Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Novemer 2016

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24 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2016 talk as it will most likely unfold over time. "Parents should be prepared to guide their child over years of emo- tional development as they make sense of the world around them," she says. "Your child needs to know that, no matter what, you will stand by them even if you disagree with some of their choices. If you don't stand by them and shut that door, that door may be shut for good." MJ Hanley-Goff is a freelance writer who has had many talks with her kids in the family mini-van. She lives in Chester. For more information - The website of the American Acade- my of Pediatrics and its member pediatricians. Search "sex" to find a comprehensive, ages and stages guide on how to have "the talk" with your kids. - One of the most-frequented sites for health, behavior, and development in- formation for parents and teens. Search for "Questions about Sex." Cornell Cooperative Exten- sion of Orange County - For information about their Parent- ing Education Series, log onto or call 845-344-1234. "Let the child guide the conversa- tion with their questions and offer them age appropriate answers. That will make it easier for them to understand that their curiosity is a natural part of human emotional development," she adds. Advice for your adolescent As for the physical and emotional changes that arise in adolescence, Dr. Agricola suggests that this discussion should take place before puberty. When puberty starts in early ado- lescence, teens may become insecure and preoccupied with their changing body. Sexual curiosity and explora- tion is common. But despite their physical development, a teenager's rational decision making capacity is not fully developed. By providing guidance to their teens, parents can foster self-acceptance and shape the values that are carried into adult- hood. "We live in a culture that sees sexual activity as a recreational activity," says Virginia M. Brown, a licensed social worker and family educator from Westtown - adding that parents have the opportunity to counter what their kids learn on the school bus and in the cafeteria. Brown notes that parents have an excellent opportunity to reinforce healthy values during the years that schools cover the topic. "Fifth grade is development, sixth is reproduction, seventh and eighth cover sexual transmitted diseases and contraception. Be in touch with your child's teacher to find out when this is being discussed, then the door has been opened for continued discus- sions, and to answer anything that confuses them," she says. Variano says that talking about the birds and bees with your chil- dren should not happen in a single "When talking with children and teens, talk openly." DR. CATHERINE AGRICOLA Health Quest Medical Practice in Kingston 'THE TALK' (Continued from Page 23) FREE online event hosted by Hudson Valley Parent Register now Featuring parenting experts sharing lessons via online video so you can watch what you want, when you want

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