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Preparing Youth for Adulthood

 
Community Partners

(New York State)

Parent-child communication workshops may be offered by local mental health or substance abuse services as well as community/cultural centers or faith-based organizations.

Community Dispute Resolutions Centers (CDRC)

The CDRC in your county may offer Family Talk programs and train youth as mediators.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension

Cooperative Extension typically offers parent education and parent-child activities.

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Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood affiliates may provide mother-daughter and father-son retreats or family communication workshops.

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Visit the ACT Youth Network

Parent-Child Communication

Parent-Child CommunicationDuring adolescence, as teens naturally seek greater independence, it can be difficult to maintain connection between parent/caregiver and child. However, meeting this challenge offers real rewards, including a safer and healthier passage through the teen years. Parents and caregivers often underestimate their influence with their adolescent children. When it comes to decisions about sex, families can make all the difference. Teens who feel a sense of connection to and support from their parents, and teens who can talk to their parents about sex and contraception, are less likely to engage in certain risky sexual behaviors [1].

Positive family communication helps teens develop the values, security, and sense of worth that can lead to healthy decision making. Communication skills don't come naturally or easily to all of us, and talking about sex may be especially fraught. Program providers can help family members build their communication skills, and can also help parents and caregivers learn how to communicate positively, clearly, and accurately about sex.

Curricula and Resources

Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP)
A project of ETR Associates, ReCAPP summarizes available research and offers activities designed to further parent-child connectedness. Advocates for Youth
Advocates for Youth offers a variety of resources on parent-child communication: Keep Connected
Developed by the Search Institute, Keep Connected is a seven-session workshop series for parents and their middle school children. The program gives parents and youth an opportunity to learn keys to positive family relationships and to try new ways to stay connected even as kids grow up and become more independent. A planning guide (PDF) is available online for schools, organizations, and networks that work with families, teens, and pre-teens between the ages of 10 and 14. Training is required for program delivery.

Raising Healthy Kids: Families Talk about Sexual Health
Words Can Work videos and discussion guides prepare parents to talk about sex with young children and adolescents.

Families Talking Together
Offered by the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health, this evidence-based curriculum is designed to help Latino parents talk with their children about unintended pregnancy.

Parent-Adolescent Communication about Sex in Latino Families
A publication of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, this guide highlights research findings for practitioners, and provides parent communication tips in both English and Spanish.

Communication Skills Building for Parents of Preteen Girls
This parent education program from the Office on Women's Health focuses on families of early adolescent girls. Resources include a facilitator's guide, online videos, and a tip sheet for parents.

Resources for Parents

Talking with Teens
This resource from the Office of Adolescent Health seeks to give parents and other caring adults the knowledge and skills they need to begin and maintain two-way communication with adolescents about sex, sexuality, and relationships.

TAG for Families
Through the Think, Act, Grow (TAG) initiative, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health offers action steps and resources for families looking to support their adolescents' health and development.

Parent Further: Strengthen Relationships
This Search Institute website for parents explores five relationship strategies: express care, challenge growth, provide support, share power, and expand possibilities.

Talk with Your Kids
This national initiative by Children Now encourages parents to talk with their children earlier and more often about tough issues like sex, HIV/AIDS, violence, alcohol, and drug abuse.

National Campaign Parent Portal
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy offers tips, tools, and research for parents.

There's No Place Like Home...for Sex Education
To help parents provide age-appropriate, accurate sex education, Advocates for Youth provides newsletters for parents of children at each grade level.

KidsHealth
Nemours Foundation offers resources and guidance to parents on positive parenting, growth and development, and sexual development.

PFLAG: Stay Close
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) encourages families and friends to stay close to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in their lives.

Resources for Young People

Sex, Etc.: Communication Tool
This tool gives young people ideas for starting conversations about sex, pregnancy, sexual health, and sexuality with parents and other important people in their lives.

Teens Health: Talking to Your Parents - or Other Adults
Nemours Foundation provides guidance and tips for young people.

Planned Parenthood: For Teens
Planned Parenthood's web pages for teens cover a range of topics, including Talking with Your Parents about Sex.

References

[1]   Kirby, D. & Lepore, B. A. (2007, November). Sexual risk and protective factors, 6-7. National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
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