How to stay positive through a scary diagnosis

It's so easy to slip into a cycle of hating your body when it's not working properly. It's easy to feel bitter, alone, resentful and just all-around negative and depressed when your body is unhealthy in ways beyond your control, and all of those feelings are completely valid. I've chosen to stay positive and live my life in spite of my diseases, which is totally more easily said than done. Here's how I do it…

How to respond to teens who think their bodies are "gross"

I am a nurse educator for a non-profit that provides free childbirth education classes and case management for pregnant teenagers and their partners. My classes are almost always riddled with at least one or two teens (moms or dads) who think that any/all body parts are super "gross."

This is how I'm teaching teens about bodies…

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I will not teach my daughter how to avoid being raped

I cannot teach her this lesson for a simple reason — my daughter cannot avoid being raped, because being raped is not something the victim holds any control over. To teach her that she can avoid being raped, makes a fraction of the responsibility of being raped owned by her. My daughter owns none of this risk. Instead, will teach her this…

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5 tips for talking to young children about sex, body exploration, and avoiding shame

The A-Z explanation of human sexuality is far too much for young children to grasp and would certainly be overwhelming, but I wholly believe that it is empowering for kids to know about their bodies — real, accurate information delivered in small doses adding layer upon layer of detail as their questions prompt further answers. I think this is one of our most important jobs as parents. It falls to us to be our children's most reliable, honest source of information because if those answers don't come from us, they will come from somewhere else and you can be sure that other sources will serve them up in ways that will anger/upset/terrify you.

The importance of teaching kids about their bodies to protect them

I still remember the conversation, in the coat room of a restaurant for my eighth birthday where my parents tried to explain to me that I had done nothing wrong and why I needed to tell them when an adult acted in a way that made me uncomfortable. They also reiterated that while respecting adults is important that, my body belonged to me and that no one should yell at me, bully or ever touch me without my permission.