October 17, 2011—Kids have a many different questions about sex and sexuality, and providing answers can be a scary prospect for parents.
But, as a humorous new video from Planned Parenthood shows, such curiosity is a natural and healthy part of children’s development, and parents are in the best position to provide answers and start an ongoing conversation that will help young people make smart decisions about their sexual health.
The video, “It’s Time to Talk,” shows parents caught in the crosshairs of their kids’ questions about sex and sexuality. Many of the inquiries will ring familiar to parents, and they include questions like “Where do babies come from?” “What’s a period?” and “Can you get pregnant the first time you have sex?”
Like many parents in everyday life, the ones featured in “ It’s Time to Talk” are caught off guard and initially uncertain how to respond. Such uncertainty can prompt panic and less-than-helpful responses, but, as the video highlights, parents don’t have to fear talking with their kids about sex and sexuality. A bit of forethought and employment of the tips offered in the video can help pave the way for starting and continuing a positive dialogue with kids about healthy sexuality.
Released as a part of Planned Parenthood’s activities for Let’s Talk Month—an annual campaign aimed at encouraging parents to start talking with their kids about sex—the video offers a variety of useful tips for responding to kids’ questions and starting conversations about sex. They include letting kids know it’s OK to ask questions; listening to kids’ concerns and what they think they already know about sex; and giving truthful, useful answers to their questions.
Let’s Talk Month occurs each October and provides an opportunity for sex education providers and advocates to support parents in their role as the primary sex educators of their children. In addition to the newly released video, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health at the Silver School of Social Work at NYU recently released a poll which found 82 percent of parents are talking with their kids about sex, but many aren’t addressing the issues that could help their kids delay sex and protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections when they do become sexually active. The poll found, for example, that a quarter of parents have not talked with their kids about how to say no to sex and 40 percent have not talked with them about birth control. Beginning conversations with kids early can help pave the way for parents and kids to talk about these more complicated topics as children get older.
For more information on Let’s Talk Month and tips to help parents start talking with their kids, please visit www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/politics-policy-issues/lets-talk-month-38019.htm
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
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