Living in Nyon met up with Nyon based YouTuber and sex education expert, Kathleen Hema. Kathleen helps parents have the modern day sex talks in a medically accurate and age-appropriate way. Her videos cover a range of subjects from What’s the perfect age to have the sex talks? to Accepting the Gender Spectrum.
Read our interview from our coffee at Tête de Course as we get to know Kathleen. She went from teaching in schools to starting her YouTube Channel It’s time for the Sex Talk for Parents. We talk about her recently launched website and future plans. She also gives us some insights into the importance of talking to our children about sex.
How did your YouTube journey begin?
This all started as my daughter turned two and I wanted to start working again, but then the pandemic hit. I had an interview lined up which was then cancelled because of a freeze on all hires. I had been thinking about it for a while and one day, I sat on the couch and told my husband I’m going to start a YouTube channel! I felt that YouTube was the right platform to reach parents because it’s easily accessible and free!
How did you come to live in Nyon?
My partner got a job offer at UEFA, I was pregnant and it was a job that would allow me to stay at home with my baby and daughter. Nyon is such a family-friendly town and the community is awesome. It’s nice to be outside the big cities of Geneva and Lausanne. You can go to those places but you can always come back to the quaintness of Nyon, which has everything: the lake, the concerts, mountains to go skiing. It’s been a nice transition at this stage in our life.
Since starting, what have you learnt about making videos and the type of content you put out. Has it changed since you began?
Great question – before I got my masters in public health and focused on sex education, I did my bachelors in communications. I was in editing and video production and now I find I am using my skills from then!
It’s changed in the sense of becoming more comfortable talking to a camera versus talking to a room full of people. I can be more myself and my personality comes through. I have over 100 videos now, but in that first year of making videos not many algorithms push you out to the top of searches. You’re so new but you have to start somewhere. At the same time I want to make the videos better; better lighting, better camera, just better…
Right now I’m trying to make it relatable – It’s just a mom talking to another parent over coffee, having a conversation about erections, right?
How have you found the shift from educating children and young adults in schools to now focusing on parents?
The biggest change I see is that the parents are afraid to do or say the wrong thing, or mess up their kid. Parents know they need to have the conversations, but when, what, and how to say it perfectly? Whereas kids in the classroom were more I’m going to ask you every, single question possible because I’m not getting this information anywhere. Or they’ve heard things and they want to know if it’s true. In my videos you will hear me say you can say something to the effect of… because I think parents want that type of advice.
A lot of parenting books and organisations say start talking about sex early, make sure you’re doing all this stuff, but they never tell parents what to say. I can make that bridge for them and say hey, here’s how you can bring it up over the course of five to six years. And after laying all the groundwork for the sex talks it will hopefully, make the talks go smoother in the pre-teen and teen years.
What’s the best feedback you have received since starting ‘It’s time for the Sex Talk with Parents’.
I’ve had a lot of parents send me a message saying that they feel so much more confident or what I said in my video of how the kids will react is exactly how their kid reacted. The best feedback that I’ve gotten has been, once I watched your video, got over the hump and did it, it went just like you said. It wasn’t a big firework celebration, it was a simple conversation that happened and was really good.
I think when parenting, our values are so important – only we can share our values to our kids. As a teacher I can never share mine. If a kid was to ask me what’s the right age to have sex? I can tell them the legal age, all the things that they need to be aware of, how to prepare and to deal with the consequences. But as a parent I can also tell you my values, whether it’s about marriage or relationships. If parents can embrace that, it would be very beneficial.
I have to then ask, how do you deal with any negative comments or feedback and not take it personally?
Before branching out into TikTok and Instagram and putting myself out there, I remember a mum saying to me I saw your YouTube video, you know you left the comments open?. Well I did that on purpose because I do want that feedback.
You’re always going to have trolls that are mean. I’ve had people say – you’re ruining childhood, you don’t know what you’re talking about, this is way too early, and so on. In the end, the research supports early sex education and kids will continue to be curious and ask questions. My aim is to help the parents who want to have these conversations. Blocking is my best friend, especially when it comes to receiving rude comments or images that are negative on my character, not on my content.
What would be your one golden nugget of advice to parents of young children who want to open up that dialogue?
Start now! No matter what age your kid is start now and watch my videos, which are categorised by age. When I was teaching in schools, we were told when we were allowed to talk about subjects. As a parent, you know your kid best.
A lot of times parents think their kid not asking questions means they don’t have to have the conversation, but that’s not quite right. The problem is, you may have said something to dismiss them before they were able to lead into a question.
If you get to a point when your child is exiting an age range and they haven’t asked some of those common questions, you need to go to them and could say, Hey, lets talk about … or I got this cool book, do you want to read it with me?
Start now and if they’re not coming to you, go to them.
You recently launched a website, tell us more about your future plans.
Launching a website is a lot of work! Right now my intent is to have all my free resources on YouTube and TikTok but I want to be able to offer parents one-on-one consultations. I’ve had a lot of parents reach out to me and say, well my kid is autistic and I know you don’t have a lot of information about that. My channel provides general education on a wide variety of topics but if you are looking for personalised advice, you can book a call with me on my website.
My focus this year is to help parents and to offer confidential consultations. Then let’s see where that goes.
Now that’s the more serious questions done, I want to ask you what you do for fun? Any favourite places to go?
Well, I do a tour of all the playgrounds in Nyon with my kids! We often start at the Lac Leman park and end up at the plage where my husband and I can grab a glass of wine or something while the kids play. This was also the first winter that we all got to ski as a family, and we had a lot of fun up at Basse Ruche.
Favourite place to get food or coffee in Nyon?
I do love Tête de Course but I LOVE Café Ex- Machina. The owner is so lovely and when I first moved here with my craziness of a toddler and a baby, he was always so kind and let the kids be. That was very helpful in that stage of my life.
What’s your favourite season here?
This is my favourite time of year – the spring. I love seeing the greenery, designs and the colourful tulips. I never thought of myself as a woman who enjoys flowers! I also love walking along the lake but especially in the garden area by the ruins. It’s gorgeous.
I absolutely love the Christmas market in Nyon – being able to walk out my door and get a vin chaud and wander around.
Thank you Kathleen for letting us get to know you better!