Parent Action for Healthy Kids® in the News
As Parent Action for Healthy Kids® is all about disseminating information, when the information is about our organization we're proud to pass that along too. The following articles have appeared in print or web-based publications. We appreciate their promoting our important cause.
The Talk Early & Talk Often© workshop is aimed at helping Michigan parents of middle and high school youth talk with their child about abstinence and sexuality. In the two hour workshop, parents will learn to recognize and use opportunities to open the door for conversation, listen and respond with greater confidence and skill, and feel comfortable seeking outside sources of information.
Parents are the primary educators of their child’s abstinence and sexuality education. Continued communication at home is vital in helping youth make healthy decisions and avoid serious consequences of pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
Registration is now open for all workshops across the state. Space is limited. The workshop is free, however parents must register in advance to attend.
2012-2013 Workshop Schedule:
|DATE||TIME||HOST||WORKSHOP LOCATION||CITY||TO REGISTER|
|11/5/2012||6:00‐8:00 PM||Southgate Community Schools||Gerish Middle School,
Southgate, MI 48195
|Southgate||Call 734‐246‐4600 x6213 or email email@example.com|
|11/8/2012||6:00‐8:00 PM||Catholic Charities West Michigan||United way of the
31 E. Clay,
Muskegon MI 49441
|Muskegon||Call 231‐726‐1214 or 231‐726‐1216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or
|11/12/2012||5:30‐7:30 PM||Family Health Care||White Cloud MS/HS, 555
E. Wilcox, White Cloud,
|White Cloud||Call 231‐689‐3268 or email
|11/13/2012||5:30‐7:30 PM||Decatur Public Schools||Decatur Middle School
|Decatur||Call 269‐423‐6902 or 269‐423‐6800 or email
|11/17/2012||11am‐1pm||Health Delivery Inc.||Warren Avenue
Presbyterian Church, 612
Millard St., Saginaw, MI
Call 989‐399‐5942 or email
|11/27/2012||6:00‐8:00 PM||District Health Department #2||Tawas Bay Beach Resort,
300 E. Bay Street (US‐23),
East Tawas, MI 48730
|Tawas||Call 989‐343‐1852 or email
|11/28/2012||6:00‐8:00 PM||District Health Department #2||Quality Inn Conference
Center, 2980 Cook Rd.,
West Branch, MI 48661
|West Branch||Call 989‐343‐1852 or email
|11/28/2012||6:00‐8:00 PM||Tuscola County Health Dept.||Huron Area Technical
Center, 1160 S. Van Dyke
Rd., Bad Axe, MI 48413
|Bad Axe||Call 989‐269‐3319 or email email@example.com|
|Planned Parenthood of West &
Northern Michigan‐Grand Rapids
|Wyoming Middle School,
Wyoming, MI 49519
|Wyoming||contact the education department at
Call Staci @616‐774‐7005
|12/4/2012||6:30 PM||Clawson Youth Assistance||Clawson Middle School
Media Center, 150 John
M. Street, Clawson, MI
|Clawson||Call Nancy Minckler @248 655 4401 or
|1/15/2013||6:30‐8:30 PM||Oxford‐Addison Youth Assistance||Oxford Community
Center, Village of Oxford
Township Offices on
|Oxford||Call 248 969‐5187 or email
|1/24/2013||6:00‐8:00 PM||Clintondale Community Schools||Clintondale High School,
