Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Novemer 2016

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22 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2016 By MJ HANLEY-GOFF T he Talk. It's probably one of the hard- est discussions we have to have with our kids, but also one of the most crucial. As Denyse A. Variano of Orange County's Cornell Cooperative Exten- sion says, "If you don't, who will?" As the Family and Consumer Sciences Issue Leader at Cornell, Variano and her staff provide a va- riety of parenting programs to help parents parent. In their "Preparing for the Teen Years" program, Varia- no explains that one of the challeng- es of the program is getting parents comfortable about giving the talk. "We ask the parents to reflect on what they were like when they were young, what pressures they had, what worried them, what was hard to discuss with their parents," she says. By this approach, parents remember how vulnerable they were all those years ago, and it makes for a more productive discussion. One question that seems to come up frequently is "What if my child asks what I did?" "There are a few ways to answer that," she says. "You can be honest, or give a little bit of information, or suggest that in everyone's life, there are some things that are private." Sharing is caring Eileen Collopy of Central Val- ley remembers when she and her husband, Craig, began introducing Let's chat about sex: Having 'The Talk' with your kids

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