How to Talk To Your Kids About Gender and Sexuality

I'm Rishma!

Naturopathic Doctor & PhD turned scientific creative, travel adventurer, joy seeker, book lover, mom of two amazing humans, wife to her best friend. 

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Here are some themes that came up in this podcast episode. Listen or watch to get all the details.

How to Start Conversations About Sex and Gender with Kids?

  • Dr. Ashifa Jiwa emphasizes creating an open and comfortable environment for discussing sensitive topics like sex and gender from a young age.
  • Begin by using proper terminology for body parts and maintaining a matter-of-fact attitude.
  • Normalize these conversations as a regular part of family discourse.

How to Stay Open and Avoid Imposing Biases on Kids?

  • Dr. Jiwa suggests that parents first examine their own discomfort and biases when addressing these topics.
  • Encourage a non-judgmental atmosphere where kids can freely express themselves.
  • Share personal stories to help children feel comfortable being vulnerable.

Balancing Safety and Independence: How to Teach Kids Consent and Boundaries?

  • Dr. Jiwa emphasizes the importance of teaching kids about consent and boundaries.
  • These lessons should be universal, irrespective of gender, and empower children to respect others’ choices.
  • Balancing safety and independence involves equipping kids with the tools to navigate the complexities of relationships.

Why Include the Pleasure Aspect in Sex Education?

  • Rishma and Dr. Jiwa discuss the significance of introducing pleasure as part of sex education.
  • Empowering children to understand their bodies and experience pleasure safely and responsibly is crucial.
  • These conversations should be age-appropriate and grounded in emotional maturity.

What’s the Difference Between Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation?

  • Dr. Jiwa clarifies the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • Sexual orientation relates to who a person is attracted to, while gender identity pertains to how they see themselves.
  • The evolving understanding of gender acknowledges its non-binary nature, fostering inclusivity.

Addressing Personal Biases in Parenting

  • Parents may have their own biases or preconceived notions about gender and sex that can hinder open conversations. Encourage self-reflection and remind parents that being open-minded and accepting is crucial for fostering a safe and inclusive environment for their children.
  • Parents might feel uncomfortable discussing gender and sex due to their own upbringing or lack of knowledge. Encourage parents to step out of their comfort zones and educate themselves to provide their children with accurate information and support.

How to Support Transgender and Gender-Expansive Children?

  • Dr. Jiwa provides insights into supporting transgender or gender-expansive children.
  • Listening, creating a safe space for self-exploration, and understanding their unique journey are key.
  • Medical interventions are available, and timelines vary based on individual needs.

Navigating Uncertainty: Is It Curiosity or Gender Identity?

  • Dr. Jiwa advises parents to support and listen to their children without making assumptions.
  • Transgender individuals often possess heightened self-awareness due to their unique experiences.
  • Nurturing an open, accepting environment encourages children to explore their identities without fear.

Engaging in open, non-judgmental conversations with children about sex, gender, and sexuality is crucial for their emotional and psychological development. The key takeaways include starting these discussions early, maintaining openness, teaching consent, addressing all aspects responsibly, and fostering an inclusive environment. As parents and mentors, embracing these conversations empowers the next generation to navigate these complex topics with empathy and understanding.


Resources for LGBTQ+:

Pride at Work…

Lesbian/Gay/Bi Youth Line: 1-800-268-9688 (Toronto)

Two Spirited People of the First Nations (145 Front St. E) (Toronto)

Sherbourne Health Center (333 Sherbourne Street) : LGBTQ specific healthcare (Toronto)

LGBTQ+ Resources USA…

Ontario Health Curriculum…

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Travel adventurer, joy seeker, book lover

Hi, I'm Rishma.
Your BFF + New
Life Strategist.

I ran a thriving healthcare practice as a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist for over 20 years. I also earned my PhD and spent time in academic research and teaching positions. Now, I read scientific studies because I'm passionate about personal growth. I use the insights to help me, and our community, live our own XO life.

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