Best of the Web: How to talk with your child about sexual consent, and more

Advice for parents when discussing sexual consent with their children, the Dr Seuss books with racist content, and the mental health crisis engulfing our kids.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

Talk to your child about sexual consent – because schools can't manage this alone

(Michael Parker, The Age)

This is a valuable contribution from an Independent school headmaster to the ‘shocking and cumulatively harrowing’ accounts from young women of being sexually assaulted at parties.

Schools are responding by radically improving their education on consent, gender relations and respect, he writes.

But there is also a response required by parents, who have to have conversations with their sons and daughters about consent, assault and rape. 

‘They are conversations many parents won’t want to have,’ he writes. ‘They will be difficult, possibly confronting and certainly awkward. They will leave “where did I come from?” in the dust.’

The author provides a checklist of questions that might be useful for these most important of discussions, and some useful other tips.

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Six Dr Seuss books cease publication over racist and insensitive portrayals

(Lauren Aratani, The Guardian)

Six Dr Seuss books will no longer be published, because of  their racist and insensitive portrayal of people of color.

Dr Seuss Enterprises said it would cease publication of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.

The decision follows feedback from teachers, specialists and academics and a panel of experts. ‘Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr Seuss Enterprises’ catalogue represents and supports all communities and families,’ the company said in a statement.

The report says that while Dr Seuss remains a beloved figure in children’s literature, his legacy has come under increasing scrutiny from parents and educators.

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'Shocking' numbers of children presenting with mental health issues

(Wendy Tuohy, The Sydney Morning Herald)

The past 12 months have taken their toll on our children, who have had their worlds turned upside down.

In this article, the head of the Australian Psychological Society says children are bearing the brunt of mental health concerns triggered or exacerbated by the pandemic. The number presenting with mental health or emotional problems is ‘shocking’.

This mental health emergency among Australian children is being inadequately addressed, with many facing long-term harm to their education and employment.

The warning coincided with the release of a Murdoch Children’s Research Institute survey of mental health clinicians that found fragmented services, long wait times and inadequate training were preventing children and adolescents from receiving high-quality mental health care.

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