

35. Homosexuality. Whatever your views are, children will be exposed to it at some point in their life and may not understand what they hear. Make sure they get information on homosexuality from you the parent before anyone else so that your values and beliefs are not infringed upon. Dr. Nancy Brown wrote an excellent article on explaining homosexuality to kids under the age of 11, and it can be found here.

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