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Parents Matter!

The Parents Matter! Program is 5-week, 12.5-hour series for caretakers and guardians of children in early adolescence (9-12 years). Parents Matter! offers strategies and tools to strengthen and maintain the parent-child relationship while discussing puberty, decision making, and reducing risky behaviors as kids grow older. Participants learn the truth about the pressures kids face, get practice answering tough questions, and gain tools to share their expectations and values with their child. Caregivers meet others dealing with the same issues at a community-based series, or a parent can host a group for 8-12 friends and family at a location of their choosing.

It works! Parents Matter! Program (PMP) is an evidenced based curriculum informed by numerous studies and research that consider the complex process parents navigate to guide, nurture, and protect their children from early to late adolescence. Currently a program of the Centers for Disease Control, Parents Matter! is community-level family prevention program designed to enhance protective parenting practices while promoting parent-child discussions about sexuality and sexual risk reduction ( For late elementary and middle school children, this includes talking about friendships, bullying, peer pressure, and answering children’s tough questions honestly. The average age a child is exposed to explicit online sexual content is 10 years old. PMP addresses this modern parenting issue and barriers to communication that include a lack of information, discomfort or embarrassment, and the desire for greater confidence and skills when discussing sexual matters. Parents Matter! focuses on parenting skills of parental monitoring, positive reinforcement, and general communication.



Upcoming series

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE JANUARY SESSION! WE ARE FULL! Please check back soon for the next class dates to be announced!

For questions or to host a Parents Matter series for friends and family, contact Emily Balcken at 828-698-0674 (ext. 143), or email



Girls in rural areas tend to become sexually active earlier than their urban counterparts by almost a year.  Check out this NPR article for more information