SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (The Daily Dish) –  As children enter their teen years, conversations with parents can become more challenging, but a new program developed by Intermountain Health Primary Children’s Hospital aims to help. The “Talk to Tweens” program provides parents and teachers with free tools to support the emotional well-being of children in the middle school years.

According to Karlee Kump, community health manager at Intermountain Health Primary Children’s Hospital, tweens need trusted resources and people to talk to as they navigate their adolescence and growing independence. “And for us as parents, sometimes it’s hard to let go,” Kump said.

The program includes a feelings magnet with over 50 different emotions to help tweens and parents discuss mental health and feelings. Kump recommends asking open-ended questions to encourage deeper conversations, such as “Tell me how you’re feeling” and “How did you react when…?”

Kump encourages parents and teachers to download the free resources available on the program’s website. The program also offers conversation starters and an emotional health workbook. Teachers can also use the resources and request additional support from the hospital.

“We need to be better,” Kump said. “Which is why we have these resources.”

Primary Children’s Hospital hopes the program will encourage parents and teachers to keep the conversations going with tweens to support their emotional health and well-being.