35200 Little Mack,
Clinton Township, MI
|Clinton Township||Call 586‐791‐6301 ext 2016 or email
|1/29/2013||5:30‐7:30 PM||Fitzgerald High School||Fitzgerald High School
Ryan Rd., Warren, MI
|Warren||Call 586‐757‐7070 x 1285 or email
|2/9/2013||9:00‐11:00 AM||Great Lakes Academy||Great Lakes Academy
46312 Woodward Ave.
Pontiac, MI 48342
|Pontiac||Call 248‐334‐6434 or email
|3/5/2013||6:00‐8:00 PM||Planned Parenthood of Mid and South
|University Prep High
School, 600 Antoinette,
Detroit, MI 48202
|Detroit||Call 734‐926‐4841 or email
|3/21/2013||6:00‐8:00 PM||Jackson County Health Dept||Middle School at
Parkside, 2400 Fourth St.,
Jackson, MI 49203
|Jackson||Call 517‐768‐2150 or email
|Calhoun County Public Health Department||Calhoun Area Career
Center, 475 E. Roosevelt
Ave., Battle Creek, MI
|Battle Creek||Call 269‐969‐6365 or email
|Planned Parenthood of West &
School, 1155 Amity Ave.,
Muskegon MI 49442
|Muskegon||Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 231‐
|04/18 2013||6:30‐8:30 PM||Taylor Teen Health Center||The Friendship Center,
1119 Newburgh Road,
Westland, MI 48185
|Westland||Call 734‐287‐2076 extension 6 or email
|4/25/2013||6‐8 PM||EatonISD/Lansing School District||Everett High School,3900
Stabler St., Lansing, MI
|Lansing||Call Patricia Bednarz, 517‐755‐1047 or
|4/27/2013||10:00am‐ 12:00pm||Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan||Letts Community Center,
1220 West Kalamazoo
Street, Lansing, MI 48915
|Lansing||Call 734‐926‐4766 or email
|April 3_Detroit_TETO_Flyer.jpg||295.91 KB|
Parent Action for Healthy Kids is mourning the loss of those who were tragically killed during the Boston Marathon. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all those affected by this senseless tragedy.
2. Step back and let the authorities do their job. Do not jump to conclusions or create stories about the situation, or the victims.
3. Shut off the TV and radio as it serves no purpose to re-injure ourselves and our children over and over again with the details of the tragedy.
4. Explain to our children that our thoughts are powerful and the best thing we can do is breath in the suffering of all of those involved and then breath out our love and support.
5. Be happy and grateful for loved ones. This tragedy reminds us that the things we worry about pale in comparison to a tragedy of this magnitude.
As we talk about the role we all play in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), let’s state the obvious: Parents are important. We know that, and you know that. For many young people, parents are their primary sexual health educators. Research shows that youth want to hear from their parents about sex and relationships. However, we know this topic can be hard to discuss. In our work, we have heard many parents say they did not have good role models to show how these conversations can happen. Parents may feel embarrassed and uncomfortable, and their children are likely to feel the same. The good news is that each parent can be a good role model, regardless of his or her level of experience.
We know parents are nervous. They’re afraid that they don’t have the right answers to tricky questions like “When did you first have sex?” or “What is sex?” I’ll (Becky) never forget overhearing the first of many “birds and bees” talks that my sister and brother-in-law had with their son. He was about to start Family Life Education in school, so they wanted to prep him for what was to come. As I stood in the kitchen and listened to them talk about anatomy and how babies are made, I’ll never forget my nephew’s reaction: “Eww, that’s gross.” The best was when he connected the dots between his younger sister and how she came to be: “That means you had sex at least once after me. That’s so gross.” Just thinking about it makes me chuckle. But it also makes me really proud that my sister and brother-in-law opened the door to future conversations about sex and relationships, even though they were just as nervous as other parents. This was important because sex ed isn’t just one conversation; it’s a conversation that needs to happen over and over.
Even though many of the initial conversations between parents and their children concentrate on anatomy and puberty, future conversations should focus on unplanned pregnancy and STD prevention. Planting the seeds early with basic sexual health information will open the door to more complex discussions around decision making, relationships, negotiating condom use, birth control, and how to prevent STDs.
The recent Michigan Talk Early Talk Often (TETO) conference brought together more than 100 parents from across the state to gain knowledge and skills about raising a sexually healthy adolescent. The attendees said loud and clear that they want to continue to be informed about issues related to talking about sexual health with children and adolescents.
Some parents may not have all the facts or knowledge about sexual health topics, and information on these topics can change quickly. One parent who attended the conference commented in a follow-up email, “I’m relieved there’s accessible information available on preventing teen pregnancy. At the TETO parent conference though, I learned that STDs are on the rise in young people, which doesn’t seem to be as talked about. That concerns me, especially after hearing that some of the most common STDs either don’t have any immediate symptoms or may have symptoms that disappear but the STD is still there. Yikes! As a parent of two teens (15 and 17) that was important to know and then share with my daughters.”
