Listen to “213: Shameless Parenting – Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers” on Spreaker.
Many parents find normal sex behavior and development confusing. Parents often wonder if their child’s sexual behavior is normal. Certified sex therapist Dr. Tina Sellers talks about parenting and sexual health and give parents a better understanding of “what to expect and when” in terms of their child’s sexual development.
Resources for Shameless parenting
In her newest book, Dr. Tina’s goal is to help parents or caregivers foster healthy sexual choices and attitudes in their children. She believes comprehensive sex education is the best way to protect children when they get involved with sex later, to make safe sexual choices, to lower teen pregnancy rate, to lower STI rates, etc. The book was made to be a handout that doctors, teachers, parents, therapists, and other educators could easily use and refer to when dealing with sexual developments in young children. Moreover, since shame is one of the things that could get in the way for parents to become the best sex educator that they wanted to be, Dr. Tina also emphasizes way to soothe the self and heal from that, along with streamlined resources and websites that could effectively help overcome that shame.
Sexual Development in children
It is critical for parents and caregivers to get a greater understanding of sexual development and behaviors in children. Dr. Tina’s book was developed in hopes of creating a better understanding of these developments. It can be difficult to recognize that, like adults, children are sexual beings. Children will be curious about sex, sexuality, and the human body. The book can serve as cheat sheets for parents to get some general information on common and uncommon behaviors based on age groups. Parents can also find suggestions for conversations that parents can have with their children to help encourage healthy sexual development.
Normalizing sexual behaviors
Healing comes from knowing that there are sexual behaviors that are normal in children and that shame was never an appropriate feeling. Kids will do what kids will do from harmless curiosity. The evolving sexuality that we have is always beautiful and creative, and the fact that the society that we live in has just never gotten it right is tragic. Wrong notions and misinformation can crush a child’s developing sexuality and can get traumatized with profound effects.
Managing reactivity for parents
It is important to ask your kids questions and listen very carefully to what they have to say about what’s going on in their world. It can be scary for parents to get sort of a bird’s eye view of what the world is like for their kids but not knowing will not be helpful either. Parents need to learn to manage reactivity within themselves. Joining a parents’ group where you can start talking to each other about what it is like for you or just having a place to talk through your own reactivity and your own fears can be helpful. Know that your kids need your calm presence and just knowing that you got their back no matter what. Parents need to be conscious of their reactions because kids could easily pick it up as shaming or judging.
Tina Schermer Sellers, PhD has had a distinguished career as a marriage and family therapist, medical family therapist, and certified sex therapist. She is also a professor, researcher, author, and speaker. She has won numerous awards and been featured on radio, TV, and podcasts. As the founder and Medical Director of the Northwest Institute on Intimacy, and the community group ThankGodForSex.org she speaks to audiences across the country about the difference sexual health and sexual health training can make for the individual and professional. Her award-winning book, Sex, God, and the Conservative Church – Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy reveals the devastation caused by sexual shame in the wake of the purity and abstinence-only movements and reveals the path to healing for both clinician and client. When not speaking and writing, you will find Tina delighting in her year-old granddaughter!
Resources and links:
Affiliate links to books:
- Sex, God, and the Conservative Church – Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy https://amzn.to/2H2vTVV
- From Diapers to Dating: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children – From Infancy to Middle School https://amzn.to/2Ew4oCi
Listen to “194: Navigating Parenting Differences – Rachel Duffy” on Spreaker.
Rachel Duffy brings in actionable tips to navigate parenting that not only enriches your relationship with your children, but also unlock some of the barriers to your sex life. We discuss parenting issues, how to correct behavior, and navigate the differences in parenting approaches with your partner.
Finding a passion for caring for family and children’s wellbeing in all her professions and personal life, Rachel explored conscious parenting to help people navigate parenting and life with children in general.
When You Disagree with Your Partner’s Parenting in the Moment
Rachel urges people to recognize their children’s ability to grow up with different parenting styles from each parent. To avoid a conflict in front of children, Rachel points out maintaining communication with trust and the assumption that your spouse ultimately wants the best for your children. It sets children up with a realistic image of marriage and empowers them with choices of their approach to parenting when they’re older. Giving children the space to express their feelings about one’s parenting is crucial.
