Great Conversations

PROGRAMS AND REGISTRATION

For over 25 years, Great Conversations has offered classes to preteens, teens and their families on puberty, sexuality, communication, decision-making and other important topics surrounding adolescents.

We believe that parents are their children’s prime sexuality resource and that sometimes families need and appreciate additional resources to initiate and maintain these important conversations about growing up.

Our down-to-earth approach combined with humor and clear factual information provided by health educators is focused on preteen and teen developmental space while honoring and respecting families’ traditions and beliefs.

programs-family-layingdown-380px

 

FOR GIRLS

programs-forgirls

REGISTER FOR WA and OR

REGISTER FOR CA

Who should sign up?

  • Recommended for girls ages 10-12 and a parent or trusted adult

Length of program?

  • There are 4 hours of content for both adult and preteen together.
    We have class options of:

    • a two part, two night session – typically one week apart
    • a one-day Sunday afternoon session with a short dinner break
    • a Friday evening/Saturday morning session at certain locations

How do we register?

  • Click the registration button that corresponds with the location where you will attend the class from the column on the right.

Program price?

What will we learn?

Part One:

For Girls: Part One from Great Conversations on Vimeo.

  • Puberty
    • What it is, how it happens, why it is interesting
    • How many girls experience puberty and also how it can be different (and still normal) for each person
  • Common puberty experiences
    • Breasts
    • Growth in height and weight
    • Body odor
    • New hair
    • Skin changes
    • Menstruation
  • Practical ideas and logistics of puberty
    • Pimples
    • Eating well for growing
    • Sleep
    • Periods
  • Asking questions and talking about growing up with each other
Part Two:

For Girls: Part Two from Great Conversations on Vimeo.

  • Understanding changing emotions and feelings
  • Feelings, Actions, Consequences – becoming a decision-maker
  • How the brain changes in adolescence
  • Boys’ puberty experience
  • Sexual intercourse and sexuality
  • Masturbation
  • Crushes and attractions
  • Reproduction and childbirth
  • Finding trusted resources to answer questions on growing up

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions. Of course, if you don’t find the information you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact Us

 

1. How do I know if my child is ready for your classes on puberty and sexuality?

Our classes are based on the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social developmental space of typical 10-12 year olds. We combine factual information, humor, role-play, and stories that we hope will help you to engage your preteen in understanding the puberty experience.

If your child – for whatever reason – would find it challenging to sit in an auditorium with about 100 people for a total of 4 hours of class time (with short breaks), or you are wondering if your child is going to feel comfortable with the content, you are welcome to contact Registration to discuss.

Additional helpful information can be found on the Resources page under the “recommended reading” tab or the well-respected resource for the determination of appropriate developmental content for the classes: Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Kindergarten-Grade 12, written by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

2. My son/daughter is younger (or older) than the recommended age of 10-12. Can he/she take the class?

The content of the curriculum and the humor and stories are geared for the 10-12 year old. However, we will gladly register a 9 or 13-year old child for the class at the parent’s request if they believe their child is developmentally appropriate for the class.

3. Can mothers attend the boys’ class? Can fathers attend the girls’ class?

Yes. The goal of our class is to promote further communication between children and their parents and trusted adult resources. Most often, the preteens are accompanied by an adult of the same gender. We recognize the diversity of families, and welcome parents, grandparents, guardians, and other close family members to our classes. Please contact us if you’d like to talk through.

4. Can both parents attend the class? Is there a fee for two adults to attend?

We encourage only one adult to accompany a child as it is ideal to keep the adult-to-child ratio in the class as equal as possible to make the dynamics for an interactive session relaxed and conversant. There is a fee for an additional adult.

5. Can I take multiple siblings to one class?

Yes. There is an additional fee for each additional same sex child, 10-12 years old. Because the class offers an opportunity to learn and discuss things together, some families have told us they wish they had come separately with each of their children. We invite each family to choose what works best for them.

6. How can I know if this class is a good match for my child with special needs?

Please give the Registration Line a call, and we will connect you with an instructor to discuss the special needs of your child. Registration Line is (206) 789-2306 or email greatconversations@parenttrust.org.

Most of our classes are in public spaces with wheelchair access – please let us know if there are special accommodations for access or seating. If you or your child needs a special listening device or sign language interpretation, we can arrange these ahead of time. See #10 for more details.

