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Parenting through puberty - is technology a friend or foe?

Whether it was the birds and the bees talk with a parent, hushed conversations from a friend in primary school, or perhaps a cringe-worthy lesson in the classroom - it's a safe bet that some things have changed when it comes to learning about sex and puberty since the increase in digital technologies and it's impact on learning.


13 July 2023

Parenting through puberty

When it comes to your child's education around puberty and development, there's no avoiding the fact that technology has made an impact.

For nearly 100 years Interrelate have been equipping kids with the knowledge to take the mystery out of puberty and development, ensuring the next generation have the right skills to manage these changes effectively.

As social norms and technology have developed so has our understanding of sexual education. Finding the right time, place and tools to talk through topics like masturbation, periods and pornography, can prove challenging - especially with the speed at which information sharing and social trends occur these days.

It's become hard not to notice how accessible information is now for children due to the internet and social media. In a world of advertisements and influencers, it is near impossible to shield your child from everything. Alongside the generous stream of apps available to them, it can be incredibly difficult to keep up with it all.

Chances are high that your child may stumble across adult content, products, or pornographic sites, which contain themes they are not prepared for. Engaging your child in a conversation about this early on can provide your child with the right guidance as to how to best navigate the web safely and avoid the unnecessary pitfalls which can come with dealing with these confronting themes alone.

Equipping parents and teachers with the right information is now essential for creating improved long-term outcomes for children and healthy self-development.

Now more than ever, it is vital that parents are actively engaged with their children around the changes they are experiencing. The ability to have questions answered online without an awkward conversation is no doubt valuable and gives your child a sense of autonomy in their own education. However knowing which platforms to guide your children to that provide age-appropriate and evidence-based information, makes a big difference to your child’s learning and development.

It takes a level of experience and perspective to process information about puberty and development effectively, so it's important your child knows they have someone who they can process and discuss this information with and someone who they can talk to when they have questions arise.

This collaborative approach to learning and teaching helps to foster stronger relationships and keeps the pathways for conversation open. Misunderstandings and mistakes will happen on both sides, but offering a space without judgement will help children learn these tricky topics, and help you learn how to guide your child to use the technology safely and effectively. 

For more information around supporting you child's development check out our range of Relationships and Sexuality Education Programs offered through schools, or our Tricky Talks Family Evening Sessions which support whole family's learning about these important topics. Remember to follow us on social media for more tips to support your child's development.

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