Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

It looks like remote learning is coming backat least on some level—for many families in Illinois. The sudden shift to at-home learning in the spring left many parents and guardians scrambling to remember how to diagram a sentence, solve for x, and name the state capitals. Now, as another school year draws near, adults are being called on again to pick up extra teaching duties from home.

In the scramble to cover the fundamentals, an important subject may get put on the back burner: sex ed. But it doesn’t have to. 

This month, Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) is launching a free, virtual education series called Real Talk: Creating Healthy Conversations with Young People. Designed for parents, guardians, and other trusted adults, Real Talk is designed to help you feel comfortable discussing tricky subjects with the young folks in your life.

You’ve all seen those scenes in movies and TV shows. A parent sits down with a child or teen to have “the talk.” After five or ten pained and awkward minutes, the parent leaves the room satisfied that sex ed is complete, while the camera pans to a confused or mortified teenager, who then goes to their friends or the internet to get the real story about sex.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it shouldn’t be this way. What many of us were raised to think of as ‘the talk’ should really be an ongoing conversation that starts early and continues into young adulthood. Thankfully, PPIL’s education team is here to help.

Each week, Real Talk will cover a new topic related to human sexuality and aim to equip you with the tools you need to start--and continue--these important conversations with the young people in your life. We’ll cover a wide range of topics, including sex and reproduction, gender identity, sexually explicit materials, and more. 

We know families have a lot on their plates right now, so you can choose: join us for all seven weeks or just pop in for the topics that interest you most. 

Real Talk is being offered via Zoom on Tuesday evenings, starting August 11. Registration for the first three sessions is open now:

  • August 11: Sexuality Is More Than Just Sex

  • August 18: Navigating Tricky Topics and Answering Tough Questions

  • August 25: Talking to Young People About Consent

  • September 1: Talking to Young People About Gender & Sexual Identity

  • September 8: Talking to Young People About Birth Control

  • September 15: Talking to Young People About Sexually Transmitted Infections

  • September 22: Talking to Young People About Sexually Explicit Materials

In the meantime, here are some quick tips every adult can to do make at-home sex ed easier and more natural for everyone involved:

  1. Let go of the idea that sex ed can done with a single talk. Instead, embrace teachable moments and create a safe and comfortable environment to discuss sexuality with children over time. 
  2. Recognize & embrace teachable moments. These are those magical moments that come up naturally and offer an opportunity to talk to your child about sexuality, without having to awkwardly declare “hey, let’s talk about sex!” Watching TV, seeing advertisements, listening to music, browsing social media, and talking with friends are family are all moments where conversations can spring up naturally. It’s as easy as asking, “What did you think about….?” This open-ended question gives a child or teen the chance to share their thoughts and feel heard.

Eager to learn more? We hope you’ll join us for Real Talk! Learn more and register for upcoming sessions at bit.ly/ppil-education.

Tags: education, parenting, sex-education, sex-ed


This website uses cookies

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors use cookies and other tools to collect, store, monitor, and analyze information about your interaction with our site to improve performance, analyze your use of our sites and assist in our marketing efforts. You may opt out of the use of these cookies and other tools at any time by visiting Cookie Settings. By clicking “Allow All Cookies” you consent to our collection and use of such data, and our Terms of Use. For more information, see our Privacy Notice.

Cookie Settings

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors, use cookies, pixels, and other tracking technologies to collect, store, monitor, and process certain information about you when you access and use our services, read our emails, or otherwise engage with us. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences, or your device. We use that information to make the site work, analyze performance and traffic on our website, to provide a more personalized web experience, and assist in our marketing efforts. We also share information with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners. You can change your default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of required cookies when utilizing our site; this includes necessary cookies that help our site to function (such as remembering your cookie preference settings). For more information, please see our Privacy Notice.



We use online advertising to promote our mission and help constituents find our services. Marketing pixels help us measure the success of our campaigns.



We use qualitative data, including session replay, to learn about your user experience and improve our products and services.



We use web analytics to help us understand user engagement with our website, trends, and overall reach of our products.