Parents are, and should be, the primary sexuality educators of their children. Most parents want to discuss sexuality with their children but feel unprepared to do so. The Collaborative’s programs give parents a way of beginning a dialogue with their children or gaining more information to continue a dialogue that has already begun.

Parent/Caregiver Education Programs feature presentations that help parents build comfort talking about sexuality, plus comprehensive kits that include appropriate books and informative materials that give parents the ability to frame sexuality education based on their own family values.

ALL EARS! Communicating Skills for Parents

Written by Susan Yowler, MSN, our newest program for parents — ALL EARS! – includes three 2-hour interactive workshops that teach adolescent sexual development, anatomy and physiology, sexually transmitted infections and contraception; communicating values and influencing behavior; and healthy relationships.

This program is FREE. Call to schedule your parent group, 937-523-7002.

In addition, we can customize a program to meet the specific needs of any group of parents. Want to understand how to keep your kids safer on the internet?…explore teen sexuality in the new millennium?…get a glimpse into teen relationships and bullying?…learn accurate, scientific information on sexually transmitted infections or contraception? We can help your group of 10 or more adults explore these issues.

Upcoming Events for Parents/Caregivers

Cyber Safety

Participants will learn more about social networking sites used by adolescents; dispel myths related to exploitative behaviors while focusing on the real dangers of over-sharing and other online behaviors.  Attendees will also become familiar with the newest issues related to constant connectivity and mobile phone use.

Scheduled on request, 2.5 hours

FREE…..BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Dating Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention

Learn the prevalence of dating abuse and sexual assault among teens, warning signs that a young person might exhibit and what we as parents, caregivers and trusted adults can do to prevent these behaviors or help teens cope if they have experienced this type of relationship aggression.

FREE…..BUT REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Resources for Parents

Talking Tips for Parents

  • Be an “askable” parent.  Reassure your child that he or she can ask you about anything.
  • Answer questions simply and truthfully.  If your child is old enough to ask, she or he is old enough to hear the correct answer and learn the correct words.
  • You do not have to know everything.  If your child asks a question and you do not know the answer, suggest that you find the answer together.
  • Know what is taught about sexuality in your schools, faith community and community groups.  You may wish to reinforce these teachings or point out how they are different from your family’s values and approach.
  • Be aware of the “question behind the question.”  The unspoken question “Am I normal?” is often lurking behind your child’s questions about sexual development, sexual thoughts and sexual feelings. Reassure your child, as often as possible, that he or she is normal.
  • Listen more than you speak.  Make sure you understand the question your child is asking. If your child uses a word or term that you do not understand, ask her or him to describe it in a different way so you can answer the question as honestly as possible.
  • Be aware of how you react to questions about sexuality from your child.  The way in which you react to questions is often more important than what you actually say. If you feel uncomfortable talking about sexuality or a particular topic, acknowledge to your child that this is difficult for you, but important for his or her health.

Books

Beyond the Big Talk: Every Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Teens from Middle School to High School and Beyond
Debra W. Haffner, New York: Newmarket Press, 2001.

Families are Talking.
A newsletter containing information to help all parents and caregivers talk to their children about sexuality and related issues.  Available in English and Spanish, in print and online at: www.familiesaretalking.org.

Family Connections: A Guidebook for Parent of Children
Family Health Council (412) 288-0518.

Healthy Teens, Body and Soul: A Parent’s Complete Guide to Adolescent Health
Andrea Mark and Betty Rothbar. New York: Skylight Press, 2003.

Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Talking Sense about Sex
Deborah Roffman. Cambridge, MS: Perseus, 2001.

The Real Truth About Teens and Sex: From Hooking Up to Friends with Benefits – What Teens are Thinking, Doing and Talking About, and How to Help Them Make Smart Choices
Sabrina Weill.  New York: Perigee, 2005

Words Can Work: When Talking With Kids About Sexual Health
Jeanee Blaks.  Gloucester, MA: BlakeWorks, 2004.

Internet