Interviewing Parents Print

A Lesson Plan from Life Planning Education: A Youth Development Program (Chapter Four)

NOTE:  Life Planning Education (LPE) is currently being revised. The printed/for-sale version includes an older version of this lesson plan. