TMH Living Well: Tough time talking to kids about sex? Attend a Healthy You class |

TMH Living Well: Tough time talking to kids about sex? Attend a Healthy You class

Building a Healthy You Series

A community-led presentation providing education on puberty, anatomy, pregnancy, abstinence, birth control and sexually transmitted illnesses.

6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13: Parents-only night (preview)

6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20: High School Students presentation (students only, please)

6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27: Middle School students presentation (parents welcome)

  • Held at CNCC, Room 175

When it comes to talking to your kids about sex you might be tempted to avoid the topic altogether. It’s understandable that it feels uncomfortable, but talking — and not just once — ensures your kids have accurate information on sexuality and gives you the opportunity to share your views. If you don’t know where to start, don’t fret. The community has come together to give you talking points and information.

“It’s really challenging for parents to initiate this conversation, so we wanted to provide a base of knowledge to make it easier,” said TMH’s Dr. Elise Sullivan who will be presenting on puberty and anatomy.

The three-part series called Building a Healthy You starts with a parents-only night where presenters will talk about how to avoid teen pregnancy and give a preview of the next two talks aimed at high school and middle school students. The talks are a community solution to provide sex education to students, as Moffat County School District does not cover it in their curriculum. Several local organizations have come together including physicians and providers at TMH, Northwest Colorado Health, Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center and Advocates Crisis Support.

Did you know that teen pregnancy rates are high in Craig and surrounding communities? At the parents’ night of Building a Healthy You class on Sept. 13 you will hear a review of data on teen pregnancy in Moffat County, listen to a young woman’s personal story of teen pregnancy, get a crash course on normal anatomy and puberty, learn about abstinence and birth control options and hear tips on how to talk to your teen.

The presenters will give 10 steps to talk to your kids about sex. It has been shown that parents who talk to their kids about sex help avoid teen pregnancy and protect their kids from sexually transmitted diseases. When you talk, talk about not just sex, but relationships as well. Really consider your own attitudes and values before initiating the conversation. Be prepared to get in the nitty-gritty of it — like helping your teen work through who is responsible for setting limits in a relationship. Explain the why behind your viewpoints and remember that personal stories are always effective.

Healthy You presenters encourage you to be an “askable parent.” This simply means you are willing to discuss some of the personal questions your teen might ask, like “how do I talk with my boyfriend/girlfriend about sex?” or “How do I know if I am in love?” It’s really about being open and holding back the urge to respond with shock or surprise. It’s certainly fine to have a point of view and share it, just do so in a non-judgmental way.

Some parents shy away from talking about sex because they think talking sends the message to their kids that it’s okay for them to have sex. That’s proven untrue. Research clearly shows that talking to your kids about sex does not encourage them to be sexually active. Lastly, join in on a discussion about how to avoid teen pregnancy, including supervising your adolescents, knowing their friends and families, and helping them set goals for their futures.

You’ll also get a preview of what will be covered in the next two classes, designed for high school kids and middle school kids. Plan to attend the Building a Healthy You series and being proactive about your adolescents’ health. Stay tuned for a follow up article on the information covered in the teen Healthy You classes.

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