Sexual Development in Late Childhood: What to Expect?

Sexual Development in Late Childhood: What to Expect? As the school year starts to become more routine than new, children begin feeling more confident and comfortable in their surroundings. Peer relationships develop, and signs of mild or overt sexual behavior may appear. Children in late childhood – 9 to 12 years old – sometimes begin to hide sexual behavior from their families. At this stage, children have learned that some words and behaviors aren’t socially acceptable or welcomed by their families,…

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Constellation: Sex, Eating Disorders, Substance Use Disorders

Look at the Constellation! Sex, Eating Disorders, and Substance Use Disorders If you want to break multiple taboos, start talking about sex and drugs! Then, toss in the subject of eating disorders for some extra shock value. As a person who has worked as a Certified Prevention Consultant and sex educator for many years, I am used to raising controversial subjects. The most common reactions I get—once people get over the initial shock—is relief and story-telling. People want to talk…

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Healthy Sexual Development for Middle to Late Childhood: What’s Normal?

Healthy Sexual Development for Middle to Late Childhood: What’s Normal? Children are natural researchers, always observing the world around them. As they watch the behaviors of kids their age and the adults in their lives, healthy sexual development happens. Childhood curiosity about gender roles, body parts, and behaviors lead to voluntary exploration between children of similar age, size, and development. In fact, between 40 and 85 percent of children will engage in some form of sexual behavior by age 13.…

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3 Ways to Start the School Year Right

3 Ways to Start the School Year Right   School is right around the corner, and many 9- to 12- year-olds are anxiously preparing to head back for a fresh year of learning and socializing. While some may be excited at the idea of school, other kids may be feeling nervous or unsure. From a parent’s perspective, you may be experiencing the same thing! As school begins, now’s the time to have those important conversations that prepare both you and…

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Ages & Stages of Healthy Childhood Sexual Development

Ages & Stages of Healthy Childhood Sexual Development   How does a parent, caregiver, or educator know what is healthy and normal for children related to sexual behavior? What are normal childhood curiosity-related activities, and what are warning signs of abuse or trauma? What do children need to learn to develop into sexually healthy adults, and at what ages do we teach them? These are some of the questions that caring adults grapple with as they seek to guide children…

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Happy Spring! Alias Dress Code Season Part 3: The Solutions

Dress Code Season Part 3: The Solutions If you’re just tuning in, this is the final blog of a three-part series.  Dress Code Season Part 1 introduced dress codes and explained why more schools are adopting them. Part 2 described several of the problems associated with dress codes, and this blog, Part 3, will identify action-oriented solutions to those problems. It’s easy to list a litany of reasons why school dress codes don’t work for everyone; the challenge is identifying…

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Happy Spring! Alias Dress Code Season, Part 2: Naming the Discriminations

Dress Code Season Part 2: Naming the Discriminations   This is Part 2 of my three-part series on school dress codes. Read Part 1 here. Dress code season is upon us, and what may have been considered normal school rules 10 years ago has become increasingly problematic as dress codes are interpreted and enforced by adults who have their own views of what is okay and what is not. Dress codes that rely on subjective descriptors can be interpreted in as…

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Happy Spring! …Alias Dress Code Season, Part 1

Happy Spring! …Alias Dress Code Season   Ahhh… Spring is finally here! We celebrated the Vernal Equinox on March 20, and the warmer air and increased sunshine that comes with it. However, with the rising temperatures comes the “dress code season.” Perhaps you’re not familiar with the term, but I’m quite sure you are very familiar with these signs that dress code season has arrived: A girl is sent to the school office because her shorts are too short. A…

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Evaluation of Puberty: The Wonder Years Indicates Positive Student Outcomes

Great News! Evaluation of Puberty: The Wonder Years™ Indicates Positive Student Outcomes What Was Evaluated? Between January and April 2017, a large, urban school district participated in an evaluation of their puberty education programming using Puberty: The Wonder Years™. The school district wanted to learn if their puberty education program helped students increase knowledge, develop positive attitudes, and practice the skills needed to navigate puberty in a positive manner. Who Participated? Thirty-two classes of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students participated in…

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Workshop Wrap Up in Charlotte, MI and Exploring Coed vs Gender-Segregated Classrooms

Last week, I had the pleasure of leading a workshop on Puberty: The Wonder Years at Eaton Regional Education Service Agency in Charlotte, MI. There, I worked with 41 teachers from 10 public school districts and one non-public school in the mid-Michigan region. The snow was high on the ground, but so were our spirits as we began digging into what teachers remembered about sex education growing up and what they hoped for their students in the future. Many of…

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Sexual Harassment & #MeToo

Sexual Harassment & #MeToo   Sexual harassment has certainly been the topic on everyone’s lips over the last few weeks. Just when we expect the media furor to die down, a new incident emerges and another powerful public figure is accused. Many of the people who report sexual harassment indicate that it began during adolescence. Sadly, this is a time when many young people have not yet developed the skills they need to report it and to stand up to…

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#MeToo

#MeToo   Heartbreaking stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault… have been flooding social media. Some stories share details, but many more are simple declarations of a shared experience. The sheer volume is sobering and points to the horrifying truth: Sexual harassment and assault are everywhere. More than 50 percent of women and nearly 20 percent of men reported at least one incident of sexual harassment during one 12-month study period.[1] Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every…

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What educators are saying

“My students had lots of questions! They thanked me for being willing to teach them about what is happening to them.”

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Mike B., Lansing School District

“Puberty: The Wonder Years doesn’t just stick to puberty. The curriculum also includes lessons on topics that I think are necessary, such as bullying and social-emotional components. There’s also a lot of scripting for really good conversation and prompts for the teachers.”

Tim Kordic, Project Advisor for Sexual Health & HIV Prevention, Los Angeles Unified School District

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Health Coordinator of the Year

Health Educator of the Year

Wendy receives her award from the American School Health Association