Amazing you! – Sophie, PAIS

(Explaining PAIS, suggested age 8/9 – 11)

‘Amazing you...the story so far’ has been co-written for Sophie, by a parent and a clinician.

The story is placed in the context of a child’s family and personality, only using positive, easy-to-understand words presented in a style that engages teens, and using a child’s favourite colours …even for the vibrator!

Gonads like testes that do a lot of good things, and xy chromosomes which the school never tells you about… that is not scary to a child when explained within a supportive and loving context.

Although for parents, sharing information is one of the biggest challenges, the stuff we can most worry about it…for a child this is really only a small step in a long journey…

A comprehensive, friendly booklet like this can provide a strong foundation, and opens the door to the many other conversations which must follow from it to fully equip a young adult, emotionally and intellectually, to take on responsibility for their care, in all its dimensions.

One final comment on the timing of sharing ALL information to a child….you can have small conversations with a child from a very early age, to introduce ‘Building Blocks’, like adoption, periods, hormones, difference and tolerance, etc…And you can bring up these topics in response to something you see on TV, or read in a book, or something they learn about a school…Or you can pro-actively take the initiative….’Let’s read this book about hormones’, ‘The colour of your eyes is green because of the genes you got from mum and dad...do you know what genes are?’.

At some point however you do want to and need to sit down and bring all that information together…

We believe the best time to do this is before your child’s friends go into puberty, before their friends get their periods etc…so by or around age 11 at the latest. This way you empower your child to understand how their own body and that of their friends will change. You place their ‘variation’ alongside the ‘typical’ development…Please don’t disempower your child by withholding information; as parents we may think of that as ‘protecting’, but what we really do is undermine a kid’s confidence.

Amazing you! – Sophie, PAIS