These classes have been designed to help parents and caregivers become more comfortable talking with their children about sexual and reproductive health. DMPS conducts human growth & development education at various times during the K-12 course of study. It is our intention to give parents the knowledge and the tools to begin having conversations about these topics and strengthen the partnership between families and schools for this crucial part of their children’s lives. *This three-course series can be attended in full or as individual sessions ($10 each night). A discount is applied if participants enroll in all three sessions.
Each session may be tailored to the audience, depending upon the needs of the group. All three sessions will be appropriate for parents of any school age children. Each session will follow a similar format of introductory activity, large group learning, small group discussion, and a Q&A period. Planned Parenthood Health Educator Beth Mensing has worked with students at all grade levels throughout the district. She has been trained in a variety of evidence-informed curricula and brings 7 years of experience to her classroom. Her background includes working with youth development through 4-H programming and group facilitation for all ages as an employee of Iowa State University Extension.
Session 1 (April 1): Circles of Sexuality & Sexuality Throughout the Lifespan
The first session will focus on holistic sexuality. We often only think of physical behaviors and reproductive health when we think of the word sexuality. Participants will discuss a broader definition of the word and all it encompasses. We also will consider a timeline of events as they may happen in one’s life and question what happens when. Participants hopefully will walk away with a better understanding of how sexuality has a greater impact throughout our lives and beyond behavior.
Session 2 (April 8): How to Answer a Child’s Questions
The second session will look at childhood sexual development. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of ages and stages and “what to expect when” from their children. Many adults are concerned with how to answer their children’s questions and how much information to give in their answers. Participants will be given the opportunity to get help answering even the toughest of questions and become more confident when their child asks again.
Session 3 (April 15): Teaching Consent & Healthy Relationships at All Ages
The final session will discuss how adults can teach consent and healthy relationships at any age. From putting on coats to hugging family members goodbye, we can empower children at an early age to standup for their bodies and their personal limits. Participants will receive tools to have meaningful conversations with their children to build positive relationship and communication skills. By having these conversations throughout our childhood, we hope to shift towards a society of understanding consent, having clear boundaries, and encouraging healthy relationships.