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Promoting Open Family Communication

PPNC believes that the family is the ideal place for children and teens to discuss sexuality. Indeed, most young people say that they want to learn about sex, family planning and other tough issues from their parents. Unfortunately, some adults just don't know what to say and may feel uncomfortable bringing up these topics with children and teens.

This prevents families from talking openly and honestly about sex and sexuality - conversations that can help children make safe, healthy and responsible decisions about their sexual health both now and throughout the rest of their lives.

Talking About Life With Kids

TALK (Talking About Life with Kids) was developed by parents for parents to promote family communication. Through a series of workshops, parents learn everything from basic anatomy to how to share their values about sex and promote good decision-making.

Workshops are available in a stand-alone session or in a series of four to six sessions. These programs can be held in your home, at your child's school, at a PTA meeting or other community-based venue, and can be facilitated in English and Spanish. We also provide parents with take-home kits containing background information, tips and additional resources on sex, sexuality and other topics that are sometimes difficult for parents and caregivers to talk about with their kids.

Opening the Door/Abriendo Puertas

When it comes to talking to kids about the birds and the bees, Spanish-speaking and immigrant parents are often confronted with unique challenges. In particular, cultural beliefs, norms and gender stereotypes can all hinder open communication and healthy sexual practices.

To address these needs,we have created a parent-to-parent program called Opening the Door/Abriendo Puertas. The workshop is designed to provide the basic sexual health education that many adults did not receive during their own youth, help dispel cultural myths about sex and sexuality, and assist parents in identifying and communicating their values to their children. And because the program is facilitated by peers, the information is received in a much more powerful way, encouraging a frank discussion about culturally taboo issues and leveraging the power of role modeling to encourage more open family communication.

Helpful Hints

  • Answer questions as they arise
  • Clarify your child's question by asking questions back and keep answers simple
  • Recognize feelings of discomfort
  • Clarify and communicate your values
  • Be a good listener
  • Use reliable resources
  • If you don't know an answer, say so and find out together
  • Take advantage of "teachable moments"
  • Be an "askable parent"

For more information or to schedule a program, call (516) 750-2650 or e-mail [email protected]