Another parent remarked that parents often miss an important topic: STDs. “STD prevention is sadly not getting the attention from parents it deserves. Some parents fail to see it as something to communicate with their kids about. Some may think it will be covered in school or that they do not have the expertise themselves to properly inform their children. Even if parents do not have all of the detailed information about every STD, it is vital for them to communicate with their children about STDs. Talking about the different types of STDs and the different protection methods is part of our ‘protection’ job. We should not fall into the trap of using STD risks (or pictures) as a way to scare our children, in the hope it may prevent them from even having intimate relationships. Fear is not a good teacher. Why not go for the best teaching methods: Many conversations and putting know-how into practice,” said the parent of a 17-year-old and a 20-year-old.
I’m sure most people would agree that parents play a role in STD prevention. And there are resources to help parents who may struggle with how to begin the conversation and how to respond to questions that make them nervous. There are organizations to support parents and provide education on sexual health topics that are often changing and may be very different from when they grew up.
There’s no one way to have a sex education conversation with your children, but taking the time to sit down with them and begin the conversation is a step in the right direction. Don’t worry about how many times you stumble or say the wrong thing. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer to a question. Just tell them you don’t know and you’ll find the answer. No matter what (and even if they don’t act like it) your child will greatly appreciate the time and effort it took from you to discuss an often overlooked but important topic.
For more information on how to talk to children/teens about sex, visit these parent resources:
Month of the Young Child® Focus Weeks
Children’s early years are the foundation for growth and development. Children are constantly developing and learning. What they are learning depends on their social-emotional health, physical health, relationships, and daily interactions and experiences. The MOYC® 2013 Focus Weeks highlight a different facet of development. Use this information to make a difference in the life of a young child!
Week 1 April 1-6 Physical Development
Proper nutrition and rest, opportunities to explore in safe, supportive environments, sound health practices, and nurturing, responsive relationships help ensure children’s physical development. Children vary in their physical abilities at different ages; different parts of the body grow at different rates. Children need to move and be active in many different ways to reach their full physical development.
- Healthy babies should sleep on their backs, but have time to play on their tummies when they are awake.
- Well-balanced meals support growth and development.
- Exercise and fresh air enhance well-being.
- Safe, secure environments support exploration which helps develop muscles and motor skills.
Week 2 April 7 – 13 Social-Emotional Development
Social-emotional development strongly influences interpersonal relations, behavior and learning. The early childhood years are a critical period for the development of self-esteem and social skills. Early interactions and how we relate and respond, directly affect the way the brain is ‘wired’; children learn in the context of important relationships. Children with a healthy sense of self-esteem feel that the important adults in their lives love them, accept them, and would go out of their way to ensure their safety and well-being.
Respond lovingly – smile, hold, cuddle – to help build trusting relationships.
- Talk with and listen to children with genuine interest and respect.
- Focus on the positive; thank children for sharing, helping, cooperating.
- Set reasonable limits children can learn and depend on.
Week 3 April 14 – 20 Cognitive Development
Brain development research affirms what parents and teachers have known for years, 1) good prenatal care, 2) warm and loving attachments between young children and adults and 3) positive stimulation from the time of birth makes a difference in children’s development for a lifetime. Early experiences contribute significantly to the structure of the brain. The quality, quantity and consistency of stimulation determines how the brain connects and functions; this is true for cognitive and emotional development, and the effect is lifelong.
- Experience wires the brain; repetition strengthens the wiring.
- The sense of touch helps children to ground abstract ideas in concrete experiences.
- When children exercise, they build muscles and boost brainpower.
- Preschoolers need 9-10 hours of sleep each day. During sleep, the brain processes the day’s information, strengthening memories and rehearsing tasks.
Week 4 April 21 – 30 Language and Literacy
Communication is the vehicle for intellectual development, exchanging information, sharing feelings, and developing strong emotional bonds. Talking with children encouragingly about the things they are doing, thinking, and feeling enhances children’s language development and helps build confidence and independence. Reading aloud with children is an essential component to language development and is one of the most important activities for preparing them to succeed as readers.
- Make time to read with your child each and every day.
- Read it again, and again, and again – children delight in the familiar and knowing what comes next.
- Talk to and with your children so they can learn about the sounds, rhythms and purpose of language.
- Talk about everyday print, read signs and point out letters and words so children learn the importance of written communication.