Topics like bullying, drugs and alcohol, sex, vaping, violence, depression, suicide, and so much more can be hard to address with our children. We know that talking to our kids about difficult topics is one of the most challenging parts of being a parent. It's not easy for any parent, but BStrong Together is here to help.

The key is to start talking early and talk often about difficult topics.

The Time-2-Talk Campaign, made possible through a generous grant from the Barrington Area United Way, is a multi-media campaign that will run throughout the school year to support and encourage parents and other community members to talk about difficult topics with the children and young adults in their lives. It includes direct mailing to all Barrington 220 middle and high school families, as well as print and online information and resources. Topics include drugs and alcohol, healthy relationships and interpersonal violence, and mental health care and concerns.

The first mailing in the campaign - Time-2-Talk About Alcohol - was mailed in December 2018 to remind parents that the research is clear - strong parental disapproval is the NUMBER ONE reason teens give for why they chose not to drink.  It is important to set clear expectations about alcohol, share your family values, explain the risks and establish a code word that your teen can text or say to you over the phone if they find themselves in a situation where they don't feel comfortable. Make an agreement in advance that no matter what, if they give you the code word, you will come to help - no questions asked.

Check out these helpful resources from BStrong Together as you prepare to talk with your children about alcohol and underage drinking:

  • To learn more about how to talk to your children of all ages about drugs and alcohol, click here.
  • Visit our "What You Should Know" webpage for important information that parents should know about alcohol and underage drinking.
  • For tips to help parents keep their teens alcohol and drug-free, check out our "Top Ten Ways Parents Keep Their Teens Alcohol and Drug-Free" handout.
  • It can be hard for tweens and teens to say "no" to their friends and peers.  Being prepared and knowing strategies for how to handle the situation can help.  Click here for some refusal techniques that tweens and teens can use to say "no" to alcohol and drugs. 
  • For suggestions on how to get started talking about difficult subjects with children of all ages, check out our BStrong Together blog post "Talking With Kids About Difficult Topics."

The second mailing in the campaign - Time-2-Talk About Healthy Relationships - arrived in homes in late February 2019 and was designed to help parents promote healthy relationships.  

People who have strong relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems and live longer. Teens are learning to navigate relationships with dating, school peers, at home, with friends, within the community, and with respect for diversity. Healthy relationships with peers and partners are built on open, honest, and safe communication. Encourage your teen to speak up, respect others, compromise, be supportive, create healthy boundaries, and respect others' privacy. If you see warning signs of an abusive relationship such as excessive texting, depression or anxiety, or major changes in behavior or dress, take them seriously, be supportive, and seek help.

For more information and resources regarding healthy relationships, click here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis:

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK.
Text “BRONCOHELP” to Text-a-Tip at (844) 823-5323.
Text “HELLO” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

  For local resources, visit www.healthybarrington.org

The third mailing in the campaign - Time-2-Talk About Mental Health - arrived in homes in May in coordination with May Mental Health Month and Mental Health Awareness Week at Barrington High School.  The campaign aims to support mental wellness, de-stigmatize mental health challenges, and remind students to reach out when they are struggling.

To support mental wellness, create a safe, positive home environment and teach your children the role that sleep, exercise, nutrition, play, mindfulness, and connection with others plays in their mental health. Help them to identify the trusted people in their lives they can turn to for support and make sure they know that it shows strength to ask for help when they are struggling. Teach them that asking “ARE YOU OKAY?” can save a life. 

Click on the following links for helpful talking tips and information in support of emotional and mental wellness:

Stress and managing stress during finals
Mental health and teen depression
Building resilience


Other Helpful Resources

Talk. They Hear You Campaign
The campaign aims to reduce underage drinking among youth ages 9 to 15 by providing parents and caregivers with information and resources they need to start early in addressing the issue of alcohol with their children.

Children Now
Tips for discussing difficult topics with your children.

Talks that explain difficult topics to children.

Thank you to the Barrington Area United Way for their support of the Time-2-Talk campaign and commitment to the health and well-being of Barrington area children and youth.

Copyright © 2018  BStrong Together.  All rights reserved.

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