During the September Professional Development Meeting, Lorien Carter, MSW, lead TPPP members and participants in an interactive presentation about how to engage parents in having "the talk" with their kid(s). We recognize that parents are the most trusted source of information and values regarding sex for many young people. In fact, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has found that "teens consistently say that parents - not peers, not partners, not popular culture - most influence their decisions about sex". Lorien touched on how to work with parents who have differing values/opinions on what is best for them and their family, and the importance of giving parents accurate information about sexual health to inform their conversations.
As an exercise during the professional development meeting, participants broke into groups and were asked to give their ideas and tips for parents who want to have “the talks”. The catch? Each group had to start all of their ideas with a particular letter from T-A-L-K-S. After the groups shared their brainstorm results, each participant voted for their favorite ideas/tips. Here is the final list with the top 4 tips bolded (as determined by votes). Lorien also shared her own list.
The big take-away from the meeting was the availability of lesson plans and ideas for parent presentations. Many people in the room just weren't sure how to prepare parents for discussions about sex and Lorien suggested several resources. Participants in the Professional Development Meeting were given copies of lessons for review and discussed ways the plans could be adapted to a local audience. Here are the links to those resources:
Advocates for Youth - Let's Talk Month Planning Guidebook (starting on page 51)
SIECUS - Innovative Approaches to Increase Parent-Child Communication About Sexuality
Additional Resources for Parents:
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy