Parent Curriculum

Karen uses this curriculum for the large parent groups.  If the parents would like, it can be modified for use in the more intimate setting of the small groups or individual sessions.

First Meeting - Adolescent Sexuality Today: An Introduction

The first group sets the tone for the subsequent group meetings.  We begin by introducing ourselves and talking about what brought us to this group.  We discuss group rules, including issues of confidentiality, respect, and language.  The remainder of this first group meeting is devoted to discussing current trends in adolescent sex, sexuality, and romantic involvement.

The homework assignment for the second group meeting: Write a narrative of your most important memories about sex and sexuality from childhood through adolescence up to the time you assumed your adult life.  You may keep your writing private, or you may bring it to the next meeting to share if you are so inclined.

Second Meeting - What We Assume

In the second group meeting, we will talk about what kinds of assumptions we have about adolescents, particularly in reference to their sexual and romantic relationships.  Sometimes assumptions may be based on our own experiences, rather than our children's or our adolescent's experiences.  We will talk about sexual/romantic assumptions both in general terms and about the participants' individual children.

The homework assignment for the third group meeting: For each of your children, answer the following question: How would you like to see your child engaging (or not) romantically, physically, and emotionally, at the following ages: 11, 13, 16, 18, 21, and 30.  Begin at the age your child is currently if she/he is older than any of the listed ages.  Bring your answers to the next meeting for discussion.

Third Meeting - Our Hopes vs. Reality

In the third group meeting, parents will share and discuss their hopes about their children and teenagers' budding sexuality and romantic involvements.  We will relate these hopes to both our personal sexual histories and to our assumptions of adolescent sexuality.  After allowing these hopes to be spoken, we will talk about the reality of adolescent sexual behavior today, and how to guide teenagers along the path to responsible sexuality.  We will end with a discussion of how to best respond to our teenagers if they take a different path than we hope for them.

The homework for the fourth group meeting:  Initiate a conversation about sex, sexuality, or romantic relationships with your child or teenager about a topic that is currently relevant to you or your teenager.  Later, write a description of the conversation, including how you initiated it, how your child reacted to your initiation, what topics you talked about, and how the conversation was brought to a close.  Bring your description to the next meeting for discussion.

Fourth Meeting - Talking With and/or At Your Teenager: What To Do, What Not To Do

We will begin with everyone sharing their experience talking with their teenagers about sex.  Actually talking with your teenagers about sex can be an intimidating process.  Therefore, this final meeting is designed to be very practical in format.  Using the conversation descriptions as a starting point, Karen will work with parents to create a set of guidelines for language, usage, and approach for conversations with teenagers about sex.  We will take turns role-playing to get experience talking within those guidelines.