7. I want to sign up another family and/or a whole group of students (like a scout troop). How do I do that?

We encourage each family to sign up individually. The class is designed to promote the parent-child relationship rather than a group experience, and we ask children and the adult they came with to sit together.

8. If I attend week one of the class and then have to miss week two, can I make up the second class at a later date?

Yes. It is ideal to attend both classes in the series. If you find you can’t attend the second class, you are welcome to attend any future Class Two on the schedule. For classes in the Seattle, Puget Sound area, simply review the class schedule, select the Week Two class that is best for your family, then call the Registration Line to notify us of your selection at: (206) 789-2306 or email greatconversations@parenttrust.org. We will let the instructor know to expect your family.

9. I want to request an interpreter for language or hearing impairment. Can interpreting be provided?

In the greater Seattle area, Great Conversations offers an annual class with signed interpreters for families Please call 206-789-2306 or email greatconversations@parenttrust.org to request information on that class date, time, and location.

Interpreters for hearing impaired families and classes for Spanish speaking families in the San Francisco Bay Area are available through Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Please check information on their website at www.hearttoheart.lpch.org..

10. What if I have to transfer to a different class or cancel my registration?

You can cancel your registration or transfer to a different class for an additional fee.

  • If you contact us more than 3 business days before the first class – there is a $10 fee.
  • If it is 3 business days or less before the first class, you can cancel or transfer for a $20 fee.
  • If you miss a class you had registered for, you have up to 10 business days after the first class to reschedule or cancel. A $20 additional fee would apply.
  • If 10 business days have passed since the date of the first class, you would be charged another full registration price to reschedule.

Your should check that several spots are open in a class you’d like to transfer to before letting us know, to make sure there’s an opening when we get to your request.

If you attended the first class of a set but find you are unable to make the second, you can pick any future second class from the schedule regardless of its availability to attend – in that case, just let Registration know so we can expect your family on the rescheduled night.

11. My child’s puberty and/or gender experience is not typical to other kids who will be in class. Will the content of your program still be relevant to our family?

While we discuss the typical experience of puberty by gender, we often have families attend with endocrine, gender identity, and physical and cognitive differences. We believe that every child has a unique experience of growing up and learning about sexuality and their bodies. Our focus is both on what is unique and what is shared in the growing up process. Most families benefit from the experience of having these kinds of conversations together.

Reviews of this class:

The instructor did a wonderful job of including everyone, valuing all perspectives, helping people feel safe to share and used HUMOR! Fabulous. Thank you! Such a respectful, reassuring experience.
– Parent from “For Girls” class

I am SO grateful for your class, for opening up topics for discussion with my daughter I never thought possible but always wished for. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
– Parent from “For Girls” class

The humor and reverence for the subject was magical. What a beautiful combination of celebration, laughter, seriousness, and joy.
– Parent from “For Girls” class

Fun. Lots of accurate information with stories and CELEBRATION of parents and daughters – growing up together. It enables us to have more of our own conversations as we go along…feels like an INVITATION to talk.
– Parent from “For Girls” class

Informative, honest, direct communicated with humor and HEART.
– Parent from “For Girls” class

It was really helpful that they were so honest about things so I can be prepared. Is it ok to be a little nervous and unsearten [sic]?
– Student from “For Girls” class

The class made me feel normal and like I fit in.
– Student from “For Girls” class

The class is funny and makes odd things seem O.K.
– Student from “For Girls” class

I liked all of the funny explanations and stories and knowing that puberty happens to everybody. I also loved how funny the class was, and how it really was heart to heart.
– Student from “For Girls” class

I liked that she talked in a way that I understanded [sic], had fun, and learned.
– Student from “For Girls” class

FOR BOYS

programs-forboys

REGISTER FOR WA and OR

REGISTER FOR CA

Who should sign up?

  • Recommended for boys ages 10-12 and a parent or trusted adult

Length of program?

  • There are 4 hours of content for both adult and preteen together.
    We have class options of:

    • a two part, two night session – typically one week apart
    • a one-day Sunday afternoon session with a short dinner break
    • a Friday evening/Saturday morning session at certain locations

How do we register?

  • Click the registration button that corresponds with the location where you will attend the class from the column on the right.

Program price?

