LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — With back-to-school comes an uptick in LGBTQ discussion inside and outside the classroom.
The Los Angeles Unified School District will soon begin testing a sex-education program in select schools that addresses the topic of LGBTQ in grades 4-6, and some parents are concerned whether the content is age-appropriate.
Experts say the growing number of transgender students in classrooms nationwide requires parents to address the topic according to each’s family values and preface the discussion by stressing the importance of showing respect for others, regardless of what personal family/religious beliefs might entail.
Beverly Hills-based licensed marriage and family therapist Natalie Kazarian suggests opening a conversation with students as young as kindergarten using age-appropriate words and materials. “The important thing for parents to remember when talking to small kids about gender/sexuality is to remain neutral and curious about what the child is thinking and feeling. Give facts, similar to how you might have ‘the sex talk.'” Kazarian adds that remaining neutral and curious cultivates safety within the conversation. “It helps the child know they can come talk to you if they ever question anything.”
Jill Simonian is Author of The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby and Parenting Lifestyle Contributor for CBS Los Angeles Wednesdays on News at 4pm (KCAL9) and Friday mornings (CBS2). Her personal blog is TheFabMom.com. Connect with Jill on Twitter @jillsimonian and Facebook.