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D.C. Parent Program Lets 'Wise Elders' Pass On Advice

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The D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy says you don't have to go it alone, and their Wise Elders program is designed to give new parents the voice of experience.

The idea behind Wise Elders is simple: Allow parents facing the challenges of adolescence a chance to hear from another parent, one who has seen it all before.

"When my daughter was growing up, I didn't have all the answers. My mom certainly had more answers than I did," Eleanor Lauderdale says.

With a 29-year-old daughter who's now a doctor, Lauderdale is certainly qualified to be a Wise Elder, but remembers how much she benefited from her own mother's advice.

Mother of two, Kimberly Smith is looking for the same type of guidance.

"I want to know some of the things that work well and some of the things that don't, so I don't take that road," Smith says.

Wise Elders aims to inspire parents to build a trusting relationship with their kids, and while that might not seem like a direct link to pregnancy prevention, program organizers say you would be amazed at what a difference it makes.

"Most teens want to talk to their own parents about love, sex and relationships so we think it is a really great idea to involve parents every step of the way," says Executive Director Brenda Rhodes Miller.

Wise Elders will meet once a month for the foreseeable future.

CORRECTION: The story originally stated that the executive director for the Wise Elders program was Brenda Rhodes Smith. Her name is Brenda Rhodes Miller. Also, the byline previously attributed this story to Patrick Madden. It was reported by Courtney Collins.


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