Sexual Bullying Hurts Everyone – and it has to STOP.

3:20 pm May 15, 2015 – Update

Hannah’s parents met this afternoon with the school superintendent, principal, and vice-principal. Nicola reports the school has apologized for the lack of urgency and communication; has pledged to arrange a restorative justice process, including parents, with professionals; and will institute new protocols for teachers around dealing with issues of a sexual nature. This sounds like a good first step on the way to some positive changes.

12:00 pm May 15, 2015 – This post has been updated at Nicola’s request to remove identifying information.

10 year-old Sexual Bullying Victim is Afraid to Return to School

Hannah loves going to school but now the Ontario fourth-grader is too scared to return, and her mother Nicola can’t blame her. On Monday, Hannah experienced the second of two incidents of bullying with a disturbingly sexual tone. A group of fourth-graders was approached at recess by four grade 7 students, and verbally harassed. One of the boys allegedly told Hannah that he was going to “shove a lollipop up her a**” and make her “suck [his] d***.”

Hannah’s mother spoke to the school principal, and although the boy admitted to the incident, as far as she knows no further action was taken by the school. As of Wednesday, Nicola’s calls to the superintendent and her school trustee have not been returned, and the principal did not respond to a request for comment for this post.

Sexual Bullying Hurts Everyone and it has to STOP - www.picklesINK.com

Sexual Bullying Hurts Everyone and it has to STOP.

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Talking to Kids About Sex – Part 1: Babies and Toddlers

Private Parts are Private, not Secret.

1. Use proper anatomical terminology for body parts: Penis, testes, vulva, vagina (Quick anatomy lesson: “Vulva” refers to whole area commonly referred to as a girl’s “private parts.” “Vagina” refers to the specific opening within the vulva. Of the two, “vulva” is generally the more useful and appropriate, unless you’re talking about where babies come from.) Using the proper words from the very beginning will allow you to become comfortable using them and hearing them.

Talking to babies and toddlers about sex: Private Parts are Private, not Secret, and My body, My choice starts in infancy. from www.picklesINK.com

Talking to Kids about Sex part 1: babies and toddlers

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The Bystander Effect

On the weekend, we witnessed a car crash.

We were on our way to the airport to drop off Ian’s brother after Ben’s Raptor Birthday Party Extravaganza (more on that later, but here’s a little taste). As often happens on the highway, for whatever reason someone braked unexpectedly, and as also often happens, someone else had a momentary lapse in attention and didn’t catch on in time.

Black car meets slams back of red car, red car careens sideways into blue car, and there you have it.

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In the matter of the People Vs. Molly Pickles

Molly: …so that’s why Ariadne* was so upset.

Defense Attorney: But it was never your intention to hurt her feelings?

Molly: No! I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings!

Defense Attorney: Can you explain to the court again, step by step, the events that led up to Ariadne’s time-out?

Molly: Okay, so…I told Ariadne I would do the hundred board with her. But then Artemis…wait. I’ll draw it for you.

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Does wearing makeup make me a bad feminist parent?

I’ve been seeing this post about a daughter’s questions about her mom’s makeup in my news feed recently, and it’s made me think. Christine Burke describes how her daughter’s simple question made her see herself through a 7 year-old’s eyes and examine why she spent so much time and effort contouring, highlighting, plucking, cleansing, and otherwise enhancing her looks.

Does wearing makeup make me a bad feminist - karyn in prom makeup www.picklesink.com

Does wearing makeup make me a bad feminist?

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The sky is (not) falling – part 2 – Myths and Facts about the 2015 Ontario Sex Education Curriculum

Yesterday I spent the day going over the newly released 2015 Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum (Elementary) with a fine-toothed comb to generate a comprehensive précis made up of every single quote that had anything to do with the “sex ed” parts.

Unfortunately, misconceptions and misinformation about this curriculum are continuing to make their way around the internet, mostly because people seem bound and determined to willfully ignore the actual facts before forming an opinion.

So today I’m going to address the most common myths about the new curriculum.

2015 Ontario Elementary schools sexual education curriculum myths and facts

The sky is [not] falling! The 2015 Ontario Sex Education Curriculum Myths and Facts

Myth #1

Explicit sexual content, including oral and anal sex, consent, and rape will be taught to children as young as 6.

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The sky is (not actually) falling! Highlights of the 2015 Ontario Sex Ed Curriculum

Today is the day!! The revised 2015 Ontario Health And Physical Education Curriculum (including, of greatest interest to most people, sexual education) has finally been released. Hooray!!! This means that at long last we can actually put aside our speculations and take ACTUAL FACTS AND QUOTATIONS woefully out of context!!

The sky is [not] falling! A comprehensive precis of the 2015 Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum - Elementary 2015 Ontario Elementary schools sexual education curriculum; #summary

The sky is [not] falling! A comprehensive precis of the 2015 Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum – Elementary

Just kidding! We’re all going to act like grown-ups here and assess the facts objectively before jumping to any conclusions. And to help out with that, I’ve taken some time this morning to go over the new curriculum with a fine-tooth comb and provide you with a summary.

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A Passion For Compassion – #1000Speak

In one of my university social work class there was an intense argument about nature versus nurture – Is empathy innate or learned? As I recall, I took the innate side of the argument then but I’ve since changed my tune. I believe that empathy can and should be taught starting at a young age.

The Oxford Dictionary defines empathy as, “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another,” and Wikipedia notes, “One may need to have a certain amount of empathy before being able to experience compassion.” I think of empathy as the ability to recognize how another person feels and compassion as the drive help them feel better. Both empathy and compassion have been important parts of my life and I feel that they are two of the most crucial interpersonal skills I can pass on to my children.

Learning compassion young - baby and disabled woman smile at each other

Ben and Carol grin at each other. Carol was my nanny when I was young. She was disabled by a brain aneurysm and is mostly non-verbal, but she can still make her feelings known!

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Eternal Coffee, Strong to Save

I did mention that this blog talks about my love affair with coffee, didn’t I?

Previously only available on Facebook and Twitter, Team Pickles is proud to present the NEW and IMPROVED

#CoffeeHymns

I know I've had mornings like this! #coffeehymns www.picklesINK.com

Eternal coffee, strong to save, Whose stimulation I so crave, Who bidd’st me from my slumber deep, When I’ve had insufficient sleep. O hear us when we cry to thee: Deliver sweet caffeine to me! #coffeehymns

Enjoy!

~ karyn

Are you a coffeeaholic? Tea connoisseur? Chicory aficionado? What’s your stimulant of choice?