One of the most important things for a young person to know when going through tough times is that there is always help available. Asking for help can make a significant difference to how they are feeling.

Parents are an important source of help; however, many young people can find communicating with their parents difficult. Knowing practical ways to communicate more effectively with parents can help a young person reach out during times of change or challenge.

In the video clip, young people share their stories about the roles their parents have played in their life. It also examines some of the challenges of meeting parent expectations, of not having a parent around for support, and of sharing a problem with a parent.

Year level



30 minutes


In class activity

SEL Competencies

Social awareness

Responsible decision-making


Relationship skills

Learning intention

Recognise the role parents play in help-seeking, and understand ways to manage challenging relationships with parents.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • recognise the important role parents play in help-seeking.

  • understand the impact challenging relationships with parents can have on their life.

  • identify practical strategies that can be used to manage challenging relationships with their parents.

  • recognise how to use Active Listening skills during communication with parents.

Materials needed

  • Parents

  • 5 ways to get your parents to really listen to you

Mapped to

  • This resource is not mapped to a curriculum.

Activity 1

Conversation role-play 

15 minutes

One of the most effective ways to communicate with a parent is by using Active Listening. It’s a great technique to use to show the other person that you are listening to them and are interested in their point of view. For more information about Active Listening, check out this article.

Working with a partner

  1. Ask the students to identify a common challenge they or a friend has experienced recently with a parent – for example, staying out late, not meeting the parent’s expectations, fighting.

  2. Working with a partner, role play the conversation they would have in negotiating this challenge using Active Listening skills. One student will play the role of the young person, and the other student will play the parent.

Working as a class group

  1. Invite the students to share with the class group how they found this experience. Discuss some helpful strategies to use when having tricky conversations with a parent.


Parents are an important source of help; however, it’s often hard for a young person to know how to communicate with their parent. There are lots of helpful hints on how to communicate more effectively with parents, which increases the likelihood that the young person will reach out to parents during tough times.


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