What will we learn?

Part One:

For Boys: Part One from Great Conversations on Vimeo.

  • Puberty Changes
    • How they happen
    • How one can be different and normal
    • Variations of onset, duration, and changes
    • Influences on puberty
    • Height and weight change, hair, skin, muscles, reproductive system, brain development
  • Common Concerns of Puberty
    • Body odor
    • Acne
    • Wet Dreams
    • Masturbation
    • Building Muscles
    • Circumcision
  • Myths Related to Growing Up
Part Two:

For Boys: Part Two from Great Conversations on Vimeo.

  • How girls’ puberty is different and the same
  • Sexual intercourse and sexuality
  • Reproduction and childbirth
  • Feelings, actions, consequences – how we make decisions
  • Talking to your child/parent
  • Finding trusted resources to answer questions on growing up

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions. Of course, if you don’t find the information you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact Us

1. How do I know if my child is ready for your classes on puberty and sexuality?

Our classes are based on the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social developmental space of typical 10-12 year olds. We combine factual information, humor, role-play, and stories that we hope will help you to engage your preteen in understanding the puberty experience.

If your child – for whatever reason – would find it challenging to sit in an auditorium with about 100 people for a total of 4 hours of class time (with short breaks), or you are wondering if your child is going to feel comfortable with the content, you are welcome to contact Registration to discuss.

Additional helpful information can be found on the Resources page under the “recommended reading” tab or the well-respected resource for the determination of appropriate developmental content for the classes: Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Kindergarten-Grade 12, written by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

2. My son/daughter is younger (or older) than the recommended age of 10-12. Can he/she take the class?

The content of the curriculum and the humor and stories are geared for the 10-12 year old. However, we will gladly register a 9 or 13-year old child for the class at the parent’s request if they believe their child is developmentally appropriate for the class.

3. Can mothers attend the boys’ class? Can fathers attend the girls’ class?

Yes. The goal of our class is to promote further communication between children and their parents and trusted adult resources. Most often, the preteens are accompanied by an adult of the same gender. We recognize the diversity of families, and welcome parents, grandparents, guardians, and other close family members to our classes. Please contact us if you’d like to talk through.

4. Can both parents attend the class? Is there a fee for two adults to attend?

We encourage only one adult to accompany a child as it is ideal to keep the adult-to-child ratio in the class as equal as possible to make the dynamics for an interactive session relaxed and conversant. There is a fee for an additional adult.

5. Can I take multiple siblings to one class?

Yes. There is an additional fee for each additional same sex child, 10-12 years old. Because the class offers an opportunity to learn and discuss things together, some families have told us they wish they had come separately with each of their children. We invite each family to choose what works best for them.

6. How can I know if this class is a good match for my child with special needs?

Please give the Registration Line a call, and we will connect you with an instructor to discuss the special needs of your child. Registration Line is (206) 789-2306 or email greatconversations@parenttrust.org.

Most of our classes are in public spaces with wheelchair access – please let us know if there are special accommodations for access or seating. If you or your child needs a special listening device or sign language interpretation, we can arrange these ahead of time. See #10 for more details.

7. I want to sign up another family and/or a whole group of students (like a scout troop). How do I do that?

We encourage each family to sign up individually. The class is designed to promote the parent-child relationship rather than a group experience, and we ask children and the adult they came with to sit together.

8. If I attend week one of the class and then have to miss week two, can I make up the second class at a later date?

Yes. It is ideal to attend both classes in the series. If you find you can’t attend the second class, you are welcome to attend any future Class Two on the schedule. For classes in the Seattle, Puget Sound area, simply review the class schedule, select the Week Two class that is best for your family, then call the Registration Line to notify us of your selection at: (206) 789-2306 or email greatconversations@parenttrust.org. We will let the instructor know to expect your family.

9. I want to request an interpreter for language or hearing impairment. Can interpreting be provided?

In the greater Seattle area, Great Conversations offers an annual class with signed interpreters for families Please call 206-789-2306 or email greatconversations@parenttrust.org to request information on that class date, time, and location.

Interpreters for hearing impaired families and classes for Spanish speaking families in the San Francisco Bay Area are available through Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Please check information on their website at www.hearttoheart.lpch.org..

10. What if I have to transfer to a different class or cancel my registration?

You can cancel your registration or transfer to a different class for an additional fee.

