We hope you enjoy this resource as an easy-access portal to all of our recent collaborations, interviews and publications. Kimberley O’Brien and the Quirky Kid team are committed to contributing to various publications and media outlets on topics of interest to parents and families alike.
Quirky Kid is currently having a growth spurt and we have recently advertised for two one experienced Child Psychologists (Full-Time) to join our dedicated clinical team in Sydney (filled) and Wollongong.
My name is Dr. Kimberley O’Brien, Quirky Kid’s Principal Psychologist and Co-Founder. I’ll be working closely with our new colleagues, so I wanted to give an insight into what the roles involve and what it’s like to work at QK. You can also download a PDF information pack as well.
What the role entails:
Quirky Kid currently has two busy clinics and a flourishing publishing house. We create resources for classrooms and clinics. We have created a place for children and families to feel inspired, well-nourished and empowered.
Over the years, Quirky Kid has developed a community of like-minded colleagues who love our therapeutic tools and programs. Parents see our passion and their children make fast progress. We’ve developed a reputation for excellent service, clinical integrity and new technology (check out our website)! As a team, we have more opportunities for research, travel, professional development and quality time with our own families.
As a Child Psychologist at Quirky Kid, you’ll work with a broad range of clinical issues and you’ll be comfortable conducting assessments, writing reports, delivering programs, helping with research projects, engaging with schools and being part of a very supportive clinical team.
Who I’d love to work with:
The most important aspects of this role are a warm, professional manner, clinical integrity, enthusiasm for working with children, and a long-term commitment to being part of the Quirky Kid journey.
In return, we’ll help you to realise your dreams (see Kathryn Berry’s Everest trip blog post for inspiration)! As a company, we want to spend our days helping people to do amazing things. You’ll be joining a team of enthusiastic and thoughtful colleagues, where the work is challenging and meaningful.
Sexual education is a lifelong process of acquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs, and values about such important topics as identity, relationships, and intimacy. Parents often wonder when sex education should be introduced, or who is responsible for educating children on sexuality.
Development and Sexual Education
Infants and Toddlers – Children begin to learn about their sexuality at this age, and parents are their main teachers. It is important at this stage to name all the parts the body, as this teaches children that their entire body is natural and healthy. Additionally, talking with your child and responding to their needs at this age will lay ground work for trust and open discussion as they grow older.
Preschool children – are very curious about bodies – their own and other people’s. They are trying on roles and behaviours and may be mimicking adults as they play doctor, marriage or catch and kiss. This combination of natural curiosity and role-playing sometimes leads to childhood sex play. It may lead to touching, and children discover that this type of touching feels good. In other words, this type of play is expected and harmless. At this age it is important however, to teach children that their bodies belong to them and that no one has the right to touch them without permission. Additionally, teaching children to say “no” if they feel uncomfortable and to talk to a trusted adult if they need help, will prepare them if they are ever faced with a situation that makes them feel unsafe.
Sex Education for Young children – are able to understand more complex issues about health, disease, and sexuality. Parents often find that their children are interested in birth, families and death and will often have questions, fears or concerns. By creating a home where a child feels free to ask questions about their bodies, health and sexuality, children will learn that their home is a supportive environment and will be able to approach their parents in the future. At this stage, children can be provided with basic information and will understand best when information is based on concrete examples from their lives.
Sex Education for Preteens – Children at this age are going through all the changes of puberty. They are often concerned about their bodies, their looks, and what is “normal”. There is a lot of social pressure at this age and due to this children need your guidance on making good decisions about relationships, communicating sexual limits, and protecting themselves from unsafe situations.
Sex education for Teenagers – are often very curious about sex. At this stage, it is important that they have been told basic and accurate information, including what sexual intercourse is, homosexuality, the negative consequences of sex, and information about protection.
Who should talk to your child
School based sex education is important to the health and well being of children. However, parents have a profound influence on the development of sexual attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, especially in the years leading to early adolescence.
Watch a Video About Sex Education:
Therefore, most school based sex education programs are designed purely as a supplement to the information children receive from parents and caregivers. Additionally, adolescents often feel that the sex education they receive in school is inadequate, and they want open discussions with their parents.
Tips for talking with your child about sexuality
It’s a parents responsibility to introduce sex education the topic little by little, don’t wait for your child to start the conversation.
Find out what your children already know, for example “where do you think babies come from?”. Correct any misinformation and give the true facts about sex education.
Reward your children for asking questions about sex education rather than brushing of the subject. This will allow children to continue to feel comfortable to talk to you about any issue, specially about sex education.
If you don’t know the answer to a questions about sex education, it’s a good opportunity for you and your child to look it up together.
It’s OK to feel uncomfortable, and you can mention this to your child. For example, “I’m not used to talking about sex because Grandma didn’t talk to me. But I think it’s important and it will get easier as we go along”.
Look for naturally arising teaching opportunities that provide a good venue to talk about aspects of sexuality. Such as a scene on a TV show or movie, or if your teenager is getting ready for a school dance. These moments will provide you with the opportunity to share your family values and offer bits of information without having to formally sit down for ‘talks’ about sex education
Facts are not enough. Children need to be educated about reproduction and puberty, however, they also need to hear about your own family values about sex education
It’s the job of both parents to teach their children about sexuality and sex education. Children need to hear the adult view point of both genders. Additionally, it teaches children that men and women can talk about sexuality together – an important skill in adulthood.
It’s important to not just focus on the negative consequences of unprotected sexual activity. Teenagers also deserves to know that expressing sexual feelings in a responsible manner can be a vital and rewarding part of an adult relationship. Be sure to share your own family values about responsible healthy sexuality.
The Quirky Kid Clinic can help parents and families with communication strategies as well as dealing with common issues that may arise. For more information, or to schedule an appointment please contact us.
Information for this fact sheet was taken from an interview with Child Psychologist Kimberley O’Brien, the Raising Children Network website, and the following articles:
Hecht, M., & Eddington, E. N. (2003). The place and nature of sexuality education in society. In J. R. Levesque (Ed.), Sexuality education: What adolescents’ rights require (pp. 25-37). New York: Nova.
Fay, J., & Yanoff, J. M. (2000). What are teens telling us about sexual health? Results of the Second Annual Youth Conference of the Pennsylvania Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 25, 169-177.
A new volunteer position has also been added to the website. The focus of this position is to support resource and workshop marketing as well as other administrative aspects of the clinic. Please go to: https://childpsychologist.com.au/about-us/employment for more information
We are proud to announce the publication of our first therapeutic resource: The Just Like When cards.This is a limited first edition featuring 18 illustrations on tactile cards with a “Make Your Own” JLW card kit and instruction manual for parents, teachers and therapists. Resources are available now from our online shop!
See some examples below:
The Just Like When Cards (JLW) are one our favourite innovations. Developed over 15 years and based on countless experiences as told to us by our young clients, the JLW Cards depict personal and sensitive topics which have been designed to help young people explore their own experiences and emotions.
We love therapeutic resources and go to great lengths to personally develop and produce our hand-packed kits. We are committed to providing parents and professionals around the world with creative and effective therapeutic tools that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.
We are constantly inspired by the young clients who visit us at Quirky Kid HQ and draw on their influences when developing our products. Similarly, we would love to hear about your experiences with our materials.