SAFE seminar teaches parents how to talk to kids about sex

1 year 6 months 3 weeks 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
FORDLAND (AP) — Southwest Missouri officials are investigating after a worker was killed when a TV tower collapsed. Rob... More >>
14 minutes ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:31:57 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A Missouri woman accused of dealing drugs from a home where an ex-convict fatally shot one police... More >>
45 minutes ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:01:48 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Deputies identified a man whose body was found tangled in fishing lines on Wednesday as Timothy G.... More >>
59 minutes ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Hazmat teams responded to the state capitol Thursday after Sen. Maria Chapelle-Nadal got an envelope with an... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:41:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri Senate panel has declined to advance a proposed tax overhaul following estimates that it... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:09:33 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 65-year-old man who was a major heroin dealer in the Kansas City area has... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:45:26 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - A judge announced Thursday he will not dismiss the criminal invasion of privacy case against Gov. Eric... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:02:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors said a man shot by suburban Kansas City police in January has died, but... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 9:22:59 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The third annual Unbound Book Festival kicks off tonight, facing questions over its leadership's commitment to diversity and... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:49:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - Firefighters are looking into the cause of a fire that killed four people early Thursday morning. ... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:16:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A majority of Republicans passed a tax bill Tuesday night, but it is still drawing some criticism... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
TIPTON – Some Tipton residents spoke out Wednesday against a potential new concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). Critics say CAFOs... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:21:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pamela Fitzmaurice has a special section in the cookbook her mother passed down to her. That section is... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rico was left powerless on Wednesday, nearly seven months after the powerful September storm,... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:32:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens filed a restraining order against Attorney General Josh Hawley on Monday over the investigation... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 4:34:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Moberly and Westran Public School Districts celebrated their Healthy Schools Healthy Community initiative on Wednesday. The initiative is... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
MEXICO - It might seem strange to sight an ocean bird in Missouri, but seeing the American White Pelican isn't... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:41:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman said Wednesday she was never educated on sexual assault and never realized she... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
1pm 48°
2pm 51°
3pm 53°
4pm 54°