By: KIANA McDONALD
“Let’s Talk” month, founded by the organization Advocates for Youth, is celebrated every October and encourages parents and their children to start a conversation about their sexualities, puberty, and body image. Topics discussed during this month include sexual orientation, sexual behavior, pregnancy prevention, and encourages teens to ask questions. Having judgment-free discussions between teens and parents is extremely important. In a 2014 survey by Planned Parenthood, teens named their parents as the biggest influence on their decisions about sex. For parents and teens alike, having these conversations can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but Benicia High School is working to make “Let’s Talk” month easier.
Heidi Winig, one of Benicia Unified School District’s community partners, works with Cardera Services whose mission is “facilitating connections and enduring relationships that unlock the possibility of addressing complex health and human service issues”, says http://www.cardeaservices.org. According to Benicia High School’s October Newsletter, Benicia Unified School district “has partnered with Cardea Services to select a curriculum and train teachers for this important piece of our children’s education.”
In addition to Winig, Wendy L Sellers, RN, the author of Puberty The Wonder Years, has also partnered with Benicia High School to guide parents through this month. Winig and Sellers will be “offering live opportunities for parents and caregivers to get support and resources for talking with your own children about the physical, social, and emotional changes that happen during puberty”, states Benicia High School’s October newsletter. They are inviting parents and teens to join a virtual meeting they have titled, “How to Talk With Your Kids About Puberty, Sexuality and Healthy Relationships”. This meeting will take place on three different dates, including an all Spanish meeting: October 6th at 5 pm, October 7th at 12:00 pm, y en Español, Octubre 21 a las 6:00 pm. To register, click on the date you are interested in. For more information, see Benicia High School’s Newsletter.
In order for parents of children of all different ages, sexualities, and special needs to receive support and guidance through “Let’s Talk” Month, Sexuality for All Abilities by Mad Hatter Wellness Center will also be hosting a meeting on October 20th at 3 pm. The Mad Hatter Wellness Center believes that “there is a lack of appropriate education out there to support [healthy and safe] relationships for people with disabilities” and strives to support sexual health for people with special needs by starting a conversation and spreading awareness. Click here to register for the Zoom meeting. Parents and caregivers who attend this meeting will receive a discounted price for an extraordinary, self-paced online class by Wendy Sellers called “Preparing Parents for Puberty”.