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Psychologists urge discussion about same-sex relationships with kids as young as five

Parents and teachers in Australia are encouraged to explain sexuality issues to young children in the lead up to the country’s marriage equality vote. Experts at the Australian Psychological Society said the vote debate was an ‘important opportunity’ to talk with kids about ‘marriage, relationships, diversity, and equality’.

via Daily Mail

“The marriage equality debate is not just for adults. Most children will have heard about it at school, in the media, or overheard adult conversations,’ it said.

The society released a four-page guide explaining how to bring up the subject, what to discuss, and how to ‘clarify misconceptions’.

APS said the guide is intended for primary and secondary schoolchildren, including those in first grade.

The guide advised starting the conversation with: ‘As you probably know, there’s a lot of attention on marriage equality at the moment. I’m happy to talk with you about this and answer any questions you may have’.

Parents were told to first listen to what their children wanted to know, as they may have heard something they needed to ask about.

The last section discussed talking with children about how to treat others, such as telling them calling someone ‘gay, sissy or queer’ was hurtful.

‘Homophobia, hate, and prejudice are not innate but learned,’ it read.

‘Let them know that hate directed at anyone who is different is unacceptable, and that meeting hate with more hate does not solve the problem.’

Parents could encourage their children to be an ‘ally’ and stick up for classmates being bullied at school, and tell their peers it was ‘not ok to use gay unkindly to mean something bad’.