Focused TopicsSexual Development & Behavior in Children and YouthLesson 2ExploreCase Study - School-Age - Devon and Kelly
ACTIVITY ID: 22931
First, review the case study about Devon and Kelly below. You may find it helpful to refer to the suggested answers for the Explore activity in Lesson One. Then answer the questions in the Sexual Behavior Reflection Tool. Finally, complete the Responding to Sexual Behavior In the Moment and After the Fact activity.
Devon and Kelly are 12-year-olds in an after-school program at the same school. Both claimed to be “boyfriend and girlfriend” about two months ago, though they frequently “break up” and get back together. Devon and Kelly’s families are good friends, and they socialize together often. Other children in the program gossip about how the two of them “make out in Kelly’s bedroom” when Devon’s family is visiting.
Devon and Kelly have been observed to hold hands and put their arms around each other during the program, especially when getting off the bus and during outdoor time. Program staff have asked that they not engage in these behaviors and explained what types of touch are appropriate, but they need to be reminded of these guidelines. Sometimes when they are “broken up,” Devon will attempt to put his arms around Kelly even when it is unwanted. Program staff respond to this by telling Devon to “leave Kelly alone.” A staff member has separately spoken with both sets of parents about the behaviors and guidelines given to Devon and Kelly about appropriate touch while in the program. Both sets of parents seems to think “kids this age will be kids.” Kelly’s parent responded that their behaviors are “cute” and says that this is the age when kids start dating. Devon’s parent finds the behavior to be funny and stated, “Devon is learning how to chase girls.”
Now complete the Response Tool for this scenario. First, describe the behavior:
Responding: In the Moment
Stay calm and control any frustration towards Devon and Kelly.
Think carefully about the best words to use and ways to support.
Calmly remind Devon and Kelly of your program rules.
Let them know that they can talk and sit next to each other while in the program.
Encourage them to explore a variety of activities and friendships.
Check in with Devon and Kelly separately. Give them each time to express their thoughts and share your viewpoint as a staff member, too. Empathize with them that you know it can be confusing, especially when home and program rules are different.
Support all the children by discussing how we respect ourselves and others.
Reinforce that no one is to touch you without your permission.
Explain to Devon and Kelly that they are some of the oldest children in the program and are role models for others. Praise their role model behavior.
Make sure Devon is supported with appropriately responding to others' cues and reactions.
Make sure Kelly is comfortable respectfully communicating and disagreeing.
Responding: After the Fact
It must be very confusing for Devon and Kelly given their development, home rules, and emotions. They are experiencing normal feelings but need support in understanding rules and expecations. They are capable of knowing different sets of rules, but they may need support in truly understanding and following these differences.
Know the In the Moment steps for these behaviors.
Kelly and Devon may benefit from a gentle reminder of the rules as soon as they get off the bus.
Make sure the program is supporting Devon and Kelly in other ways. You might try to offer some activities around their interests.
Communicate with co-staff so there are consistent responses.
Continue to communicate with both families. Share that you respect their home rules and parenting but reinforce that you, as a staff member, must abide by program guidelines. Ask for their suggestions for ways you can encourage Devon and Kelly to follow program rules. Thank them for their collaboration.