  • If you contact us more than 3 business days before the first class – there is a $10 fee.
  • If it is 3 business days or less before the first class, you can cancel or transfer for a $20 fee.
  • If you miss a class you had registered for, you have up to 10 business days after the first class to reschedule or cancel. A $20 additional fee would apply.
  • If 10 business days have passed since the date of the first class, you would be charged another full registration price to reschedule.

Your should check that several spots are open in a class you’d like to transfer to before letting us know, to make sure there’s an opening when we get to your request.

If you attended the first class of a set but find you are unable to make the second, you can pick any future second class from the schedule regardless of its availability to attend – in that case, just let Registration know so we can expect your family on the rescheduled night.

11. My child’s puberty and/or gender experience is not typical to other kids who will be in class. Will the content of your program still be relevant to our family?

While we discuss the typical experience of puberty by gender, we often have families attend who have experiences with endocrine conditions, gender identity situations, and physical and cognitive differences. We believe that every child has a unique experience of growing up and learning about sexuality and their bodies. Our focus is both on what is unique and what is shared in the growing up process. Most families benefit from the experience of having these kinds of conversations together.

Reviews of this class:

Everything was great! I especially liked how entertaining Dr. Rob was – he presented the information in a fun way. My son knew nothing coming into this class. I appreciate the way the information was presented. It really allowed for us to have open conversations!!!!
– Parent from “For Boys” class

Great, light-hearted presentation. This is the 3rd time I have been to this class and still enjoy.
– Parent from “For Boys” class

Handled really tough topics in a super friendly way. Also led to amazing conversations in the car afterward.
– Parent from “For Boys” class

Great class, great message, and well presented. Best part was overall presentation style. Focus on respect and normal was appreciated.

– Parent from “For Boys” class

As a single mother raising a son alone it was very helpful to help me understand what will happen and some of what I can expect. Thank you it was terrific.

– Parent from “For Boys” class

I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout the presentation.
– Student from “For Boys” class

Now I’m not so scared about growing up as I was before I came to class.
– Student from “For Boys” class

I liked learning about girls. Treat girls well.
– Student from “For Boys” class

Dr. Rob was funny and wanted the class to be more fun than awkward, and he was very good at explaining things thoroughly.
– Student from “For Boys” class

Now I know what’s going on.
– Student from “For Boys” class

Puberty happens to everyone.
– Student from “For Boys” class

FOR PARENTS

programs-forparents

We currently offer two talks for parents only, Mothers of Sons and Dads of Daughters, each twice yearly in both Seattle, WA, and in Palo Alto, CA. Scroll down to see details on each and click on the appropriate Register button to see dates, locations and to sign up.

We also offer several other talks to parents on various issues of importance on raising preteens and teens. Although we have some topics often requested ready to go, we can also tailor the topics to your needs. Scroll down to Other Talks to get more details on some of the topics we cover and click on the email link to let us know if you’re interested in having us come to your community.

“Mothers Of Sons”

Parent Talk for Mothers on the Joys and Challenges of Parenting Preteen and Teen Boys

REGISTER for WA and OR

REGISTER for CA


Moms! Does that boy you’re raising sometimes make you scratch your head and wonder? Rob Lehman, MD, co-creator of the extremely popular classes on puberty and growing up for preteens and their parents and co-author of the recently published, “Will Puberty Last My Whole Life: Real Answers to Real Questions Asked by Preteens on Body Changes, Sex, and Other Growing Up Stuff,” will present an evening discussion for mothers on parenting sons.

Dr. Lehman will discuss some of the unique issues facing boys as they mature, some of the things on their minds, the role of male and female role-models, and strategies in building communication between the preteen/teen boy and his mom. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions during and after the presentation.

This talk is generously sponsored by Seattle Children’s Hospital (or Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, CA) and is for parents/other adults ONLY (not with children). The talk is aimed at parents of preteens and teens.

“Dads of Daughters”

Parent Talk for Dads on the Unique Aspects of Parenting Preteen and Teen Girls

REGISTER for WA and OR

REGISTER for CA


Dads! There is nothing quite like being a dad of a daughter but sometimes as our girls get older, they become more of a mystery. Julie Metzger, RN, MN, will explore how dads can remain close to their daughters while balancing their hopes for their lives with their passions and priorities. Strategies to promote understanding and maintain a healthy communication will be explored.

