About Casey Blake
I am Casey Blake, a Registered Counsellor with a special interest in sexual wellbeing, gender, trauma and sexuality and relationship education (SRE).
I created Tools for Having “The Talks” when I came across the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) guidelines for sexuality education. This guideline is based on international research on what content is considered age appropriate for children and young people of different ages to know.
Reading these outlines gave me mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was so excited that these guidelines exist! How amazing! An age specific set of guidelines that is research and data driven. For example, it covers what content is appropriate to speak to 5 year olds about, versus what to talk about with 12 year olds.
But I was also sad. Saddened by how this information seems to be a well kept secret. I thought about how few parents I knew, who would feel comfortable having these conversations. Even if there are international guidelines of what content is appropriate.
Tools for Having “The Talks” workshops
That is why I started these workshops. For more parents to have the opportunity to engage with their discomforts. To think about why the idea of even theoretically talking about these topics with their children makes us feel so uneasy.
I have been running these workshops since 2014. Space is limited to 5 people per workshop. This space limitation is to allow everyone an opportunity to share how they have navigated these topics in the past.
I have formatted the workshops into a series of 3 consecutive workshops. Mainly because there really is so much to cover! I have broken the content down into different “building blocks”. Each workshop uses the building blocks of the previous one to continue developing your skills and comfort with what is age-appropriate. Many of these building blocks include important topics that often get avoided because they are associated with sexuality.
This format also allows parents and caregivers time to practice the tools covered in the first 2 workshops. Each workshop has space for this important feedback, where we discuss how it went in each home.
Due to COVID-19, all workshops will be run in an online classroom on ZOOM. This only allows for us to continue having important conversations while maintaining physical distancing. It also allows people who are not in Johannesburg and Edenvale a chance to be part of these workshops. In order to fully participate, please ensure that you will have access stable internet access for the duration of the workshops, and a space where you will have privacy. Have a look at the upcoming workshops to check the dates.