Family members living under the same roof will no doubt accidentally intrude on each others' privacy from time to time - walking in on one another, discovering your kid playing doctor with the neighbor kid or overhearing something from behind closed doors.
So how can caregivers best handle a sexually awkward situation with the least amount of embarrassment or shame? This week's guests, Katherine Huffman and Chris Reynolds, answered this burning question many parents have as a special feature just for the web!
One of our guests this week, Katharine Huffman, spends her days training professionals, parents, groups, schools and individuals about how to speak to the children in their lives about healthy sexuality. She brought a stack of books with her to the studio and although we didn't have time to include her talking about these books on the air, we have her recommendations right here for you!
This week we’re talking about healthy, normal sexual development and relationships and how to talk to our kids about these important topics. One thing that’s not healthy, though? The high rates of sexual assault and domestic violence in Alaska. Now, a group of Alaskans is working to make respect and non-violence a part of the conversation coaches and other mentors have with young people, especially boys.
Coach John Blascoe started the basketball program at Juneau’s new high school, he included a new element as part of the Thunder Mountain team’s training: “Coaching Boys into Men” after seeing some of the issues that came up with his team. The AWARE shelter in Juneau was looking for someone to try the national program and its materials to see how it worked. The program includes a “playbook” and “cards” with different activities and it shows coaches how to build on “teachable moments” – like hearing boys refer to girls as “hot”, and talking about more appropriate ways to talk and think about their female peers.
Our regular contributor Jessica Cochran has more...
FINDING THE RIGHT child care for any kid can be tough, but there’s added stress if you need to find someone who can keep your special needs child safe, or deal with challenging behaviors. More and more children are being expelled from child care centers, leaving their parents struggling. Contributor Jessica Cochran reports on the challenges and successes of finding childcare for special needs children in our state.
WHEN A CHILD tests into or is placed in special education parents will have a lot of questions about navigating the system, planning an IEP (Individual Education Plan) with their child's educators, and they'll wonder what is the long term outlook for their child's schooling?
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to answer the most frequently asked questions about special education in Alaska are two guests who are both professionals in the field, as well as parents of children who've been in special education. Teresa Holt, is the operations director of the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and Julie Broyles, is a special education teacher at Service High School who serves on the Education Committee at the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and she is also a parent of three children; her 11-year old child has Down syndrome.
DID YOU KNOW? Caregivers needn't wait until their children are school-aged to receive assistance with raising a special needs child. There are services available to infants and toddlers through the state-sponsored Early Intervention Infant Learning Program and through the Stone Soup Group. Listen to a recent interview with the Stone Soup Group on Line One Your Health Connection.
From the Early Education Desk: Finding Childcare for Special Needs Children - Finding the right child care for any kid can be tough, but there’s added stress if you need to find someone who can keep your special needs child safe, or deal with challenging behaviors. More and more children are being expelled from child care centers, leaving their parents struggling. Contributor Jessica Cochran reports.
(Thanks to thread for their support in underwriting the Early Education Desk for this program.)
Hannah Goes to College - Contributor Ann Kaiser introduces us to an incredible young woman with cerebral palsy who is heading off to college on her own - and she and her parents wouldn't have it any other way.
Traveling With Special Needs Kids - Our regular essayist and weekly blogger, Erin Kirkland, shares an intimate perspective in this piece, recalling a family RV trip she took with her husband and two sons - one of whom is autistic.
In 2006, the US Department of Education wrote new regulations paving the way for single sex public schooling, and since then more than 500 public schools in the United States have implemented single sex schools or single sex classes within a coed school. The National Association for Single Sex Public Education lists them on its website; for Alaska – just one pops up, Gilson Junior High in Valdez...
This week and last week on Kids These Days!, we’ve been talking about adolescent boys and adolescent girls - what sort of challenges they face, how “teen-ager-hood” may have changed since today’s parents were themselves teenagers, and how boys and girls are different. Last week’s guest, Michael Gurian, believes there are fundamental biological and neurological differences that affect how boys and girls behave, what they need as they develop, and how they learn in school.
That view is shared by many who argue in favor of single sex schools or classes, not just in private schools, but in public schools as well. But not everyone agrees with the premise that girls and boys learn differently, or need different ways of teaching - some going so far as to call that kind of popular science “rubbish”.
Contributor Jessica Cochran looked at the controversy surrounding single sex public schools. Listen below...
TODAY'S YOUNG WOMAN can be anything she wants to be: top of her class, best at her sport as well as sweet, thoughtful and cute - but none of this comes easy, especially when all of these achievements are simultaneously the goal. In this, the second in our series on adolescence, we ask: how is the modern girl doing all around, and what can those who care about her do to support, encourage and help her to come up in the world?
IN-STUDIO GUEST: Dr. Stephen Hinshaw, chair of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley, child ADHD authority, and author of The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today's Pressures talks to us about helping our daughters succeed all throughout life. Dr. Hinshaw writes of the "triple bind" of pressures facing today's girl: (1) to be nurturing and supportive (the traditional role for girls); (2) to be competitive and “on top” (with the new opportunities girls have); and (3) to make it all seem effortless and natural, in a ultra-sexualized and ultra-feminized way, with no real alternatives to develop a unique identity. While these expectations of girls, young women and women are really nothing new, we wondered if today's girl was experiencing these pressures any differently than in previous generations.
DID YOU KNOW? According to the Girls Inc. study on the "Supergirl Dilemma" published in 2006: 74% of those surveyed agree that girls are under a lot of pressure to please everyone, and 84% of these girls say that they dislike that this is true. 84% of girls and 87% of boys believe girls are "supposed to be kind and caring". Eight in ten women (84%) believe that girls are under a lot of pressure to please everyone; 91% of these women dislike that this is true.
