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October is Let’s Talk Month

Let’s Talk Month is a national public education campaign celebrated every October to encourage parents and guardians to talk with their children about healthy relationships and sexuality.

Parents are the best educators for their children, but they may not always be comfortable with or feel like they have the right answers, especially when it comes to discussing sex education. While recent statistics show that teen pregnancy rates are decreasing - which is great news, unfortunately rates of sexually transmitted infections among teens are on the rise.

It’s important for parents to set the tone early. The easiest time to send a signal of being an approachable parent or grandparent is when they are very young. This can mean explaining to a toddler why his/her body is different from their brother or sister.  For those who have not had an early chat with their pre-teen child, it’s not too late. Start by discussing an event in the news, or TV. Ask your pre-teen’s opinion about it.  Share yours.  At some point in the conversation say very clearly, “You know we haven’t talked about this kind of stuff much before, but I want to change that.”

Our “Let’s Talk Tins” in Spanish and English help initiate the conversation between parents and their children.  The tins are full of questions to encourage communication between parents and children; and there is always room to add questions.

There are many resources available to help get the conversation started.  Email health@knoxcounty.org or call 865-215-5170 for more information on these resources.