Talking to Your Children About Sex - By Jan Andersen
Where do babies come from mummy?? It?s that age-old question that many
parents dread and which usually results in some waffled reply that they hope won?t
lead to further probing questions.
Some parents fear that by discussing sex with their children, they are condoning
it. However, research shows that the children of parents who talk openly about sex
are not only more comfortable talking about it themselves, but are likely to delay
their first sexual experiences and to take adequate precautions when they do eventually
Many parents believe that the sex education that their children receive in school
is adequate and somehow relieves them of the responsibility, but open and honest
communication between parent and child will eventually eliminate any embarrassment
and will encourage a healthy and positive attitude towards sex. Studies also suggests
that teens who felt closely connected to their families were less likely to have
sex at an early age, or to engage in high-risk practices than were those who felt
more emotionally isolated from their families.
Adolescents may struggle with their sexual identity and suffer confusion over
what is regarded as ?normal? behaviour. While most children are heterosexual, some
may fleetingly experience sexual feelings towards the same sex, even if they are
not actually homosexual. However, those who are gay may feel isolated and depressed.
Reassure your child that your love transcends sexual orientation. An open mind
could literally save his or her life: a recent study of thousands of high school
students found that suicide attempts were much more frequent among children who
were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or not sure.
Whilst children need to understand the biological facts of sex, it is equally
important for them to understand the emotional aspects of relationships. Some young
people equate sex with love, but they need to have an appreciation of the importance
of affection, care, responsibility and respect and the possible consequences of
? Start as early as possible, rather than avoiding the topic of sex until your
child reaches an age where it becomes embarrassing to discuss
? Initiate conversations rather than waiting for your child to ask questions
? Be receptive to your children?s questions, so that they feel comfortable coming
to you when they are seeking advice on a difficult issue
? Offer guidance by conveying your own values, but not prejudices
? Give accurate and appropriate information for child?s age and level of understanding
? Be honest. If you feel embarrassed talking to an older child about sex, tell
them that you feel uncomfortable and why. The more you talk, the less embarrassing
it will become
? Use humour. Turning a serious topic into a light-hearted conversation not only
removes some of the awkwardness, but can make your child more inclined to listen
and absorb the information
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but
70% of women and 50% of men who are infected with Chlamydia show no symptoms
at all. The infection can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or premature
birth. More information can be obtained from the Family Planning Association on
0845 310 1334 (Open Monday to Friday 9am - 7pm), or by visiting their website: http://www.fpa.org.uk/
Jan Andersen is a British Freelance
Writer and the creator of Mothers Over 40 (www.mothersover40.com),
an inspirational and encouraging site for older parents. In addition to commercial
copywriting for a broad spectrum of industries, Jan specialises in compelling articles,
features and columns on diverse lifestyle issues. Until recently, Jan had four children
aged 20, 16, 15 and 3. Her eldest son, Kristian, tragically took his own life via
a Heroin overdose on 1 November 2002. Whilst campaigning for drugs? awareness and
penning a monthly parenting page for the Western Daily Press newspaper, Jan is also
currently writing a book on child suicide entitled, ?Chasing Death?.
A SIMPLIFIED SPEED READING COURSE FOR 8 TO 12 YEAR OLD KIDS - by George Stancliffe
I used to teach speed reading courses to adults. I remember being excited
when one lady got to where she could read 3,000 words per minute. She was the fastest
student that I had ever seen. It took her 6 weeks to get that good.
Then I got invited to teach some children to speed read at a local school. Not
being a "regular" school teacher, this was intimidating and scary, but I wanted
the experience. As it turned out, I`m glad I did it.
WOW! Kids sure learn it so much easier! And better, too. How much better?
Let me put it this way: When I taught the class of 9-11 year old kids, I was
in a state of shock when one 9 year old girl was able to read 41 pages in 30 seconds,
with good comprehension, ON THE SECOND DAY. I considered myself lucky to know someone
of such rare intelligence.
The next day, one-third of the class was doing just as well. By the end of the
week, everybody was a genius.
By the end of the one-month course, only three kids in the whole class couldn`t
read at least 10,000 words per minute.
I have since come to realize that most 8 to 12 year old children are natural
speed readers, if they are given the chance to learn the skill properly. And homeschool
parents and 2nd-7th grade teachers, especially, are positioned to take full advantage
of this opportunity, if they are just willing to put forth the effort to give this
simple course the "acid test" on their 8-12 year old kids.
In fact, recently, I have begun to do seminars at local homeschool groups to
train PARENTS in the fine art of how to teach children to speed read.
It`s all very simple, really.
Wait a minute! If this is so easy, then why aren`t all those speed reading companies
focusing on the kids?
That`s easy. There are three reasons:
1) There`s no money in it. Nobody`s going to pay $300 to $500 for Junior to read
The Cat in the Hat faster.
2) Those other courses are tailored to grownups. Complete with lots of written
busywork. Paperwork is poison to kids.
3) I believe that many of them must be unaware that kids master the skill so
well. Many of them don`t even allow young children to enroll in their in-class courses.
Even though children catch on to speed reading very quickly, it`s best to keep
on them for at least a month to make sure that they internalize it. After that,
just monitor them to see that they are using it on a regular basis for another 2
months or more (example: have them read one or two books per day for enjoyment value.
You can go to the library once a week to load up on reading material).
The information in this article is abbreviated and simplified from the manual
SPEED READING 4 KIDS, available from: www.speedreading4kids.com. For more Details,
see SPEED READING 4 KIDS.
NOTICE: Although teens and adults can also learn to speed read fairly easily,
the following speed reading course is designed for normal children, from ages 8
through 12, who can already read competently at 3rd grade level. After age 12, speed
reading becomes a little more difficult to learn with each passing year of age.
So the course outlined in this article MAY NOT BE AS SUCCESSFUL ON KIDS AGED 13
AND OVER. In order to teach older children (or adults) to speed read, I recommend
following the instructions in Chapters 6 to 8 of SPEED READING 4 KIDS.
SECOND NOTICE: You do not have to know how to speed read in order to teach children
to speed read. Just follow instructions and you should get the desired results.
First, the basic lessons:
This course is to be done 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. The children are also
encouraged to: Speed read on their own time, at least 15 minutes per day in enjoyable
material of their own choosing (that`s enough time to speed read 1 or 2 books, for
most 10 year old kids). Materials needed: 1) A bunch of books at the appropriate
grade level for the kids involved. 2) A bunch of Starburst candies (these are great
motivators). 3) A watch with a second hand. 4) A group of 4 or more children who
want to speed read (I am a strong advocate of tutoring, but in my experience, kids
learn to speed read a little easier if they are in a group setting, with 4 or more
children present). They can be taught in smaller groups, but it may take more time
and effort for them to make the initial breakthrough. The group environment helps
to insure that the children don`t get bored.
Explain to the children how to look at a page of print with their NATURAL VISION.
Example: Take a minute right now and look out the window at a tree (or imagine
you are looking at one). Do you only see one leaf at a time, or do you just look
at the tree, as a whole? Most people see the whole tree in one or two glances. This
is what we call Natural Vision. When we are seeing almost anything, we are using
Natural Vision, except when we are looking at a page of print.
You see, in first grade we were taught how to have tunnel vision. Most people
can only see one word at a time.
You may as well read through a straw.
Tunnel vision is unnatural and fatiguing to the eyes.
You need to look at a page of print with more Natural Vision so that we are seeing
several lines of words at once. In fact, let?s pretend that each page of print is
just a picture of a tree, with each word being a ?leaf.?With Natural Vision, you
use your whole field of view (peripheral vision) to catch LARGE GROUPS of words
at a glance.
EXERCISE 1: Give the kids 10 seconds to see 5 pages of print. Don`t try to understand
anything at this point. You are just trying to get used to seeing the words with
your Natural Vision.
Now, have the kids see at least 15 pages in 30 seconds. Again, no understanding
EXERCISE 2: Have the kids go through at least 15 pages of material in 30 seconds,
again. This time have the kids report to you what they recalled.
I ask each child what they recalled, until I find one who is not scared to tell
me something that they remembered from the selection they read (quite often they
are reluctant to "stick their neck out" and risk embarrassment). As soon as one
child starts talking about specific details of what he read, I will say something
like "you are doing really good at this," and I will toss them a piece of candy
(even if they can only recall one minor detail from the 15 pages read, it merits
Suddenly, everyone starts recalling.
Tell the kids what it means to VISUALIZE. Have you ever read a book that was
so interesting that you could picture the story and details in your mind, as if
you were watching a movie in your mind? That`s what you want when you Visualize.
Repeat Exercise 2 a few more times, until everyone gets comfortable with the
ideas of Visualizing and using their Natural Vision to speed read. Make sure that
ALL of the kids have earned at least one candy to motivate them. KEEP IT FUN.
EXERCISE 3: Have the kids read at least 15 pages in 30 seconds. But this time
have them tell EACH OTHER (if you`re teaching a group of kids) all the details of
what they recall. As they tell each other their stories, systematically listen to
individual children and give them advice on how to improve, if necessary. Also,
tell each child how fast they are reading. This alone motivates some kids more than
anything else. (For your information, most kid books have about 200 words on a full
page. So 2 seconds per page is 6,000 wpm. You can figure the rest from there).
Repeat Exercise 3 until most kids are comfortable with the idea of telling their
neighbor about the story. Don`t take more than about 2 or 3 minutes between each
repeat of Exercise 3.
