Welcome!

How can you keep your children sexually safe and healthy?

How can you give them accurate, age-appropriate information about sex that will protect them from predators and help them to live healthy, loving, satisfying lives?

I wrote The Sex-Wise Parent because I want parents to feel empowered with knowledge and facts. There's a lot you can do—from preschool years through young adulthood.

I hope you'll buy the book.

And I hope you'll come back to this site frequently for news and tips about sexual health and safety. We also welcome and address the questions faced by educators, policy, and law enforcement professionals committed to these concerns.

You'll also find updates about my appearances and workshops with parents and professionals across America discussing my book, The Sex Wise Parent. You can order a copy of the book online.

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Oct
26
2013

Helping kids understand the meaning of Halloween costumes

pumpkin

  Parents are in the final throes of preparing for Halloween, buying candy, decorating their houses and in too many families fighting over costumes that make a parent cringe. Whether the costume makes a politically-incorrect statement (ask Julianne Hough) or projects an image you can’t stomach (Miley twerking, anyone?) Halloween can present some important teaching moments.  Even if you ultimately ban the costume with a strong “because I said so” you can get a few points across […]

Oct
21
2013

A Sex Educator and a Parent: My essay for “Rage Against the Mini-Van” Mommy-blog

headshot with book cover sexwise

As a sex educator, I’m used to being the odd person out. Unless hanging out with colleagues, I’m usually the only person in a group who will speak frankly about sexuality issues.  As a grad student, I’d get annoyed when peers spread misinformation and I’d freely offer corrections.  Luckily, I found an outlet working as a health educator and got paid for my advice and opinion. I recall providing workshops for foster parents struggling to […]

Oct
17
2013

All too often, bullying can begin at home!

bullying

It’s heartbreaking to read about the death of Rebecca Sedgewick, the little girl who killed herself after bullies convinced her that her life was not worth living.  We  might imagine bullies as queen bees, mean girls or privileged jocks and like any stereotype there can be a grain of truth in those images.   But all too often, bullying begins at home.   A 2009 study found that “both sibling bullying and sibling victimization were associated with bullying […]

Sep
24
2013

What Parents Need to Know: The one “fact of life” that kids must learn early

stock photos 009

No matter how much discipline we try to exert over our bodies, in some ways they’re just going to do what they’re going to do. We breathe, we have reflexes, when we’re scared our bodies make ready to fight or flee.  And anyone who has ever diapered a boy baby has probably seen a tiny erection, a reflexive physical reaction. It is absurd to think that a baby’s genital feelings are sexual — babies have […]

Sep
17
2013

A lesson for parents from a pedophile

headshot and book

A convicted child molester in Florida recently contacted a tv station to tell how he had succeeded in abusing two young girls in the same family over a two-year period, and several others in the same community. It’s hard to say why he came forward now (you can read about it here), and it’s hard to know how much of his story is true, but I worked with pedophiles as a counselor early in my career and interviewed others researching my book  for my book for parents, and his remarks certainly ring true to me. He offers one lesson you can take to the bank: Earning the children’s trust was easy because “If they believe that you will listen to them they start […]

Aug
29
2013

How’s the ‘sexual climate’ of your child’s school?

Clover, South Carolina, USA --- Flashing Lights and Sign on School Bus --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Most of us pay no attention to the weather unless something extraordinary happens — a horrible storm, or a gloriously sunny day in the middle of winter. Likewise, most people pay no attention to the sexual climate in the places they spend their time each day until something doesn’t feel right. Maybe the jokes are just a little bit too risqué, displays of affection are too intense, or questionable photos are hanging over a colleague’s […]

Aug
11
2013

A sex-wise parent’s view on how to prepare your child for back-to-school

While conducting focus groups for my book, The Sex-Wise Parent, the son of a minister shared how his parents prepared him for his first day of school.  I love the lessons from this story so much that I want to share it with parents everywhere. Tom and his family had just moved to a new town so his father could attend  to a new parish.   Tom was set to attend a school serving boys from […]

Jul
17
2013

Family Summer Safety Tips Part 2 –Restroom Safety!!

bathroom-monitor

Part 2 in my series for the Centre Daily Times, State College, PA   An important summer safety rule is to drink lots of liquids, but we all know what that means — bathroom breaks. When you’re traveling and nature calls you may not have time to be choosy but there’s always time to be careful, especially when traveling with children. The best option is to use the “family restroom.” A single stall with its own […]

Jul
15
2013

Family Summer Safety Tips: Part 1 ~ Discuss safety rules prior to family vacation

beach

The long-awaited vacation is almost here; you’ve spent months researching, planning and saving, and you can’t wait to have some well-deserved down time with your family. Spend a few more minutes planning for safety and improve the odds that the vacation will be everything you want it to be. Safety starts at check-in: Good desk clerks never announce a room number; they will hand you a key or card and point to the room number. […]

Jul
15
2013

A reply to a judge who thinks boys vctimized by women are “lucky”

headshot and book

Myth or fact? Sexual abuse is less harmful to boys than girls. When we teach adults how to protect children from child sexual abuse, we start with “Learn the facts.” Here’s the first fact: The long term consequences for victims of child sexual abuse are nearly identical regardless of gender, according to a number of recent studies. Our societal perception frequently does not recognize this when it comes to women abusing boys. In this regard, […]

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