Oikia Karapanou
     
    
Beyond Sex Education: 

Giving Our Children a Structure to Be Safe, Responsible and True to Themselves 



Families today are experiencing a new set of realities in all areas of life, including the development of sexuality in their children.  Parents are often stressed, tired and overextended and have difficulty meeting the challenges of daily family life.  Widespread attention to sex in the media is a symptom of our failure to find a positive place for sex in the culture and parents are left to deal with the aftermath of such exposure.  Help is on the way!  This gathering is intended to help parents find a strategy of relaying human development to their children in a healthy and comfortable way and to set clear guidelines of social interactions starting in early childhood and continuing through adolescence.


We will begin our weekend of discussion on Friday evening continuing the last year’s exploration of children and sexuality.  We will discuss how parents can present the issues of sexuality and relationships within the context of their value system in a way for children and adolescents to make sense of the confusing and contradictory messages they may receive.  


We can help them develop standards and skills that will enable them to do what they believe are right in the face of opposing pressure.  When the time comes for them to decide to be sexually expressive, they need a basic understanding of relationships, love, and sexual pleasure—and the potential emotional and physical consequences. 


The greatest gifts we can bestow on our children include a strong sense of self, the ability to think independently and creatively, and the confidence to explore the world.  This weekend will provide parents with the tools to assist their children to do so.


This theme will provide our body of work together.  As our conversation develops, Patricia will address the needs and concerns of the group participants.  Our conversation will take place in a warm, non-judgmental atmosphere.  Parents, teachers, and all others who are interested in the welfare of children will gain greater understanding in how to respond to children and adolescents.  If you did not participate in last year’s gathering, the continuation of the topic will still be beneficial for you.