Sex is one of the most difficult topics a parent can bring up with an adolescent, but a new study finds that parents who are taught specific communication skills can more readily tackle these conversations and sustain them over time.
The study evaluated a parenting program called Talking Parents, Healthy Teens.
The worksite-based program teaches parents how to get past their own inhibitions and fears of making a mistake, and how to maneuver around classic teenage shrugs and “uh huh” responses.
Targeting parents of sixth to tenth graders, it is the first program of its kind to be rigorously developed and evaluated.
Parents randomized to the program attended eight weekly lunch-hour sessions, in groups of about 15.
Through role-playing and other interactive exercises, they learned techniques for starting and sustaining conversations on sensitive sex-related topics, including recognizing teaching opportunities in everyday situations, using creative opening lines, and identifying their teenage children’s conversational roadblocks.
Through the approach of “active listening,” parents were taught to listen to their children without interrupting or starting to lecture.
They also learned how to teach their children decision-making skills, assertiveness skills, and to have confidence in interacting with peers.
Read more information at ScienceDaily