Julie Metzger is co-creator of the extremely popular classes on puberty and growing up for preteens and their parents, and co-author of the book for preteens, “Will Puberty Last My Whole Life: Real Answers to Real Questions Asked by Preteens on Body Changes, Sex, and Other Growing Up Stuff.” and “This is Me – a Girl’s Journal”.

This talk is generously sponsored by Seattle Children’s Hospital (or Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, CA) and is for parents/other adults ONLY (not with children). The talk is aimed at parents of preteens and teens.

Other Talks

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To schedule a talk – email us at: info@greatconversations.com

The Great Conversations’ Team brings their wealth of experiences working with preteens and teens and families to parent groups through talks in schools and communities. We are happy to work with parent groups to meet the unique needs of your community and provide information on the latest research and strategies on parenting and caring for adolescents. To schedule a talk – email us at info@greatconversations.com

Talking to Your Kids about Growing Up: What Kids Want (and Need) to Know About Puberty, Sexuality and Healthy Relationships

Despite appearances, children want their parents to be their Number One resource for information on values, puberty and sex. This program is designed to help parents set the stage for open communication about the physical, social and emotional changes that accompany adolescence. Several strategies and ideas will be offered to assist parents in this endeavor.

How Big IS a Hormone? . . . And Other Important Questions on the Minds of Kids

Pre-teens and teens have a lot on their minds…how to survive the math test, the soccer game that afternoon, a friend’s loyalty, parent expectations, fear of being teased, a teacher’s comments…all while undergoing a complete body and brain transformation called puberty. This discussion will focus on the developmental stages of pre-teens, the questions and concerns that are on their minds, and strategies for the trusted adults who live and work alongside them.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll – and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night

As parents, it’s difficult to know how to communicate with your child about potentially dangerous choices. What are the right questions to ask? What information do they need? How can you assess the risk and create a partnership of trust and respect? A discussion of ideas, facts, and strategies for parents.

Staying Close While Standing Back: The Art and Science of Parenting Adolescents

One of the greatest balancing acts parents face in today’s world is knowing when to step forward to help and guide their children’s lives and when to let their child make independent decisions and choices for themselves. These moments can be as simple as what they wear that day to a decision to not attend college. How do families work together in a partnership of trust and respect as children and parents encounter new experiences? What are specific ways we can encourage our children to be resilient, accountable, and inter-dependent people in a fast-changing world?

The Young and the Restless: The Social Lives of our Children

It can be challenging in the moment to know how to help our children communicate effectively and build healthy relationships. These moments can be as simple as not getting invited to a birthday party or being teased at recess. This talk includes a review of latest research on social dynamics of children and strategies for kids and parents.

Great Conversations Between Parents and Teens: Top Ten Talks to Have Together

For parents of middle school and high school students – important conversations to consider having with teens to promote understanding, build a base of trust and partnership.

Great Conversations between Parents and Kids: Top Ten Talks to Have Together

For parents of elementary aged children – important conversations to consider having with your child to promote understanding, build a base of trust and partnership.

In the Mirror: How Our Children See Themselves

In a national study of children ages 8-10, half of the girls reported being unhappy with their size and nearly 40% of 4th graders have been on an occasional ‘diet.’ Peers provide input, media images are influential, but when asked, most children from toddler through teen years see their parents as their primary source of information about their bodies. How do we as parents respond when our children worry about “being fat” or “not pretty enough” or “being small?” What messages can we share with our children so that they can see themselves as the unique and wonderful beings that they are? Discussion on body image for children of all ages.

From Barbie to Bieber: Parenting Growing Girls

The years between eight and sixteen bring amazing changes to girls’ bodies, emotions and minds – changes that can leave a parent’s head spinning. They may be moody, wildly social, acutely self-conscious, all in the same afternoon! What happened to the easygoing kid you knew just a short while ago? Spend an evening with veteran parent educator Julie Metzger and you’ll gain valuable insights into the inner life of your growing girl.

An excerpt from “The Social Lives of Our Children:

Parent Talk: The Social Lives of Our Children from Great Conversations on Vimeo.

PROGRAMS

Parents answer the question, “What I hope for my child…”