- Read more at GirlsInc.org.
Single-Sex Schooling? - Those who argue in favor of single sex schooling believe there are fundamental biological and neurological differences that affect how boys and girls behave and how they learn in school. But not everyone agrees with the premise that girls and boys learn differently, or need different ways of teaching - some going so far as to call that kind of popular science “rubbish”. Contributor Jessica Cochran looked at the controversy surrounding single sex public schools, and we visit Gilson Junior High School in Valdez, the only single-sex classroom in the state.
When I Was Young: My First Period - Culture may lack a sanctioned rite of passage for boys as we explored last week, but for girls it's different because their bodies tell them when they transition from Girlhood to Womanhood when they begin to menstruate. Producer Sarah Gonzales asked women to recall the moment they first got their periods and what they remember about the momentous event.
Camp Erin: October 7-9 - Camp Erin is a weekend camp offered at no charge for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. It combines traditional fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support. The last day to register is Friday, September 16 for camp October 7-9. For more information write jane - at - hospiceofanchorage - dot - org or call 907-561-5322.
BOYS WILL BE boys, they say – but why exactly? We ask what makes adolescent boys 11-14 unique and what changes are their bodies – and their minds – going through at this developmental stage? Do boys and girls really learn differently? And what is necessary to help a boy become a good man?
IN-STUDIO GUEST: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to answer these questions is Michael Gurian, co-founder of the Gurian Institute, where he conducts field research, launches pilot programs, and trains professionals in gender diversity and effectiveness. He has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain science into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy and he and his colleagues have developed programs and models for helping schools and parents raise and educate boys and girls.
Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty five books including: The Minds of Boys, The Wonder of Boys, The Purpose of Boys and A Fine Young Man: What Parents, Mentors, and Educators Can Do to Shape Adolescent Boys into Exceptional Men.
He joins us from his office in Washington state.
DID YOU KNOW? For every 100 girls diagnosed with a learning disability 276 boys are diagnosed with a learning disability. For every 100 girls diagnosed with emotional disturbance 324 boys are diagnosed with emotional disturbance. For every 100 females ages 15 to 19 that commit suicide 549 males in the same range kill themselves. See more statistical comparisons at TheBoysProject.com
Rites of Passage - One of the challenges of adolescence is that everything is changing – minds and bodies – and boys and girls are moving from childhood to being “apprentice adults”. In ancient cultures that change was often marked by a rite of passage – a challenge that had to met. Today, more often than not, there’s no particular event to mark the change. Contributor Jessica Cochran spoke with two fathers who think that a rite of passage is an important step for children moving into adolescence to become healthy and functional adults. So they came up with challenges of their own.
Boys Speak Up - We wanted to hear from actual middle school boys about what they had to say for themselves. We asked them what differences they noticed at school between boys and girls of their age - how do they act and how are they perceived? Contributor Robert Stormo visited the boys in the combined seventh-eighth grade class at Pacific Northern Academy in Anchorage to find out.
Books for Boys - Reading advocate Pam Allyn has a whole book full of suggestions when it comes to boys and reading. Allyn is the founder and director of LitWorld – a global organization that advocates for children’s rights as readers and writers; her personal mission is to bring literacy to every child. Jessica Cochran spoke with her about her book - Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys: How To Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives.
If someone had asked me if I would act any different when I became a senior in high school, I'd have responded "Of course not. Senior Year is just like any other, with the only difference being that you don't have to come back and do it all again next year." Boy, was I wrong. Since my outlook changed from another year down to only one year to go, the way I conduct myself has changed too.
It started with realizing I was one of the four seniors in my Seminar English class. We'd be called upon to provide leadership to the underclassmen, in order for them to follow in our footsteps and not stray down the wrong path (the "wrong path" being un-seminarish high school dropout types). Oh, and did I mention that the freshmen outnumber seniors 3:1? It's a reality check when you're in a class and more than half of them were in Elementary School when you were starting High School. It's slightly unnerving.
Then, when I left the classroom and ventured into the halls, I had another realization that came along with being a Senior - no student had been at this high school longer than me. As I looked at all the faces passing by me, I thought to myself, "All these kids are younger than me. They don't remember all the kids who left before me, because they never saw them." But, think a blessing and a curse that comes along with getting older is that you don't notice as many people. As a freshman, I knew of most upperclassmen, even if I had never talked to them. Now, I can't say I know even 15 underclassmen. I don't know why, but only a few stand out from the crowd. I think that's because everyone looks up to people older than them, so naturally you'll know a lot more about your elders than your successors.
Finally, the last thing that has changed since years before is being the old hat on sports teams. On the tennis team I'm now one of the oldest and most experienced members, since I've been playing varsity tennis since Freshman year. The team is now my team. I consider someone's loss as my own, and a stressful tiebreaker in another match is twice as bad for me. It's nice to see that I've become a central piece of the team, and I'll leave a legacy to last for years.
I guess that's my goal and mindset for the year. I know that everything I do, good or bad, will be remembered by someone. When I leave Service, I want to have a smile on my face for both the life I have ahead, and the lives I impacted over the past 4 years.
One comment we sometimes hear from listeners is that although they may not be parenting children at the moment, they still find this show relatable. We love to hear that because no matter what age you are or how many children you have, YOU were once a kid, of course!
Here's another installment of When I Was Young, our segment when we ask adults to remember when they were kids
Producer Sarah Gonzales gathered some older voices in the community to ask what they remember about their first day back to school...