Communication Skills Building for Parents of Preteen Girls

Hispanic FamilyThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) developed the Communication Skills Building program to help parents and caregivers improve communication skills with their preteen and teenage daughters. All interested PTA leaders and parents are invited to learn more and get trained on these new resources at one of our webinar events.

Research shows that girls who have strong and open lines of communication with their parents are more likely to finish school and less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol or become a teenage parent. Experts say important conversations on key prevention topics should begin as early as possible, at least between the ages of 9 and 11.

OWH led focus groups with African-American and Hispanic communities. The focus groups revealed a disconnect between parents’ and daughters’ understanding of each other’s behaviors and expectations. Parents said they needed help learning ways to speak with their daughters. They wanted to learn better ways to talk about hard topics like sex, drugs, and dating. Parents also asked for materials to help them, such as instructional videos and tip sheets.

With the aid of a Facilitator’s Guide, online videos, and a Tip Sheet for Parents, community leaders can now use Communication Skills Building to help educate parents in their communities. Leaders can download and review the Facilitator’s Guide and related tools for African-American and/or Hispanic communities, using them to lead sessions with parents to help practice better parenting skills. PTA leaders are welcome to use the Communication Skills Building tools with any other course designed for parents and caregivers in their communities.

Register now to join us for a webinar training event:

  • February 25, 1pm ET (materials targeting African-American communities)
  • February 26, 1pm ET (materials targeting Hispanic communities IN ENGLISH)
  • February 27, 1pm ET (materials targeting Hispanic communities IN SPANISH)

We look forward to sharing these new resources with parents and PTA leaders, like you.

Nancy C. Lee, M.D., is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health – Women’s Health and the Director of the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



  1. Heather B says:

    Start them when they’re young!! We, age appropriately, are teaching communication, gratitude (so hard), respect, making good choices already, as we face middle school/tween/preteen years. We’ve been reading a great new book that we are really excited about, so I just have to share. It’s called “MiddleSchool: The Inside Story- What Kids Tell Us, But Don’t Tell You,” by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna. It has interviews and feedback from middle schoolers, parents and teachers (and a little humor) to help us deal with tackling social media, technology, Internet, gaming, faith, purity, puberty, communication, independence, discipline and accountability, and deepening and strengthening positive, loving relationship. It’s so rich in valuable help as we face these transitional years with our kids. I think everyone with a middle schooler or who will have a middle schooler will benefit from it. I highly recommend it!

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