SAFE seminar teaches parents how to talk to kids about sex

8 months 4 days 15 hours ago September 23, 2016 Sep 23, 2016 Friday, September 23 2016 Friday, September 23, 2016 7:21:00 PM CDT 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
NEW BLOOMFIELD – New Life Evangelical Center hosted a fair that spreads awareness about renewable energy and its connection to... More >>
2 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 7:40:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A fire at a 12-unit apartment complex injured one person and forced upstairs residents to climb down... More >>
3 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds celebrated the historic aspect of Memorial Day at the Columbia Cemetery Monday. Attendees traveled from grave... More >>
5 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 5:19:00 PM CDT in News
RAYTOWN (AP) — A Jackson County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a suspected shoplifter at a Wal-Mart in a Kansas... More >>
5 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found near a... More >>
6 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 4:16:52 PM CDT in News
AUXVASSE - A horse trainer is taking her skills as a behavior analyst and applying them to horses. This fundamental... More >>
7 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 2:54:00 PM CDT in News
PORTAGEVILLE (AP) — A new clue has emerged in the killings of a southeast Missouri woman and her daughter nearly... More >>
8 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Many Americans spend Memorial Day taking time to honor those who have served and fallen for this country.... More >>
8 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia hosted the biggest Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Parade in the event's 29 years of history. ... More >>
9 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 12:57:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is joining forces with the You Have Options Program to counter sexual assault. The... More >>
15 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 7:26:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of about 80 inmates serving life sentences in... More >>
15 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 6:55:41 AM CDT in News
SEDALIA (AP) — A central Missouri man has been ordered to spend 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to... More >>
16 hours ago May 29, 2017 May 29, 2017 Monday, May 29 2017 Monday, May 29, 2017 6:12:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The MU Veterinary Health Center recently added a new section - the Motion Analysis Laboratory - to track... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 9:46:00 PM CDT in News
MORGAN COUNTY - The National Weather Service (NWS) from Springfield, Missouri has conducted a review of damage in extreme southeastern... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 6:09:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – Volunteer security guards and local police officers are making sure the 29 th Annual Salute to Veterans Air... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:43:00 PM CDT in News
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have recovered two bodies and are searching for a third person after their vehicle was... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:38:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of two of four people killed when a steam-filled tank weighing nearly 2,000 pounds (900... More >>
1 day ago May 28, 2017 May 28, 2017 Sunday, May 28 2017 Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:33:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police say a man who barricaded himself inside a home repeatedly fired at officers... More >>
2 days ago May 27, 2017 May 27, 2017 Saturday, May 27 2017 Saturday, May 27, 2017 6:54:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
11pm 64°
12am 62°
1am 60°
2am 58°