PA Start Resource Library

Visit the following websites for more information on ways to Start Making The Difference:

“How do I prevent my child from using drugs?”
Start with the facts.

  • Partnership for Drug Free Kids: Where Families Find Answers
    The Partnership for Drug Free Kids provides support and guidance to families struggling with their son’s or daughter’s substance use.
  • Mayo Clinic: Help Your Teen Avoid Drugs
    Teen drug abuse can have a major impact on your child’s life. Find out how to help your teen make healthy choices and avoid using drugs.
  • Communities that Care: Risk and Protective Factors
    Risk factors are those elements in a young person’s environment that increase the likelihood of them engaging in health compromising behaviors. Protective factors buffer against risk in otherwise adverse circumstances by either reducing the impact of risk, or changing the way a child or young person responds to it.
  • EPISCenter: Opioid Misuse Prevention Resources for Parents
    Parents may find the following resources especially helpful in learning more about the epidemic, how to talk about it with their children, and what they can do to prevent opioid abuse.
  • Surgeon General: Talk to your Teen about Vaping & E-Cigarettes – A Tip Sheet for Parents
    Information on how to talk to your teen about E-Cigarettes and Vaping. Find out how to be prepared before the talk, how to start the conversation, and how to answer their questions.

“How do I stay connected during the teen years?”
Start with a first step.

  • Psychology Today: 10 Ways to Stay Connected with your Adolescent
    10 suggestions for staying connected with their changing teenager as adolescence grows them apart, which it is meant to do.
  • Aha! Staying Connected to Your Teen
    In the United States, we often make a cultural presumption that teens and young adults who are close to their parents are less independent in their lives. That’s not true, says recent research. In fact, young adults who feel they can share honestly with their parents say they feel free to make independent decisions and don’t feel the need to rebel against their parents’ expectations.

“How do I guide my child to make positive decisions?”
Start with a conversation.

  • US Department of Health and Human Services: Conversation Tools for Parents
    Everyday situations can offer a natural way to ease into a conversation with a teen. That can be a lot easier than telling your teen, “We need to talk.” And better received too. Remember, your goal is not to deliver a lecture or scare either one of you. Your goal is to have a conversation. And that conversation takes place over time, sometimes in bits and pieces.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Positive Parenting Tips
    As a parent you give your children a good start in life—you nurture, protect and guide them. Parenting is a process that prepares your child for independence. As your child grows and develops, there are many things you can do to help your child. These links will help you learn more about your child’s development, positive parenting, safety, and health at each stage of your child’s life.
  • Search Institute: Developmental Assets
    Search Institute has identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities they need in their families, schools, and communities (external assets). The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within young people (internal assets).
  • All Pro Dad: 10 Ways to Teach Your Children to Make Wise Decisions
    Teaching kids to make wise decisions can be difficult, but it can be done with the right techniques. Here are 10 ways to teach your kids to make the right decisions.

“How do I help my child cope with stress?”
Start by listening.

  • Help Guide International: Helping Children Cope with Trauma
    While children and adolescents are more vulnerable to being traumatized than adults, with the right support and reassurance, they are also able to recover faster. Using these coping tips, you can help your child regain an emotional balance, restore their trust in the world, and move on from the trauma.
  • Kids Health from Nemours: Childhood Stress
    Realize that some things that aren’t a big deal to adults can cause significant stress for kids. Let your kids know that you understand they’re stressed and don’t dismiss their feelings as inappropriate.
  • Psych Central: 7 tips for Helping Your Child Manage Stress
    The key to helping kids manage stress is teaching them to problem-solve, plan and know when to say yes and no to activities and commitments. If you don’t teach [your kids] how to manage stress, they may self-medicate with food, drugs and alcohol. In other words, kids will reach for something to make them feel better right away, and usually it won’t be something healthy.

“How do I teach my child about racial equity?”
Start setting an example.

  • American Psychological Association: Talking to Kids About Discrimination
    Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable discussing racial differences. But when it comes to talking to children, experts say diversity and discrimination are subjects that shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Cultural Organizing: Equity and Equality
    The distinction between equity and equality is an important one. Learn the difference with a few visuals and examples to help the discussion.
  • Anti-Racism for Kids: An age by age guide to fighting hate
    There’s no such thing as “quick tips” or foolproof advice when it comes to discussing the complexities of race. But, there are better ways to go about it and each parent will have to decide for themselves what makes the most sense for them and their family. Above all, it’s a conversation all parents need to have, no matter your background or experience. So, if you’re curious how to get this conversation started, here’s what the experts have to say.
  • National League of Cities
    Our vision is that cities, towns, and villages are places where all children reach their full potential, where families feel supported and can live safe and healthy lives.
  • Psychology Today: Talking to children about racism
    According to the American Psychological Association, when you have the race talk:
    • Children are more respectful of other racial and ethnic groups.
    • Children have a better understanding and appreciation for their own racial group.
    • Children can recognize and respond more appropriately to racism and discrimination.