October is Let's Talk month
by Mark Andrews
Sep 29, 2012 | 1451 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For parents everywhere, talking about the birds and the bees and the ongoing changes with teenagers and young people can be just as difficult as those going through the changes. In an effort to help parents with talking to their children about going through adolescence, the organization Advocates for Youth has established October as Let’s Talk Month, with the first event being held Tuesday at Cartersville Medical Center.

According to www.advocatesforyouth.org, “Let’s Talk Month is an opportunity for community agencies, religious institutions, businesses, schools, media, parent groups and health providers to plan programs and activities which encourage parent/child communication about sexuality.”

Scott Sherwin of the Bartow County Collaborative & Family Connection explained the purpose of the two local events this month is, “To try and educate parents to talk to their kids about relationships, dating, sex, and to try and get conversations opened up. [Volunteers] will teach the parents how to approach their kids and what the door-slammers are — what will turn the kids off — and to really get [parents] to start talking and learning what’s going on with teens.”

Tuesday’s event, which will last from 6 to 8 p.m. at CMC’s North Tower entrance, classroom No. 2, is a girls-only event.

“The first event is for parents or guardians and daughters and is a chance for a nurse practitioner to come and talk very candidly with [guardians] and girls about puberty, about what’s going on with their bodies and the changes that are taking place, answer questions and help foster that open communication in a non-threatening and safe environment for females only,” Sherwin said.

The next event will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at South Central Middle School from 6 to 7 p.m.

“We’ll have a speaker from [Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy] and she’ll talk to parents of boys and girls very candidly about healthy relationships, dating, sex and answer questions,” Sherwin said. “It’s a very unique program where she actually involves the parents in the process of her talk.”

He said the event is geared toward middle school aged students and younger high school students.

“We’ll have leaders from the Youth Action Team as well and we’ll split off and take the kids to do some fun activities also geared around healthy relationships, but more from just a youth leadership perspective,” Sherwin said.

Sherwin said the events hopefully will help ease communication between young people and their parents or guardians when it comes to sensitive topics.

“If kids can’t get their information from a parent, then they’re going to get it from a friend,” Sherwin said. “What the kids themselves say is they would rather get their information from a parent, but they don’t feel comfortable a lot of times, for many different reasons, starting with a parent and so they get misinformation and end up pregnant.”

For more information, contact Sherwin at 678-721-5922.