Parents and caregivers in Golden can become an ‘askable adult’ for sexual health

When you were young, did you feel comfortable asking the big questions about sexual health? Or, as a parent, do you know what you would say to your kids when they ask those tough ones?

A free workshop for guardians and parents is coming to Golden to help them find the words to talk to their children about sexuality and reproduction. Golden Women’s Resource Centre (GWRC) knows how difficult it could be, and is bringing the Askable Adult workshop to the community to help educate parents and guardians.

“We need to be able to talk more openly about sex, and have real conversations with you and talk about what’s healthy, and create a supportive environment around it,” says GWRC executive director and outreach coordinator Linley McLean. “This is something people find hard to talk about.”

The more informed people are, the more prepared they can be to take advantage of “teachable moments” with children.

“It’s just about becoming an askable adult so that kids are getting honest and true information from a trusted source,” McLean said.

In Golden, the Community Coordination for Safety in Relationships Committee has a youth sub committee of service providers and professionals like teachers, caregivers, RCMP, counsellors, and more who were interested in hosting free workshops about becoming an askable adult.

“The intention for our group when we were talking about it is just if we want youth to have health relationships, and healthy and positive experiences, these conversations need to happen for girls and boys,”McLean said.

In the dynamic workshop, participants will hear suggestions on what kind of sexual health information is needed at various ages, how to handle children’s questions, what kinds of words to use, how to discuss feelings, emotions, and family values, and exploring your own beliefs around sensitive topics.

The workshop is geared toward children and adolescents, to cover a wide range of ages.

McLean knows important questions about sexual health can come up at a young age. In her family, her four year old posed questions about her pregnancy with their second child, so it is about responding in a good and healthy way to questions of any type, at any age.

“This is something that people find hard to talk about, and it’s important to talk about it if we want this to be healthy for our youth moving forward,” McLean said. “Even people who feel like they’re really comfortable about it, there’s still that awkwardness in those conversations.”

A professional educator from Options For Sexual Health will facilitate the free workshop. Options is a provincial organization that focuses on current sexual and reproductive health care, information, and education from a feminist, sex-positive perspective.

The Askable Adult workshop is provided for free to parents, guardians, and caregivers on Monday, April 29 at the Seniors’ Centre, from 6 to 9 p.m. Another workshop will be available for service providers and professionals who work with youth on April 30.

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