It’s that time of year again: LET’S TALK MONTH!
What’s Let’s Talk Month, you ask? Well, it’s this magical time of year when organizations like Annex Teen Clinic encourage parents/ caregivers to talk about sex, love, and relationships with their young people. Let’s Talk Month is a national public education campaign celebrated in October and coordinated by Advocates for Youth. Here at the Annex, we believe that parents are the primary sexuality educators of their children, and we’re here to provide you with the information, resources, and support you need.
Why do we make a whole month out of it? Simply put, the conversations are not happening at the frequency that our young people need. Messages are flowing in everywhere from media and by word-of-mouth. How in the world do we sort out the good from bad information? By encouraging fellow parents/ caregivers and educators to give medically accurate information at age-appropriate levels. Talking about sex is different when speaking to a young person who is 14 versus 18, so knowing what information is appropriate when can be a challenge. Notice I didn’t say just to have one conversation? That’s right; having “The Talk” is not a one-time thing! Rather, having on-going conversations with your young person can really make a world of difference. You will not only get to know what they know about sex and relationships, but also be able to positively influence them.
Want to talk about what your average teen wants? Well, most young people actually do want to know what their parent/ caregivers has to say about sex and relationships. Who has the most influence over teen views on sex: friends, or parents/caregivers?
This might surprise you, but the answer is the latter! Frankly, parents/ caregivers have the most amount of influence over young people’s decisions about sex. Statistics show that teens would prefer to talk to their parents/ caregivers because it would make it easier to avoid things like unplanned pregnancies if they could simply TALK to their folks about these topics. If you have not had any conversations yet, keep in mind that is never too late to start talking to your young person(s)!
Have no idea what to say? Don’t know how to start the conversation(s)? In addition to the parents section on our website, give these resources a look:
- TeenwiseMN’s “Let’s Talk Month” resources for parents
- Advocates for Youth’s “Parents Sex Ed Center” & “Let’s Talk Month” tools
- Planned Parenthood’s Parent Tools and Let’s Talk Month video