Talking Tips: 

Starting conversations with your teen or older youth might be difficult and not always successful. Start by asking small questions and letting them take the lead from there, if they want to. Most importantly, don’t give up just because you think you won’t get a response. You just might ask the right question at the right time. 

  • Ask about school, extracurricular activities, sports, work, hobbies or any other part of their life where they may be interacting with other kids or adults. Ask about (and show interest in) their lives online and in real life.
  • Ask them about their thoughts and how they feel about what they’re seeing and hearing in school, pop culture or online.
  • Teach them to trust their gut when something doesn’t feel safe or comfortable.
  • When discussing relationships and boundaries, use real-life examples of children and adults they know to help them connect the information to their lives. This lets them know that anyone can cross a boundary and they have a right to say, ‘no.’
  • Help them identify safe adults in their lives that they can reach out to if they need help or support.
  • Teach them about healthy sexual development and help demystify sexual topics. It’s better for them to learn from you than their peers.

Resources for Older Youth & Teens To use: