Talk With Me

Research confirms what young people already know - what their parents have to say matters to teens. Parents play a powerful role in helping adolescents make healthy decisions. (Source: Office of Adolescent Health)

Parents can use these conversation starters as a way to ease into a conversation with their teenager.  Be patient.  Stay Connected. Conversations take place over time, and sometimes, in bits and pieces. 

Talk With Me: Conversation Starter Questions

The Adolescent Well Visit

It is important for teens to receive a well-visit each year. An adolescent well-visit looks at the whole person and includes discussion on many health related topics. Creating healthy behaviors early on will play an important role into adulthood. Teens need their parents and their health care provider to help them make this transition to adulthood. You are a team! Call your doctor and schedule (you and) your teen a well visit.

Do you want help finding a doctor, health insurance, or transportation to the doctor?

Your local Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Agency (MCAH) can help. Click here to find your local MCAH Agency or call: Healthy Families Line: 800-369-2229 or the TEEN Line: 800-443-8336

Resources for Parents

A Journey from Childhood to Adult Life

Bright Futures is a national health promotion initiative dedicated to the principle that every child deserves to be healthy and that optimal health involves a trusting relationship between the health professional, the child, the family, and the community as partners in health practice.

A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Teen Years

Kids Health provides families with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral issues that affect children and teens.

Healthy Children Teen Articles

Healthy Children from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides articles pertaining to dating & sex, fitness, nutrition, driving safety, school, and substance abuse in teens and young adults.

Helping Your Teenager Make Healthy Food Choices

Kids Health features a fitness & nutrition center to help parents keep their child healthy with the right foods and exercise.

What You Can Do About Bullying

StopBullying.gov provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.

Child and Adolescent Health and Development

The mission of American Academy for Children & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is to promote the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research, and to meet the professional needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists throughout their careers.

CDC’s Parent Portal

As a parent of a teen, you are beginning to see your child become an adult. These are critical years that will affect both their current and future health. The links on this website will help you learn how to guide your teen to become a healthy and productive adult.

Ten Tasks of Adolescent Development

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Raising Teens Project aims to make the research more accessible and useful to those who work with and on behalf of parents, adolescents, and families.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Adolescent Health

The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of adolescents to enable them to become healthy, productive adults.  They have resources on health topics including: reproductive health, mental health, physical health & nutrition, substance abuse, and healthy relationships.

Drugs and Your Kids

The NIDA for Teens website is a project of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Created for middle and high school students and their teachers, this website provides accurate and timely information for use in and out of the classroom.

Power to Decide

Teens consistently say that parents—not peers, not partners, not popular culture—most influence their decisions about relationships and sex. This section has some tips and scripts to help parents have an 18-year conversation with their kids about relationships, love, sex, and birth control.

Drug Free America

Provides parents and youth information about prevention, intervention, and treatment for drugs and alcohol.

On Guard Online

On Guard Online helps parents and teens learn why and how to be safe online.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Parenting Teens

Developed by a team of doctors, social workers, educators, volunteers, and teenagers, our mission is to help educate teens and their parents on important health issues.

Science of Parenting

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach helps carry Iowa State’s land-grant mission beyond campus.  They provide webinars, parenting newsletters, and blog-style communication ideas, resources and strategies for effective parenting.

Cleveland Clinic: For Parents

Learn how to navigate the adolescent years, including how to foster healthy conversations with your adolescent about peer pressure, body self-image, rape, and alcohol/drug abuse.

5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count

Healthy Choices Count. The initiative is a public-private partnership with the Healthiest State Initiative and the Iowa Department of Public Health.  The initiative promotes healthy eating and active living for children and families in our state.

Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow®  (TAG)

TAG is a national call to action to improve adolescent health in the United States. TAG calls upon organizations and individuals to prioritize activities that can support the health and healthy development of all of America's 42 million adolescents.

Physical Activity Ideas Before and After School

Ideas for parents to support your child’s school in providing physical activity before and after school.

Your Life Iowa

Your Life Iowa is a resource for youth, parents, school personnel, and all Iowans looking for help  and information about bullying and youth suicide prevention.


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