Let’s Talk Month
October is Let’s Talk Month, and we’d like to introduce a new format for our future Parent Buzz issues, as well as invite you to participate!
Starting in November, we will be sending out newsletter issues that break down and address common questions related to sex that kids might ask. The questions we select will be those we often hear parents worrying about in our workshops - and we welcome your questions, too! You can submit them directly through our website here.
In the meantime, we’d like to take this chance to share information about Let’s Talk Month. Every year, Let’s Talk Month focuses on encouraging open, honest and ongoing family communication about sex, bodies, and relationships. The open, non-judgmental conversations you have with kids about identity, bodies, relationships, and sex will help them have healthy and satisfying relationships with themselves and others throughout their lives.
There’s no one way to talk about sex and relationships, and there’s no such thing as perfect. The important thing is to start, and then continue to have, conversations. Rather than having just one sit-down conversation - which can feel like a lot of pressure! - parents and caregivers should consider communicating regularly with their kids in many smaller conversations that reflect their child’s age and development. And, on that note: there is no such thing as too early to start talking! Open, honest conversations about sex and relationships can be ongoing throughout a person’s lifetime. Just like math starts with counting and builds over many years to calculus, sex education starts with building blocks, like being a good friend and basic anatomy — and builds over many years to things like safer sex and sexual consent. We often hear parents worry that talking to their kids will encourage them to engage in more sexual behaviors rather than less. In fact, studies also show that teens who report having good conversations with their parents about sexuality wait longer to begin having sex and are more likely to use condoms and other birth control methods when they do become sexually active.
Young people now are navigating many of the same challenges we did - getting comfortable with changing bodies, exploring gender identity and expression, and navigating first crushes - as well as new ones. And they're experiencing all of that in digital spaces during a global pandemic. Remember, it’s okay not to have all the answers! The most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to listen to them, validate their feelings, and be present when they share their questions and experiences.