SAFE seminar teaches parents how to talk to kids about sex

1 year 2 months 11 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
COLUMBIA - Detectives will continue to investigate a shooting that happened at the Columbia Mall late Thursday night. Officers... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, November 24 2017 Nov 24, 2017 Friday, November 24, 2017 7:43:00 AM CST November 24, 2017 in News
FORT LEONARD WOOD - Soldiers attending 787th Military Police Battalion for Military Police One Station Unit Training enjoy a traditional... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 8:45:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Parks and Recreation had big plans in mind when it first started building a championship level disc... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 7:49:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Shoppers put down their forks and picked up their wallets as Black Friday deals ran into Thanksgiving. ... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Volunteers, young and old, served food to hundreds of people for Almeta Crayton’s Everybody Eats 20th Annual Thanksgiving... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
MEXICO - A 34-year-old man died Thursday morning after he crashed his vehicle. Omar Guadencio Cruz-Martinez, of Mexico, Missouri,... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 12:47:42 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department confirmed a pedestrian died after being struck by a car on Wednesday... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 12:19:00 PM CST November 23, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - There are school choirs, church choirs, and mixed choirs, but now there is the opportunity to join a... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 11:57:00 AM CST November 23, 2017 in News
BOONVILLE - The breeding home of the Budweiser Clydesdales, Warm Springs Ranch, is hosting its inaugural Holiday Lights Festival starting... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, November 23 2017 Nov 23, 2017 Thursday, November 23, 2017 10:39:00 AM CST November 23, 2017 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Sheriff's Department said it is investigating a shooting that happened Wednesday night. ... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 9:58:20 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball star Michael Porter Jr. is recovering after undergoing surgery in Dallas Tuesday. MU said he will... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 6:34:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
BARNETT, Mo - A Morgan County detective is apologizing after shooting and killing a family's dog. He was attempting... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:35:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday, Columbia police released photos of an October armed robbery at Dash Liquor. On October 29,... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 5:01:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Highway Patrol is joining the fight against opioids. The drug has caused a nationwide crisis,... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:27:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man involved in a deadly shooting in May has been indicted by a federal grand jury... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:04:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – With Thanksgiving comes a lot more traffic on the roads. In fact, according to AAA there will... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 2:14:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley sent a letter to Uber on Wednesday demanding the rideshare take immediate... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 1:51:00 PM CST November 22, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - City Council voted 4-2 on Monday to postpone a preliminary plat for Columbia Public Schools’ new middle school... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 22 2017 Nov 22, 2017 Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:03:00 AM CST November 22, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 53°
9am 47°
10am 52°
11am 57°
12pm 65°