Examining Upbringing and Repeated Patterns
Rachel believes from personal experience that people tend to repeat patterns of parenting like their parents even if it goes unnoticed sometimes. To avoid repeating those patterns, parents must work on understanding how their upbringing is projecting in their parenting, and reevaluate.
Navigating Differences in Parenting Approaches
Rachel stresses the unreliability of “quick fixes” and advises parents to dig deeper into the root cause of their children’s behaviors, and why it bothers them. Creating a rapport with your children to communicate and address what’s going on behind those behaviors or examining what’s going on with their relationship with the parent could help. Sometimes it’s parents’ triggers to children’s behavior that needs addressing.
How to Support Your Partner with Their Triggers?
Moving forward with compassion and an understanding that your partner is doing their best with the tools they have is necessary to implement an actionable plan that addresses the issue at hand.
Actionable Tips to Navigate Conflict in Front of Children
The best way to navigate differences in front of children is to make a plan in advance such as coming up with a signal to let the partner know when it’s time for them to break away. Rachel also suggests parents either work with a therapist for deeper issues or with a parenting coach to speed up the progress while children are still at home.
Why is it Worth Doing?
Rachel says that working on parenting not only deepens one’s connection with the children and themselves, but also deepens the relationship between the parents.
Rachel Duffy is a Certified Conscious Parenting Coach. She helps high achieving parents get off the “Roller Coaster Track” of parenting by learning how to set boundaries with their kids without yelling, feeling guilty or getting their buttons pushed so that they can foster a deep connection and enjoy the time they have with their families
Through her unique methodology, she helps parents become Parenting Architects: gain patience, understanding, authentic connection with their children, become powerfully grounded and finally, see the success they have in their professional setting also within their home.
Unlike traditional parenting models that rely on quick fixes to put out fires, Rachel helps you create life-lasting change, without using discipline or fear, by facing uncomfortable truths, risk-taking and not settling for mediocrity.
With decades of combined experience as a family lawyer and businesswoman, Rachel brings a unique combination of both strategic and tactical tools alongside growth and self-development, all delivered with compassion. Today, she works with parents and leaders to help them find freedom, joy and direction in their parenting and leadership positions.
Resources and links:
Listen to “150: Talking To Your Kids About Porn – Braxton Dutson” on Spreaker.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Porn
With children being exposed to porn as early as 10 today, Braxton, teaches us how to deal with pornography and kids. He defines porn as content that is intentionally created for a sexual purpose like arousal.
For many parents, the task may seem daunting and confusing to broach. In this episode, Braxton takes us by the hand and explains exactly what we need to do to raise healthy, aware and responsible children.
His advice is to start by knowing your own parameters and values. The journey starts as early as the infant stage where we are encouraged to use the correct terms for body parts. With many kids having access to electronic devices, Braxton expresses how important it is to create a system for your child to respond correctly to unexpected, inappropriate material. He suggests explaining to your kids as young as 6, that if they do come across any naked people on their screens, to call you instead of getting curious and clicking on it.
Talking to your child openly and ensuring that your child knows that they will not get into trouble, helps them approach you therefore Braxton encourages communication. Curiosity comes up as a common thread with children, and we are encouraged to teach them how to respond to that. Braxton explains the three C’s about why your child may look at pornography:
- Clicking (accidental)
As parents, he suggests we respond with these three C’s and explains these in more detail:
- Stay Curious
- Stay Connected
- Stay Calm
Dealing with teens requires a specific approach, as many parents may already have discovered. We learn that approaching teens openly and explaining your rationale to them in line with your values as opposed to dictating to them, works best. While teens are in an exploratory phase, parents may encounter teens using porn for masturbation. Braxton gives us a helpful way to gently correct this while ensuring your teen can still explore their sexual impulses.
Being responsible and not shaming your kids when they enter this phase of their lives is key to keeping an open line of communication and being there to help them into adulthood.
Braxton Duston , LCSW, CST is the Clinical Director at The Healing Group in Salt Lake City Utah. He is also host of the Birds and Bees Podcast. In addition to this Braxton is an adjunct professor of human sexuality at the University of Utah.
With a broad spectrum of experience, Braxton helps couples, dads and parents in unique ways.
Links and Resources
Find him on IG :Birds and bees
Find him on FB: Braxton Dutson