There’s nothing like controversy and current events to kickstart conversation. Seize the day and get talking with your kids about these recent news stories…

Content warning: contains nudity and frank discussion of sex and porn

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The Side Eye: Porn sex and real sex – non-fiction comic by Toby Morris which links to In The Know – info & tips on porn and online sexual stuff for ages 13+ |  The Spinoff (8/11/22)

With funny, relatable and sometimes explicit images, this Side Eye comic makes great points about porn, such as: the use of “film trickery” (positions and sounds that play to the camera), it’s often violent, it can create anxiety about real-life sex, it’s usually made for the male gaze (and includes racial and gender stereotypes), it perpetuates misleading ideas (about unrealistic body parts and shapes) – and what’s missing (intimacy and safe sex)”

TALKING POINTS What do you think about porn? How can it impact kids? Read comic >

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How a 6th grader’s curiosity led her to create a book for kids on LGBTQ+ people – and how Japan’s LGBTQ+ education still lags  |  Unseen Japan  (8/11/22)

“Ui, a 6th-grader in Japan, wrote the 53-page picture book So That Everyone May Smile with ‘whimsical art’ and Q&A interviews with LGBT+ people includingn an ex-fencer and transgender activist and a Japanese literature professor. ‘A lot of elementary schoolkids, and even kids younger than that, struggle with gender identity,’ Ui said. ‘If people understood from a young age that everyone’s a little bit different, bullying would stop”

TALKING POINTS Do you agree with Ui? Could you do a similar book?  Read the article >

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Dad Gets Applauded Online For Standing Up For His Son Who Got Bullied For Wearing Nail Polish – includes TIkTok clip Bored Panda (13/11/22)

“In a TikTok clip that went viral, an American dad talked about the debate sparked among his 6-year-old son’s classmates when they said that his wearing nail polish wasn’t OK and is only for girls. His son said: ‘Nothing is for just boys or just girls.’ The dad told his son that the meanest kids ‘talk the loudest’ and some people ‘like you just the way you are’. He  thinks it’s important for straight men to talk about issues like these masculinity pressures”

TALKING POINT Do you like the dad? Do you see boys with nail polish? Read the article >

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London pupils to be trained to recognise sexist behaviour – includes 2-minute video Have A Word  |  Guardian (7/11/22)

“Secondary-schoolkids in London will get ‘allyship training’ to learn about healthy relationships, sexism, gender equality and misogyny to tackle, prevent and end violence against women and girls (VAWG). ‘We must put the responsibility onto boys and men so they change the way they perceive, treat and talk about women,’ said mayor Sadiq Khan”

TALKING POINT What ways to stop male violence could be effective? Read the article >

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Young people to be prescribed surfing and dancing by NHS to help anxiety  |  Guardian (25/10/22)

“A trial group of kids aged 11 to 18 in 10 parts of England will attend youth clubs and take part in surfing, rollerskating and gardening – as well as dance, music and exercise – activities to see if sport, the arts and outdoor activities can make them less anxious and depressed. NHS mental health trusts will see if this ‘social prescribing’ helps them” 

TALKING POINT Do you think this could work well? Why or why not? Read the article >

And finally: to discuss…
Michelle Obama with her mother Marian Robinson and daughters Malia and Sasha_My mother ste
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Like mothers, like daughters: Michelle Obama with Malia and Sasha and her mother Marian Robinson

Wonder-woman and ex-first lady in the White House Michelle Obama:


“As teenagers do, Malia and Sasha tested a few limits and did some dumb things. Someone got grounded for missing curfew. Someone posted an eyebrow-raising bikini selfie on Instagram and was promptly instructed by the East Wing communications team to remove it.


Someone once had to be dragged by Secret Service agents from an out-of-hand, unsupervised high-school party just as local law enforcement was arriving. Someone talked back to the president of the United States when he had the audacity to ask how she could possibly study Spanish while listening to rap”

TALKING POINTS What would it be like to grow up in the public eye? What do you think of Michelle Obama opening up about her feelings, for example about mothering? Is it OK for her (or for other parents) to reveal some of the “dumb things”her kids did? Are those things relatable?