“The talk” about the birds and the bees isn’t something most parents look forward to having with their kids, but October is the month when parents are urged to have conversations with their teens about pregnancy prevention.
Bobbie Jo Sheridan is a training and education coordinator at Eyes Open Iowa, an advocacy and education group based in Des Moines. Sheridan explains the goals of “Let’s Talk Month.” “To encourage parents and their children to talk about healthy relationships, family values and sexual health,” Sheridan says. “We often find that kids want to hear this information from their moms and dads but moms and dads are uncomfortable sharing this information with their kids.”
Sheridan says communication is the name of the game in these important conversations. “We always encourage parents to just give the facts,” she says. “There’s lots of websites, EyesOpenIowa.org is one of them, where parents can find tons of information so they can provide medically-accurate information for their kid.”
Sheridan says there is good news as a result of pregnancy prevention efforts. “We are very fortunate in Iowa that we have a low teen pregnancy rate, but when we look at high school kids, about 43.9% of high school kids have had sexual intercourse, so that number is still quite high and we’d like to see it lowered.”
Learn more at: www.eyesopeniowa.org.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)