Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Talking "the Talk"...

As someone who came into this field knowing very little about public health, I like to think I have learned quite a bit over the last five years and even have the talking points down pat, but having a son of my own, I have realized that it is much easier to talk the talk than it is to walk the walk.
What do I mean? Well, it is very easy to tell the public that parents are the number one influence on their children's decisions about love, sex and relationships. Very easy to tell parents they need to start conversations early and have them often. Very easy to tell parents to use teachable moments as a way to have ongoing conversations.

What's not so easy is when it's your own child and mine is only 2! But I am taking the advice of my colleagues and literally practicing what I preach.
Over the last couple of months I have come to realize that even for toddlers, teachable moments abound. In full disclosure, there is really no private time for mommy, so when Lucas follows me to the bathroom he has many questions - like why Mommy doesn't stand up or my favorite, "mommy, oh no, your penis is gone!!!" But, thanks to my job, I am equipped to use these moments to teach Lucas about body parts (so proud that he knows the real names) and how boys and girls are different, instead of shying away and avoiding his questions.
Believe me, I know the questions are going to get harder, but my hope is that they don't stop coming. I want Lucas to feel comfortable talking with me about tough topics and hopefully by "starting early" that will be our reality.

by:  Cayci Banks, Director of Communications,

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