Parents and Caregivers:
Talking with Your Teen
“How do I start the Talk?”
Will your teen come to you with questions about sex? Learn ways to help facilitate conversation with your teen about sex.
Teens report that the people they most want to hear from about birth control, relationships and sex is their parents!
Below we have listed some publications and conversation aides for you and your teen. Remember, this is not a one time conversation and is most effective when it takes place on a frequent (and regular) basis. At EyesOpenIowa we like to say, “Start the Talk and then keep the Conversation Going”. The most important thing a parent or caregiver can do is listen! Be supportive and encourage your teen to come to you with any questions or concerns, even the tough stuff! Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Use teachable moments
- Be present and give your teen your full attention
- Provide factual information
- Stress safety and love
EyesOpenIowa knows there are many valuable relationships in a teen’s life. Sometimes a grandparent or other non-parental relative has taken on the responsibility of raising a child. In Iowa, approximately 40,508 children are living with relatives. Many other grandparents and relatives are informally helping to raise a child.
EOI applauds your dedication and commitment to your family. And we are here to help you be ready to have “the talk” – and “conversations” – with the young person in your life.
EOI Caregiving Guides:
Publications and Videos:
“Big Status Update” PSA provided by EyesOpenIowa.
“Jeremy’s Story” PSA provided by EyesOpenIowa.
Amaze Videos-multi-topic animated videos related to sex ed and parent/youth discussion guides.
Future. The Alternative F Word. PSAs provided by Children and Family Urban Movement
“Talking to Your Kids About, Ahem, You Know What (S.E.X.)” by Melissa Havard, MA.
Here are some conversation helpers for “The Talk”:
How well do you know your parents? Take this quiz and see what your teen knows about you!
How well do you know your son/daughter? Take this quiz for fun conversation starters with your teen.
Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Kids. SAMHSA’s resource guide.
Trans Lifeline is a non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. We run a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people.
US: (877) 565-8860 * Canada: (877) 330-6366/ www.translifeline.org
The Trevor Lifeline has trained counselors available 24/7 to help LGBTQ youth who are in crisis, feeling suicidal, or need a safe place to talk.
(866) 488-7386/ www.thetrevorproject.org
The GLBT National Help Center provides telephone and email peer-counseling.
(888) 843-4564/ www.glbtnationalhelpcenter.org
The GLBT National Youth TALKLINE provides telephone and email peer-counseling specifically for younger people (25 years and under) in crisis.
(800) 246-7743/ www.glnh.org/talkline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone is suicidal crisis.
(800) 784-2433 * (800) 273-8255/ www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
*My Child Viewed Porn – Now What!? Blog post by Elizabeth Schroeder Ed. D, M.S.W.
Promoting Resilience Resources
Resilience for Teens This resource, put together by the American Psychological Association, gives tips to parents of adolescents on building resilience.
The 7 Cs of Resilience This resource explains the seven Cs of resilience: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control and how to assess whether you are using these principles in raising your child.
Reactions to a Traumatic Event by Age Group This resource, created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, gives examples of how children and adolescents may react to trauma at different ages and offers suggestions on how to support a child that has experienced trauma.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network Resources for Families and Caregivers This website links to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s library of resources developed for families and caregivers. From here, you can click to see their resources and search for different resources using keywords.
Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma This resource provides information on symptoms of trauma, reaction to trauma, and tips on parenting children and adolescents who have experienced trauma at different age levels.
Coping with Stress After a Traumatic Event Resource This resource explains stress responses to traumatic events and offers suggestions for coping and how to know when professional help is needed.
Trauma and Child Development Resources
Harvard University Center on the Developing Child provides resources explaining trauma, toxic stress, and their effects on child development. The website provides both articles and videos explaining how trauma impacts neurological development.
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