Health Education Question - page 2
Hey everyone, This just a spur of the moment question. But when do you all think that it is an appropriate time to start teaching children about their bodies? A couple of weeks ago, I was at my... Read More
Jun 25, '02Occupation: school nurse Specialty: 36 year(s) of experience ; Joined: Jun '99; Posts: 748; Likes: 68well, I think "health ed" includes a whole lot more than genitals, so I'd say "from the start." Tooth and oral care, nutrition, grooming, safety. So from the eruption of the first tooth, when you start to wean them from breast milk, when you do things for their safety (the car seat). In simple terms you are talking about it from the very beginning.
With my son, the challenge has always been getting him to keep his clothes on, not "flash" others (I mean when he was little; now that he's 10, he's better). We talk about this as respecting the privacy of others. good touch talk I think started for me when we went to day care somewhere other than his first baby sitter who took care of him as an infant. He was about 4 then. He's known the right word for his parts since I can remember, but we may also use other words, too.
I like David Elkinds thoughts on 'good touch' teaching. Never before has a society worked so hard to transfer responsibility (even partial responsibility) for safety to kids themselves. It is an interesting perspective on a practice I support. I left my child with very few people and still do. There are no guarantees, so that's why you have to have open communication, but I think fewer non parental caregivers is pretty important.
Jun 25, '02Occupation: Student Joined: May '02; Posts: 413; Likes: 21ROFLMAO. Yeah kids are great. With that statement, what was your first reaction lol.
PS: amazing how all your family is/was in the medical field
Jun 25, '02Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 38,756; Likes: 16,288sure health ed goes beyond genitals...it is about all your "parts" and loving them as they are, caring for them. it also includes emotional and mental health, too. that is what i meant by my post.
my son asks about anything, i tell him. i just meant waiting til they are 5 and above is a huge mistake to me. by then, they are made aware by the media, their friends, or siblings that these "parts" (genitals) exist....not to mention seeing in the bathtub.
my 3 year old knows how to brush her teeth better than most 10 year olds do. and each child has washed their hands using the rest room since toilet training began. also, each has been taught to reach for the fruit bowl for a snack, not the cookie jar. my ds at 10 knows he is responsible for his overall health and that you only get ONE body and if you abuse it, you are basically over and out. fortunately, they have the tendency to prefer healthy snacks over junky ones, now, cause that is all i have to offer them. i hope thise habits stick. however (sigh) i not naive. i know eating habits of teens become horrendous...but maybe later on, they will return to their "roots" lol.
anyhow, yea i agree, health ed includes all things...physical and emotional, too.
Jun 25, '02Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 38,756; Likes: 16,288and molly, i agree, fewer primary care providers in a child's life is better than more. my kids spend zero time in daycare for that reason. it is hard, but totally worth it. who else can impart our value system if their dad and i don't? ITA w/you here!
Jun 25, '02Joined: May '00; Posts: 2,065; Likes: 8Well, I told her there would be many more months probably!
And yes, it is even worse about the medical field!
my sisiter in law is an ob/gyn with a very big practice, my own sister and her husband are psych. nurses in Holland.
And guess what my daughter wants to be.......... a disabled therapist. (don't know how you call them in the US)
She starts a special social assesment school in September.
Take care, Renee:chuckleLast edit by semstr on Jun 25, '02
Jun 25, '02Occupation: Student Joined: May '02; Posts: 413; Likes: 21I did not mean health ed and genitals only. I was mainly referring to the anatomy and how the human body works. Such as the bones, and other organs. Just wanted to make sure I was clear on that part.
Jun 25, '02Occupation: Nurse Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 651; Likes: 3We have a health education van that goes around the schools to teach all this stuff, it's great, it forms part of the curriculum and the kids get a big kick out of it. 10y/o used to come home and check that what they were saying was right, even went back with some "big words" to impress them with. Is a great incentive to learn more about thier bodies. He learnt about diabeties one year, thay told him that the pancreas controlled the sugar levels in his body, he took great delight in explaining all about the islets of langerhans to them ( hope he got it right!!LOL!!) He came home with a big star though!
Jun 25, '02From: NY, US ; Joined: May '02; Posts: 4,130; Likes: 91i think it should start earlier, like proper names for parts, proper hygiene, etc... gotta share a funny story..when i was little. my "part" was a "too-too" god only knows where that came from..also knew the proper name for these male and female parts..but anyway..i took ballet when i was in kindercare..i was totally freaked out when they told us we would get to wear tutous for our recital!! and they acted like we should be excited...i thought they were twisted!!! no way in hell was i gonna dance in front of an audience in my tootoo!!!!
Jun 25, '02Joined: Sep '01; Posts: 16,606; Likes: 680Sunnygirl... Too hilarious...the too-too thing, I mean. :chuckle
Like SmilingBlueEyes, I too believe in starting young...the younger the better...and always tell the truth no matter if you think they can grasp it or not. What they can't grasp, it will all go way over their head anyway...for that given time. Perhaps a year after you've explained something to your child, they may surprise you with how much they retained from your first conversation...OR the opposite could happen...they don't remember it, so they come to you and ask again.
I totally believe in reiterating life lessons such as A & P with kids. Heck...how many of our adult patients can reiterate what you tell them about their own body parts and the physiological functions to boot! :chuckle
A & P coloring books are a fantastic way to begin teaching these truths to your little ones as young as THREE...some kids younger than three. I have a girlfriend who has a son who taught my family how to play the game of UNO when he was only 13 months old. He also could memorize plays and concerts from their beginning to end, and come back and tell you what he saw verbatim. Scary little professor - that kid was. :chuckle Anyhoo...tell them young...the younger the better...leave nothing to their imagination because you know where our imagination has often ended up taking some of us. :chuckleLast edit by live4today on Jun 25, '02
Jun 25, '02Occupation: RN Case Manager Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 4,945; Likes: 27originally posted by sunnygirl272
i think it should start earlier, like proper names for parts, proper hygiene, etc... gotta share a funny story..when i was little. my "part" was a "too-too" god only knows where that came from..also knew the proper name for these male and female parts..but anyway..i took ballet when i was in kindercare..i was totally freaked out when they told us we would get to wear tutous for our recital!! and they acted like we should be excited...i thought they were twisted!!! no way in hell was i gonna dance in front of an audience in my tootoo!!!!
don't feel bad. my daughter refers to her "part" as her "front bun-bun", as opposed to her bun-buns in the back! i know, i know. but it's what we're comfortable with right now.
Jun 26, '02Occupation: Student Joined: May '02; Posts: 413; Likes: 21I guess it would be safe to say that children of nurses and doctor's are often time more comfortable with their bodies and how they work than those of other parents in other professions.