Parents make a difference!
If you think it’s a waste of time to discuss your views on sex with your teenager, think again! Years of research have proven that teens take their parents’ values to heart. In their research on the contributing influences that lead to positive behavior in adolescents, Child Trends, a well-respected, independent research center states, “Parent-child interactions and bonding greatly influence adolescents’ choices and attitudes”. Further, fostering a close relationship with your child can have a positive effect on a variety of social and emotional elements including better exercise, nutritional habits, social competency, citizenship and teenage pregnancy.1
Over 9 million teens contract an STI every year; yet more than 60% of high school students anonymously report they are not having sex. In a 2016 national survey called, Teens Speak Out, young people report that what they want from their Health classes is authentic information about healthy relationships2. 85% of American adults surveyed also say that it is important for teens to be encouraged to avoid sex because of the serious health risks3. Unfiltered-Truth addresses these topics.
The primary emphasis of the REAL Essentials curriculum is to help teens navigate relationships, educate them on sexual risk and give them practical skills for life. If your teen has been in one of our classes, you are encouraged to talk with them about what they heard. Students will receive handouts and Parent Connect work sheets every day in class. Use these as conversation starters. To learn more about our curriculum, visit the Teacher Page and click here.
Actions parents can take to improve communication with their teens4
- Stay informed about where your teen is getting information and whether it is factual and medically accurate
- Communicate your own expectations about relationships and sex
- Identify unique opportunities to have conversations about risky behaviors
- Have frequent conversations instead of just one
- Be relaxed and open. Encourage your teen to ask questions and be prepared to give honest answers. It’s OK if you don’t have all the answers. Tell them you’ll research and get back to them.
- Avoid overreacting. Value their opinion even if it’s different from yours.
FAMILIES TALKING TOGETHER – a second support service
Families Talking Together (FTT) is a family-based program where a professional meets one on one with a parent(s) of young teens between the ages of 11 and 14. FTT is designed to support effective parent-adolescent communication to delay teens from having sex too early. Offered in one or two 40 minute sessions, parents will receive evidence-based strategies and tips on how to talk to your teens with confidence. Use the contact button above to request more information about this free resource.
- (ED472358 – Building a Better Teenager: A Summary of “What Works” in Adolescent Development. American Teens Series. Child Trends Research Brief., 2002-Nov)
- Report – Teens Speak Out
- Americans Speak Out II
- Talking with your teens about sex: Going Beyond “the Talk”, Nov.2014 CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health
Complete the FTT Parent Feedback Survey