SAFE seminar teaches parents how to talk to kids about sex

1 year 1 day 14 hours ago Friday, September 23 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23, 2016 7:21:00 PM CDT September 23, 2016 in News
By: Kristen Reesor, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Teaching children about "the birds and the bees" can be an experience many parents dread. But a seminar in Columbia Friday gave parents the tools to talk with their kids about sex and safety at any age without the dreaded awkwardness.

Program facilitator LeAnn Gardner said, "Anything to do with sex and kids and development is really isolating for parents and caregivers because it's embarrassing; they don't know how to talk to their kids about it; they don't have the knowledge."
 
Gardner is a social worker and mother of two. She has led Sexual Awareness and Family Empowerment, or SAFE, seminars throughout the country for about a year. She has worked in sexual abuse prevention for almost a decade.
 
The seminar's goal was to show parents how they can be their kids' main resource for information about sex, bodily development and safety. Gardner and the parents and caregivers who attended the seminar discussed teaching children about sexual development, body awareness and the importance of telling kids to trust their intuition to prevent unsafe situations and sexual abuse.
 
"That was one factor I did not see in any other programs, was how to help kids recognize what's already in them, which is their inner guide--their intuition--to keep them safe," she said.
 
The National Children's Alliance reported there were 205,438 cases of child sexual abuse nationally in 2014. But the real number is higher. According to Rainbow House, 90 percent of child sexual abuse cases are not reported.

Gardner said kids knowing proper terminology for genitals is also a sexual abuse prevention tool.

"Being able to communicate with them on that, you know, somebody touched you inappropriately without any shame on body parts is very, very important," she said.
 
Jennifer Boeckman and her husband Dave came to the seminar with their 7-year-old daughter.
 
"She's still kind of young, and obviously she's gonna get some of that education in school," Boeckman said. But she attended the event "to be able to teach her the appropriate ways that people should interact with her."
 
Gardner said it's important to give parents the skills they need in a community setting because children need to have a network of trusted adults to talk to.
 
"We cannot be the only people in our children's lives to equip them in this way," she said. "It's important for the grown ups to understand that I'm not only responsible for my own children, I'm really responsible for other children, too."
 
While Gardner spoke to parents, the children learned how to react in difficult situations through the Kidz'nPower program.
 
Hockman's ATA Martial Arts taught the kids self-defense tactics to use in case of abuse or kidnapping attempts. The kids also learned how to deal with bullies.
 
Boeckman said she thinks her daughter enjoys the lessons.
 
"I think it's empowering her and giving her confidence, so I think it's awesome," she said.
 
Gardner said she wants parents to have an ongoing talk about sex and bodies with their children at every age.
 
"I'm trying to completely blow that myth out of the water that there's one talk that we have when a kid is a teenager because in our culture right now that is way too late," Gardner said.
 
The seminar was at First Baptist Church.  
 
Senior Pastor Carol McEntyre said a catalyst for hosting the seminar was when her 6-year-old asked her where babies come from. She also said she wanted parents to be their kids' primary educator on issues of sex and intimacy.
 
"We decided to try to be proactive," McEntyre said.
 
The seminar continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwest Missouri couple pleaded not guilty in the death of the woman's biological daughter, who was... More >>
1 minute ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 3:46:35 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
HOUSTON, Mo. (AP) — A fourth person has been charged in the death of a teenager whose burned body was... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:29:07 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The attorney general's office will investigate possible wrongdoing in connection to a civil rights lawsuit over the... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 2:23:00 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A family in western Missouri has received medals for a Korean War veteran 65 years after... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 1:00:54 PM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Jess Soehlke is like many college students: involved on campus, surrounded by friends, active in Greek life. ... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 11:31:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The amnesty period began Monday and runs through Friday, Sept. 29. It allows people who did not appear... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Como for Progress held a rally Monday outside the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office to support her... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 8:54:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Vote now for the Friday Night Fever Week Three Play of the Week! This week's nominees are from... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in FNF Play of the Week
COLUMBIA - For many, fall brings thoughts of pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving and decorating, but with temperatures as high as... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 7:25:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in Top Stories
CAMDENTON (AP) — Authorities say kayakers have found a drowning victim in the Lake of the Ozarks. The... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, September 25 2017 Sep 25, 2017 Monday, September 25, 2017 6:54:00 AM CDT September 25, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Missouri prisons have been ordered to eliminate smoking after an asthmatic inmate serving a life sentence... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 8:13:00 PM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS — Seven people are facing rioting and resisting arrest charges for their role in a protest that turned... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 8:05:41 PM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Shoppers at the Columbia Mall got to experience something a little different than normal on Sunday. Local... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 6:47:00 PM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 1000 children and adults visited the Compassion Experience in Columbia as of Sunday. The Compassion... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 3:48:00 PM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A rally with live music kicked off the 2017 walk for the climate in Columbia Sunday. "We're... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 3:21:00 PM CDT September 24, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Officers responded to a robbery the Sonic Drive-In restaurant at 5700 St. Charles Rd. Saturday night around 10 p.m.,... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 11:32:00 AM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- Saturday night, around 7 p.m., a vehicle led a Callaway County Sheriff's deputy on a high-speed chase, according to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 10:07:00 AM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Jabberwocky Studios unveiled its second mural Sunday in Downtown Optimist Park. Jabberwocky is a local arts program... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 24 2017 Sep 24, 2017 Sunday, September 24, 2017 4:47:00 AM CDT September 24, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 88°
4pm 89°
5pm 89°
6pm 87°
7pm 82°