SAFE seminar teaches parents how to talk to kids about sex

1 year 4 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
ASHLAND – The Ashland Police Department is taking precautionary measures after a school shooting at a Florida high school. The... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:36:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – Elementary students displayed their creativity on Saturday. Hy-Vee hosted a Junior Chefs Energy Bite competition. ... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 3:40:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police were unsure Saturday who drove a vehicle they believe hit and killed a man on I-70.... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 2:34:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools will have two high schools by August 2019. The district held a... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club of Columbia kicks off its 13th annual MFA Oil Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cook-off... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:35:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT- Leonard Stephenson has lived in his mobile home, on the same street, for over 20 years. "I... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:55:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Department of Mental Health is notifying 1,000 people that some personal information... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 5:16:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Amid complaints about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control said the vaccine is... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:54:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say the substance used in an attack on three high school... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:43:53 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies arrested a man Friday morning after he allegedly led them on a pursuit that ended in a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:55:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Following the deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the superintendent of Jefferson City Public... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:46:50 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - New Haven Elementary could be home to a brand new playground. The school is competing in a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:44:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
FULTON - An investigation into allegations against a former staff member at the Division of Youth Services Fulton Treatment Center... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:38:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - There's a new member of the Boone County Fire Protection District team, and he's hitting the ground running... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 1:22:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - Police took a student into custody Friday morning after staff at Centralia High School found a handgun in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 11:16:00 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police confirmed a person died after getting hit by a semi truck on I-70 early Friday. The... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 11:08:00 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
VALLES MINES (AP) — A man suspected of shooting at a suburban St. Louis sheriff's deputy is in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:35:35 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
FORSYTH (AP) — Authorities are fighting a fire that has burned about 500 acres in the Mark Twain National... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 9:30:28 AM CST February 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
6pm 44°
7pm 41°
8pm 39°
9pm 37°