Talk soon. Talk often… Talk now!
Have you every worried about how to start ‘that talk’ with you child?
For many parents the thought of raising the subject of changing body parts, relationships and sexuality sends shivers down their spine. Often our own experience was one of embarrassed parents sharing minimal information and telling us to talk to our older siblings.
But help is at hand. Talk soon. Talk often is a new publication that is being distributed by Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, Sexual Health Promotion team. The book is free of charge, and is being offered to families in participating primary schools across Penrith, Hawkesbury, Lithgow and Blue Mountains Local Government areas.
The book was launched at Koolyangarra Children’s Centre at Mt Pleasant in November which was attended by a number of staff and families of the Centre who celebrated the launch and revised the glossy publication, which has been specifically designed to represent local people and populations.
Talk soon. Talk often is a supportive resource for families, encouraging the development of happy, healthy and confident young people. It aims to establish open and honest communication from early in childhood, with a focus on personal development and self-esteem. Talking soon, and talking often helps parents and carers avoid the need for that ‘one big talk’. Instead, the book provides tips on creating easy conversations about bodies, relationships, health and sexuality, as part of routine communication.
Bronwyn Leece, Senior Sexual Health Promotion Officer says the publication was originally produced by Western Australia Government following research with parents about want they want with regard to the sexuality education of their children.
“We have updated the original content to better reflect NSW populations, provide accurate referral information and reflect NSW state laws” Ms Leece says.
“Distribution commenced 3 months ago, and the interest from local schools has exceeded our expectation. All feedback so far has been very encouraging” says Mrs Kay Hyman, Local Health District Chief Executive. “A second print run will enable us to respond to the demand, and also be able to offer the resource to the Catholic and Independent school sectors”.
“Talk soon. Talk often” is a great companion to the PDHPE curriculum. It enables families to extend the classroom learning at home, without fear or awkwardness about language and challenging questions,” Ms Leece says.
If you are the parent of a primary school child, and interested in the book, first approach your child’s school principal to determine whether your school is participating in the resource roll-out, and if not you can email Bronwyn Leece or Louise Maher (details below):
Bronwyn Leece – Snr Health Promotion Officer
Louise Maher – Snr Health Promotion Officer
The publication is also in the process of being able to view digitally online so you can read it at home on your PC or tablet - watch this space!
NBMLHD Health Promotion, Sexual Health and Chief Executive at the book launch