Parents As Sexuality Educators: Small Group Ministry
Parents and Caregivers As Sexuality Educators: Small Group Ministry
Families & Faith Development, Family Programs

By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Faith Development Office

In a small group setting, adults explore their roles as the most important sexuality educators their children will have.

Ten sessions invite parents and caregivers to explore their role as the primary sexuality educators of their elementary through teen age children. The 90-minute sessions use a small group ministry format to engage adults in topics including Gender Identity, Relationships, Social Media, and Consent. This program can be run concurrently, for parents and caregivers, with an Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education program for children or youth. It can also be incorporated into an existing small group ministry/Chalice Circle series for parents. Sessions are authored by Robin Slaw, an OWL trainer and credentialed UU religious educator. 

The information and attitudes that adults share with their children—intentionally or by default—carry extraordinary power. It is a power that many adults struggle to wield effectively and confidently. Often, their own experiences, perspectives, and worries get in the way. These sessions invite parents and caregivers to find support and courage with one another.

Download the program (PDF, 109 pages) (Introduction, Preface, and 10 sessions).

Explore the program online.

Contents

  • Welcome to a program for Unitarian Universalist parents and caregivers who seek support and skills to be effective sexuality educators of their children.
  • By Robin Slaw
    Our children absorb messages from every second of their awake lives. Our culture often sends a message to children and adolescents that doesn’t reflect our family and personal values. In this world, failing to talk to our children can have just as much impact as parent-initiated communication....
  • This 90-minute session creates a welcoming space that invites parents and caregivers to engage with one another and form a commitment to this series of group meetings. Participants begin to share hopes for and concerns about the sexual health of their children and youth.
  • Many parents and caregivers avoid talking about sex and sexuality for fear of doing it wrong. Yet even imperfect conversations can build an adult’s comfort and skill, a child’s trust, and positive, healthy communication around sexuality-related matters. In this session, participants recall both...
  • Parents and caregivers help to shape a child’s healthy understanding of both their own gender and the gender diversity out in the world. This session calls participants to explore their ideas and feelings about gender and the values about gender they are teaching their children, explicitly or...
  • In a liberal religious community, parents and caregivers may be reluctant to share any discomfort they may feel about a child’s emerging sexual orientation. This session opens a nonjudgmental space for adults to be honest with themselves about feelings, questions, and concerns. Participants...
  • Relationships bring potential for love, loss, increasing levels of sexual contact, and emotional or physical abuse. They may develop in a variety of ways and stages, from the initiation of dating through different levels of physical intimacy and sexual contact. ...
  • Many adults worry, long before their children’s puberty, about sexually transmitted infections (STIs, also called sexually transmitted diseases or STDs), abusive relationships, unintended pregnancy, and other sexual health hazards. This session helps adults channel their worries into a long-term,...
  • Parents and caregivers, of course, worry about what might happen to their children. As children move toward puberty, adult concerns expand to include harm that can result from a child’s own decisions. With sexual decisions, the stakes can feel quite high. While worry can tempt parents and...
  • Parents and caregivers are rightfully concerned about their children’s exposure to unwanted touching or sex. Adults cannot control the sexual opportunities, risks, or coercion their children will encounter. However, parents and caregivers can be role models for self-care and mutual respect. And...
  • Interactive media define the social worlds of many children and most youth today. Because the youngest generation is always on the forefront of new modes of communication, kids may inhabit a social landscape that is a little (or a lot) unfamiliar to parents and caregivers. In this session,...
  • Sexual imagery is so prevalent in advertising, on television, and on the Internet that even young children are exposed to it, despite adult efforts to limit access. Whether they deliberately seek it or not, today’s children are likely to encounter Internet pornography before they become...

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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