FREE Parent Event
You are invited to attend Parents Speak Up, and fun &free event. This event is for Kannapolis City School parents of 7th–9th grade students. The event will give information and tips to stay connected to your teen and to learn to talk to your teen about sex and waiting. This event is sponsored by TRAIL, a program of Cabarrus Health Alliance, in partnership with Kannapolis City Schools.
Here are a few comments from parents who have already attended:
- Great experience!
- I would absolutely recommend this workshop to other parents!
- I am going to be more intentional as a parent.
- I feel much more prepared to talk to my kids about sex.
Parents Speak Up! will:
- Show the positive influence you can have on your child.
- Help you feel more comfortable talking to your teen.
- Allow you to learn &laugh with other parents.
- Provide free dinner &child care.
- Make you eligible for $ gift card drawing.
|Who:||Kannapolis City School Parents of 7th–9th grade students|
|What:||Free Parent Event, Free Dinner, and Free Childcare|
|When:||Tuesday– November 10th and 17th 6pm–8pm*|
|Where:||Kannapolis Middle School Media Center|
|How:||Contact Megan Canady to register and for more information|
*We will have other dates during the year.
Call / email 704–920–1299 email@example.com for a future event date.
Stuff to Think About
- Be available to talk to your teens; treat each other with respect and trust.
- Ask your teen questions about their opinions, friends, schools or movies, but let your teen tell his or her story.
- Try asking open ended questions such as “What was the best part of your day?”
- Support their goals. Ask what your teen’s goals are, both for the long range and for the short term and share your support.
- Encourage, educate and empower your teen to make healthy choices.
- Give your teen the guidance, information and skills to be successful.
If you made poor sexual decisions when you were young that should not keep you from guiding your teen to healthier decisions. Many of today’s parents were teens when they began having sex. Now we know more about STDs, the limits of condom protections and the consequences of sex at an early age.
You cannot go everywhere with your teen, so it’s important for your teen to choose good friends. Get to know their friends and what they are doing. But even when your teen’s close friends are making healthy choices and avoiding sex, your teen will probably be in situations that are unexpected. So he or she needs to learn how to refuse. Let your teen know that you understand peer pressure and how strong it can be. Then help your teen think though and plan what he or she would do in a tough or uncomfortable situation.
Teens are sensitive to peer pressure. They do not want their peers to make fun of them or ridicule them. So when your teen is confronted by a situation that violates their values, comfort or safety, they should be prepared to say “no” firmly, but graciously, by following these four steps:
Say “No.” Not “maybe” or “later.” Teach your teen to set boundaries and be decisive. If your teen makes the decision not to have sex before being confronted by pressure to have sex, it will be easier to say “no” when the situation arises.
Follow with an “I” statement: “I plan to wait several years before I have sex.” Or "I’m not going to have sex until I marry.” Or “Sex isn’t part of my game plan right now.”
If the pressure continues, “Change.” Teach your teen to change the topic: “Did you see the game on TV last night?” Or change their conversation partner: “Julie is over there. I need to ask her something.” Or change the location: “I’m going back into the kitchen."
If these strategies do not help, your teen needs an “Exit” plan. Teens should leave a bad situation immediately. If your teen does not have a way home, you or some other trusted adult will need to pick him or her up. It is a good idea for you and your teen to have a pre-arranged code phrase that means "Come and pick me up. And hurry!”
Practice these steps with your teen. Make sure your teen remembers the steps by asking, “What would you do if…” Then listen to how your teen would handle risky situations. Help your teen to know how to show affection and caring without engaging in sexual behavior.
The truth is MOST teens are NOT having sex. Here are some of their reasons for waiting…
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: 1 out of 4 teens have a STD.
Depression: Sexually active teens are more likely to be depressed than virgins.
Suicide: Sexually active teens are more likely to attempt suicide than those who remain abstinent.
School Expulsion: Sexually active teens are 3 times more likely to be expelled from school than those who remain abstinent.
Dropping out of School: Sexually active teens are more likely to drop out of school than virgin teens. Teens who remain virgins through high school are twice as likely to graduate college than non-virgin teens.
Marital Stability: Girls who became sexually active as teens are less likely to have stable marriages in their 30s than virgin teens.
Pregnancy: More than half of the girls who begin sexual activity at age 15 will become pregnant out of wedlock.
National research is showing the interconnectedness of risk behaviors such as smoking, drug use and teen sex. For example, once a teen starts smoking, her or she is much more likely to experiment in other dangerous behaviors. Congress asked the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to develop a longitudinal study on teen health that would specifically address the behaviors that promote adolescent health or that put health at risk. This is the first national study that measures the environments of teenagers and how they are impacted by particular social settings. One of the major discoveries by the study is how critical the home environment is in shaping health outcomes. When teens feel connected, (Webster calls it a "bond" or "link") to their families and when parents are involved in their children's lives, teens are protected against emotional stress, violence, drug use and sexual involvement. Here is a list of key issues that work as protective factors for teens:
- Parents being present at key times during the day (morning, after school, dinner, bedtime)
- Teen satisfaction with parental relationships (feeling loved, wanted and paid attention to)
- Participating in family activities
- No access to cigarettes, alcohol or illegal drugs in the home
- Parental disapproval of adolescent sex
- Actively involved in school
- High parental expectations for education
Unfortunately, sexual activity does not occur in a vacuum. Other risk behaviors are often connected to teen sexual activity. Non-virginal boys and girls are significantly more likely than their virginal peers to engage in other activities considered risky. For example, non-virginal boys were at nearly four times the risk of virginal boys for smoking cigarettes, six times greater risk for ever having used alcohol and nearly 10 times greater risk for having ridden with a drug-using driver. Girls who are not virgins were seven times more likely to smoke and 10 times more likely to use marijuana. Non-virginal girls are even at a higher risk for suicide. Here are important other dangerous behaviors to think about:
- Alcohol use
- Drug use
- Dating someone older
- No parental monitoring
- Having parents who think adolescent sex is acceptable
First of all, it's NOT just a one time "talk." It is a constant subject that you will have to talk about with your kids throughout their entire life, just at different levels.
While "the talk" may have been the standard for a long time, parents today should realize that the teen culture has changed dramatically. If parents truly want to have an impact on their children's attitudes and behaviors regarding sex, it will take much more than an isolated conversation or two. Look for opportunities with your children. When you are watching TV with them, when you are in the car, when you see or hear something you agree with or disapprove of...speak up! Discuss setting physical limits and their plans to deal with sexual pressure well in advance of first dates. Although teens often roll their eyes and tell parents they already know, just remember – they ARE listening because research tells us that those they listen to the most are their PARENTS!