Let’s talk about engaging parents in your SRA program.
Getting parents’ attention is hard! We all know that there are a million things vying for our attention and time. It can be a major challenge to engage parents in discussions regarding their child and sex. If you feel challenged in gaining an audience with parents in your community, you are not alone! However, as studies show repeatedly, parents are the biggest influencers of a teen’s decisions regarding sex, so we can’t give up!
Here are some practical ideas to help you facilitate discussions between parents/guardians and the youth in your programs.
Tips to engage parents BEFORE your program:
- Send the school a flyer notifying parents of the presentation and topics that will be discussed.
- Give opportunity for parents to review the curriculum at the school.
- Offer a way for parents to contact you to ask questions.
- Distribute our Sexual Risk Avoidance: What you Need to Knowdocument to clarify common questions
Tips to engage parents DURING your program:
- Create questions for the students to ask their parents each evening. This provides opportunity to increase parent-child connectedness and generate discussions regarding healthy relationships and sex.
- Send home flyers, brochures, and other informative resources to equip them with relevant and accurate information for discussions with their child.
- Assign homework sheets for students to review what they learn each day with their parents or guardian. Ask parents/guardians to sign the homework each evening (not as a requirement but as bonus credit).
Tips to engage parents AFTER your program:
- Send home resources for parents to continue discussions with their child. Let them know of sources with accurate data on STIs, teen pregnancy rates, and healthy relationship tips. Don’t forget your own program’s website and contact information!
- Partner with the school administration to ensure students and parents have a contact at the school for follow up questions and care.
- Share community resources that can continue to build upon the parent-child bonds to strengthen families.
As always, you know your community best. If these ideas won’t work for your students, tailor ideas that will foster parent-child connectedness. No step is too small in striving to strengthen family bonds.
Comment below to share your successes, challenges, and input on engaging parents before, during and after your program!