Also, reward each kid with another Starburst as he/she shows progress and understanding
of the skills.
EXERCISE 4: Do a series of 3 TAP DRILLS. This is VERY important. Here`s an example
of how I do them.
Give the students 3 seconds to complete each page. Tap your pen on the table
every 3 seconds for about 3 minutes. Have them stop and think about what (if anything)
they recalled for about 10 seconds. Then give them another 3-minute tap drill at
TWO SECONDS PER PAGE. Finish off with a 1-SECOND TAP DRILL for 3 more minutes. I
usually do 2 or 3 tap drills per day just after a series of drill sets, but they
can be useful any time the kids start to slow down too much.
EXERCISE 5: Tell the kids that whoever can read a WHOLE BOOK in 5 minutes or
less, with at least FAIR understanding, will get another candy. Set, go.
Some kids will read 3 books in 5 minutes and be able to tell you, or their neighbor,
Lesson 1 shouldn`t take more than about 45 minutes to one hour.
LESSONS 2 THROUGH 20
1). Repeat Exercise 3 above, a few times, making sure you go through the class
and listen, to make sure that all the kids have a good feel for the speed reading
2). Do the Tap Drills.
3). Repeat Exercise 5 at least once each day. More would be nice.
This gets the kids used to the idea that it is neither difficult, nor time consuming,
to read a whole book with complete understanding. Also, their ability to recall
minor details of the book dramatically increases with experience in speed reading.
Some children even get photographic memories after mastering the art of speed reading.
AFTER THE 4 WEEKS of "official" speed reading instruction, monitor the kids,
for at least 2 more months, to make sure that they are using their speed reading
skill on a regular basis (each day), on enjoyable reading material of their own
Lessons 2 through 20 shouldn`t take more than 30 minutes each. (You may break
this into two 15 minute sessions if you find this helpful).
After you have completed following up on this with your child, I would be delighted
to hear about your results. Please write me, if you wish, at:
PO Box 227
Toppenish, WA 98948
THAT`S ALL THERE IS TO THE COURSE
One of the major problems you may have in teaching the course is actually BELIEVING
that the kids are really understanding the material they are reading, instead of
just faking it. It looks so phony.
For the first few days, their understanding may, in fact, be a little shaky for
some kids. But don`t discourage them by doubting them. Give them some time, and
they will amaze you. In my experience, the number of kids that really are faking
it is usually less than 10%.
The best cure to any doubt about this course is to JUST DO IT. That`s what I
did, and that`s why I hardly ever teach speed reading to adults any more. Teaching
kids is too much fun.
SOME Q`S AND A`S
Q. If a person learns to speed read, do they HAVE TO always speed read whenever
A. No. Most speed readers still slow read when they want to. Common things to
slow read are: scriptures, poetry, letters from Grandma, etc. But when they get
a good book, read the newspaper, or do a term paper, look out!
Q. My child did very well speed reading on his first day of the course. Is it
really necessary to continue the instruction for a whole month?
A. Yes. Easy come, easy go. When third graders learn the multiplication tables
really easily on the first day of practice, we don`t just skip it from then on.
We have them continue to use it for several months, on a daily basis, so it can
sink in. In this way the multiplication tables become internalized.
So it is important to keep up the formal lessons long enough for your child to
feel comfortable with being able to speed read. Many kids will need the full month
of instruction that the lesson plan indicates. But some children will reach a good
level of competence within a week, or even less. When this happens, you need to
still closely monitor them to make sure they are speed reading fun, easy, enjoyable
books for at least 15 minutes per day for the first month of instruction. This will
insure that they get in the habit of using the skill, and it reinforces their commitment
to follow through with the course.
It is equally important to monitor the children, for at least 2 more months (after
the month of "formal instruction"), to make sure that they are using their speed
reading daily for 15 minutes.
Remember, the goal is to get the kids to the point that they are using the speed
reading skill on their own, naturally.
Two parents that I know of accomplished this by setting aside 10-15 minutes each
day, for the next four months, just for speed reading. At that point their daughter
could read 6,000 words per minute (that?s equivalent to one Nancy Drew book every
6 minutes), and her reading ability improved from 7th grade level to 10th grade
reading level (according to the Star Reading Assessment).
Q. A friend of mine learned to speed read when he was 12 years old (in 1980).
He now has a "partially photographic memory" that he believes he acquired as a result
of learning to speed read while he was still a child. Could this be true?
A. Yes, I believe so. I have noticed a similar pattern with a number of my young
speed reading students between the ages of 8 and 12.
Q. My child goes really fast during practice sessions, but when he speed reads
on his own time, I notice that he is not going as fast as he is capable of going.
Should I make him speed up?
A. Children normally speed read at a slower rate when they are speed reading
on their own time for enjoyment purposes. Remember that, during practice sessions,
the emphasis is on speed. So as long as they are still speed reading (when they
are on their own time), they will still maintain the skill, regardless of how fast
they are capable of going during practice sessions. If they speed read for 10-15
minutes per day, for at least 2-3 months, the skill will become as natural as riding
Q. My child is dyslexic, and he has trouble with "normal" reading. Is it possible
for him to do well with speed reading?
A. Yes, it is. Speed reading is a right-brained activity, while "slow reading"
is a left-brained activity. Since most children with dyslexia and ADD are very right-brain
dominant, they often do extremely well with speed reading.
Q. Should I try to teach myself to speed read while I am teaching the children
to speed read, or even before I teach them?
A. Neither. It will interfere with their learning. TEACH THE KIDS FIRST, then
teach yourself, if you wish to do so.
Q. I can`t speed read myself. How can I expect to teach my kids to speed read?
A. Easy. Just follow instructions like everyone else. ANY non-speed reader can
teach 8-12 year old kids to speed read.
Q. Will this course work on people over the age of 12?
A. Probably, but it will probably take more effort than it will for a 10 year
old. In my experience, the older kids and adults must put more effort into it in
order to get similar results, and you would probably benefit from getting a copy
of SPEED READING 4 KIDS to help you out. SPEED READING 4 KIDS contains all the currently
available information on how to teach speed reading to children (but it works for
adults, too). It is available from www.speedreading4kids.com
George Stancliffe lives near Yakima,
WA and teaches speed reading locally and nationally. In 1997, he formed The American
Speed Reading Project, dedicated to making speed reading a universal skill for all
children by the age of 12. He is the author of SPEED READING 4 KIDS, and can be
contacted at his e-mail address: email@example.com
Children articles index
- Brains on Fire: The Multimodality of Gifted Thinkers - By Brock Eide
- laying Baby Computer Games ? The New Parent-Child Tradition? - By Emma
- Book Excerpt: Einstein Never Used Flash Cards - By Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph
- Putting Fun Into Parenting - By David Stoepker, Psy.D., & Erin Brown Con
- Preparing Your Child for a High-Tech Future - By Sue Sato
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive
- Abandonment - By Sonya Green
- Explaining Suicide to Children - by Tracy Pierson
- Our Children`s Needs - by Robert Elias Najemy
- How to Develop Self-Esteem in Children - By J. Bailey Molineux, Ph.D.
- Helping Children Overcome Stress and Fear - By Debbie Milam
- Do you Shout at YOUR children? - By James Middleton
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- SPEED SPELLING: Another way to use speed reading skills for "schoolwork&q
- Children and Stress - By Laura Silva Quesada
- Boundaries- Why Are They Needed? - by Derek Randel & Gail Randel M.D.
- Juggling Home
- Explaining World tragedy to Children - By Chick Moorman and Thomas Ha
- Children and Pessimism - By Carol Tuttle
- Loving Yourself, Loving Your Children - By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
- Social Manners for Children - By Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach
- The Sexual Abuse of Children - By J. Bailey Molineux
- A Few Simple Truths About ADHD and Stimulant Drugs - By Steve Edelman1,
- DYSLEXICS and A.D.D. KIDS BECOME GIFTED SPEED READERS - by George Stanc
- Using Feng Shui for Better Behaved Children - By Kathryn Weber
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- Five Keys to Raising Nonviolent Children - By Tammy Cox, LMSW
- The Best Way to Reduce Stress: Start Young - By Zach Brull
- Your Child?s Self-Esteem is in The Cards - By Susan Howson
- Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children - By Jeannine Virtue
- What is ADHD? - By Jeannine Virtue
- Talking to Your Children About Sex - By Jan Andersen
- How Our Children Really Learn And Why They Need To Play More And Memo
- HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS? - By Linda J Alexander,
- Teach Children Positive Self-Image Through Fitness - By Lynn Bode
- No Invitation Needed -- Part 3 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Helping Our Children Feel Good About Themselves - By Dr.Barbara Becker Hol
- Unidentified Stepfamily Zones - Discoveries Made at a Stepfamily Confer
- Divorce and Children: Things To Consider When You`re Staying Married
- Six facts you should know to empower your teaching. - By Emmanuel
- Are You in an Abusive Situation? - by Colin Gabriel Hatcher & Randall
- The Divorce Revolution Has Failed - By J. Bailey Molineux
- Is Your Child Well-Mannered? - By Mary Jesse
- Jesus` Birthday -- Part 2 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Empty Nesters: What Should You Do Once the Children Leave? - By Mary Guar
- We should celebrate the diversity of children and adults - By Robyn M
- How to Cope with Back to School Stress - By Debbie Mandel
- HIS KIDS: BECOMING A W.O.W. STEPMOTHER - by Julie Donner Andersen
- ADD / ADHD Children : Being Your Child`s Best Friend - By Kate Hufst