Tackling The Taboo Talk
By Monica Cobis, M.Ed.,
It hit me like a ton of bricks. One minute I was holding my sweet little boy in my arms and the next he was a tween. And then he began to ask me questions about puberty. I thought, “You are only 12. Twelve. How did that happen? At 12, I was still running around in the backyard chasing fireflies as my parents smoked cigarettes and drank their bourbon and Tab, telling us to run to the fence and back as if it was a competitive track event.”
As I ponder my past, my son waits patiently. Maybe it is the realization that I am much older than I thought, or maybe I am just wondering how the heck I am going to answer his questions. I eloquently change the subject. But he insistently says, “I really want to know.” I begin a dissertation on things I don’t fully understand hoping that he will lose interest, but to no avail. As a single mom of a twelve year old boy, I must push past my limited knowledge and explain the birds and the bees, all the while thinking, “There must be a better way!”
There is. “The Talk” is a program offered for tweens and their parents by Right from the Start, a division of the Pastoral Institute. The program is fun, humorous, and right on. It is a two-hour, frank discussion on body changes and what is going on in the child’s brain during puberty. Did I mention there are separate classes for boys and girls? Humor, role play, stories, and games give tools for how to handle awkward situations.
“The Talk” aims to help parents fulfill their roles as the primary educators of their tweens and to facilitate further discussion. During the class, parents can relax, relate and allow the facilitator to create a dialogue of candor, honesty, and openness and to dispel the myths that abound in regard to puberty.
The Talk is a resource for you as a parent. During the class, conversations will be launched to answer the questions that parents do not feel comfortable discussing. Yes! Get the facts straight now so that your kids can make healthy decisions during the natural developmental changes happening to them.
I told my son about the class. “I don’t want to go, please don’t make me,” he says. “It’s not for you son. It’s for me,” I reply. Exasperated, my son says, “Please Mom, I don’t want to go. It is so embarrassing.” “Ok”, I reply. “I will just make you wear the clown suit so that you do not feel so out of place.” Intensified, he shouts, “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!” I laugh and firmly say, “We’re going.”
Sound familiar? Hope to see you there!
Classes are offered to the community on the following dates and times.
- April 5 – Girl Talk, 3-5 p.m.
- April 7 – Guy Talk, 3-5 p.m.
Location: Columbus Regional Conference Center
Cost: $40 for one child/one parent
Advanced registration online is required www.pastoralinstitute.org.
Classes can also be offered through churches and other community groups. To schedule a class, call Monica at 706-507-0895 ext. 1250.
Monica Cobis, M.Ed., has 30 years of experience working in the corporate,non-profit, government and educational arenas. As an awarded instructor, she integrates experiential education into every aspect of the curriculum. She designed “The Talk” series that educates tweens on the emotional, social and spiritual changes one undergoes during puberty. She currently teaches in middle schools and the community. She is the mom of a tween and is the Infusion Director for teen servant leaders at Chatthoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry.