The Askable Adult
The Askable Adult is a 2 and ½ hour practical workshop geared toward parents, grandparents, and other caregivers. It gives you the tools, language, and strategies to teach and empower kids to stand up to unsafe situations, know their own bodies, and have healthy relationships.
Being able to talk to kids about the hard and cringey stuff is a way of being responsible. It’s a way to raise kids who make better choices because they’re better informed.
There are three iterations to choose from, depending on the ages of the children in your care and where they’re at in their development:
- The Askable Adult: Abuse Prevention (0-7)
- The Askable Adult: Sexuality & Growing Up (7-12)
- The Askable Adult: Addressing Pornography (10-15)
In all iterations of the workshop, we focus on what kind of sexual health information is needed for that age group, strategies to handle questions, and what kinds of words to use. We also discuss feelings, emotions, and values, as well as explore your own personal beliefs around sensitive topics. Plus, you learn about resources to help you stay current and informed.
You’re invited to come as you are, wherever you’re at. This is a serious workshop, delivered with a lot of humour. Expect both deep reflection and moments of laughter.
Who's it for?
This workshop is for parents, grandparents, and other caregivers who’ve ever wondered how to talk about sexuality, reproduction, and body science with the children in your care. It’s for you if you’ve struggled to find the right words to address tough questions. It’s also for you if you have ever been worried about what was appropriate to share at what age.
Most of all, this workshop if for you if you’re willing to build your capacity to be an “askable adult” who kids can see as an ally. An ally that they can ask questions so that they can grown up with more information and better skills for navigating healthy relationships.
The Askable Adult is really about raising healthier, happier kids.
The workshop gives you the confidence to be approachable. Being approachable and able to have skillful and current conversations with young people about sex, sexuality, and what they see on the Internet has a huge impact. Kids want to be reassured that what they’re feeling is normal and that they’re okay.
Being able to have intimate conversations early on, means that they’re easier later on. And practicing these conversations makes them seem like less of a big deal. Plus, when we are more involved in the lives of the kids in our care it deepens our relationships with them.
For parents, the workshop also allows you to reflect on your parenting style and get on the same page as your co-parent/partner. It also allows you to identify your family values around healthy relationships.
But why not just “let kids be kids”? Because we live in a hyper-sexualized world where kids need to identify those family values as central to their world. For example, abuse prevention starts really young and needs to be heard as a value in your home, the same way that kids need to know to stop, look, and listen when crossing the street. Knowledge equals safety and better decisions.
How to be an Askable Adult
- Lay the foundation for future conversations.
- Recognize teaching is verbal and nonverbal.
- Recognize that teaching is conscious and unconscious.
- Teach correct vocabulary.
- Be approachable, open, an active listener; show eye contact, commitment to the conversation.
- Provide learning opportunities so your child may observe healthy behaviour.
- Tell children what is and is not appropriate behaviour without making them feel guilty.
- Teach about private body parts, private places, and private behaviour.
- Teach children that their body belongs to them.
- Encourage children to speak up or themselves.
- Help children understand how their behaviour affects others.
- Teach about puberty and gender differences before changes occur.
- Share your values and beliefs.
This is what you can expect to learn, depending on which iteration of the workshop you are taking:
- How to talk about safe and unsafe touching
- How to empower kids to stand up for themselves
- Ways to convey values and safety rules
- To help kids identify safe adults in their homes and at school
- What the elementary Physical and Health Education Curriculum includes and how to support ongoing body science and boundaries learning at home
- What the typical markers are in childhood sexual development
- What changes occur with puberty
- Resources to support puberty education
- Online safety tips and tricks
- To clarify the values you have in your home around healthy friendships and intimate relationships
- Strategies to have conversations with your kids
- The latest scientific and academic insights into the impact of pornography on young minds
- How to talk about pornography in an age appropriate manner
- How to convey that pornography is not truly representative of sex
- How to prevent “porn fixation”
- How to block pornography from devices
- How to support young people in making healthy decisions about their brain and porn
Suitable for between 10 to 200 participants, The Askable Adult can be booked between 6:30pm to 9:00pm or 7:00pm to 9:30pm, Monday to Thursday, as well as the occasional Sunday morning or afternoon.
This offering is usually organized by a member of a PAC or the manager or supervisor at a non-profit. Pick your day (with some options if you can’t get your first choice) and get in touch with me. We’ll work out the details and discuss tips and trips to make the workshop successful (such as offering an incentive like pizza, or having in-house childcare). After we book the workshop, I will send you advertising materials (mainly, a printable PDF poster) and the rest is up to you until it’s time for me to deliver the workshop.
The workshop is scheduled to include two 45-minute halves with a 10-minute break in between and a Q&A period afterwards. The last half hour is for informal discussion amongst participants and asides for asking private questions.
Participants can sign up to receive a follow-up book list and resource recommendations. I also will have age-appropriate books and resources for sale. Participants are encouraged to bring cash for easy sales (though cheques are also acceptable and e-transfers can be arranged.
I will travel to any location within Vancouver and the Lower Mainland to deliver the workshop, including private homes, community rooms, daycare facilities, etc. A travel fee, to be discussed, applies to workshops hosted outside of Vancouver proper.
Your venue must have enough seating for all participants to sit comfortably (preferably in a circle format for smaller groups).
Upon request, the workshop can also be adapted for diverse learners and individuals with developmental delays.
The Askable Adult is a pre-requisite for The Circuit, which is offered to P.E. teachers (or other teachers) responsible for delivering the P.H.E. curriculum in their schools. In that case, the workshop is customized to suit the ages of the teens who are being taught. The workshop then aims to give teachers the ability to build their capacity to teach sexual health, to respond to student questions, and to manage sensitive issues. It’s also adapted to help you understand the role you play and requires you to clarify your own values and biases so you don’t project them onto your students.