There are a number of certainties in life – birth, death and taxes are usually at the top of the list. But for parents, the other certainty is that at some point you will have THE talk with your children.
How do babies come out of your tummy?
How do babies get in your tummy?
Why don’t you have a willy?
Why do you have hair there?
Why does it feel good when I touch myself?
If just reading that made you uncomfortable, then you will probably need some help when it comes time to talking about sex with your children.
But you are not alone. Not even qualified nurse and sexologist Cath Hakanson found it easy knowing what to say to her own children.
“I noticed that I was really struggling with sex ed. I knew it was important and I knew what to say but I really struggled. I started to chat with a few friends and realised that they were in the dark as much as me! What blew me away was the fact that it didn't matter how much you knew, that talking to kids about sex was still hard.”
After realising that other parents needed help, Cath established SexEd Rescue and now runs a variety of Perth-based workshops and seminars for parents who want to learn how to talk to their kids about sex.
Cath Hakanson, sexologist and Perth mum
“I have set the business up to run workshops - informal home-based ones (like a Tupperware party) and bigger groups where it is more formal. I am branching into online as I want parents everywhere to be able to access what I do: I've lived in the bush and I hate the fact that country people miss out on so much!”
Cath’s focus is on making parents feel confident enough to be able to initiate conversation with their children. She also realises that many adults have lots of questions of their own, and the workshops can provide a safe and fun place to ask them.
Cath doesn’t just teach parents how to talk about sex and puberty, but can run special mother/daughter workshops focussing on getting ready for periods and father/daughter workshops to help dads understand what their tween and teenaged daughters are going through, and the special way dads can support them.
It is never too early to start talking about sex to your children, says Cath. “A conscious effort should be made from around two years of age: such as - we keep our clothes on when we go to the shops, mummy has a vulva and daddy has a penis. The earlier you start, the easier it gets.” Cath also finds that kids who can talk to their parents about sex, can talk to their parents about anything.
Finally, Cath says the focus of communication doesn’t have to be on sex at all. “I advocate an approach where you talk naturally and have a few strategies under your belt, for when issues do arise.”
Essential Information Cath Hakanson is a mother, sex educator and founder of Sex Ed Rescue. Bringing her 20 years clinical knowledge, a practical down-to-earth approach, and passion for helping families, Cath arms you with the tools, advice and tips to make sex education a normal part of everyday life.