STRAIGHT TALK is a parenting program, developed as an adjunct to the Street Smart program, to help parents better understand and talk to their children about safe and unsafe behaviors in order to help encourage them to make good choices.STRAIGHT TALK focuses not only on improving communication with their children, but also on defining the parental role, skills development, and educating parents about high-risk behaviors in youth and the challenges facing their teens.

The STRAIGHT TALK model is a strength based, cognitive-behavioral approach utilizing cognitive techniques, behavioral assignments, and reality therapy principles. A humanistic approach is utilized as a foundation for developing a relationship with participants by providing a safe, supportive environment that is warm, non-judgmental, and without condescension. Based on the belief that parents are the experts on their own children (they know their children best), the program leader will partner with them, combining the parents expertise with the leader’s education and experience, to help parents formulate goals and plans that will work well specifically for them. Validation of parents will be offered freely and frequently, based on the belief that most all parents are doing the best they can with what they know and their current resources and have their child’s best interests at heart, but are hindered by a lack of understanding and skills that most are willing to learn if offered appropriately. Participants will be encouraged to connect with each other in their common pursuit of goals during the group session and to continue their support of each other when the program is over.

The STRAIGHT TALK program consists of eight one-hour sessions generally presented in two meetings (one 3-hour meeting mid-week and one 5-hour meeting on Saturday), concurrently with the Street Smart program.

Meeting 1

Session 1: Understanding Your Adolescent
Session 2: The Truth About Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol and Your Teen
Session 3: Safe Practices/Good Choices
Session 4: Parental Job Description

Meeting 2

Session 5: “Do as I say, not as I do” – Importance of Modeling
Session 6: Get Out of Your Own Way
Session 7: Straight Talk: Communicating effectively with your teen
Session 8: You have the POWER!
Session 9: Goal-setting and Future Planning


artto Help Parents Better Understand & Talk to their Teens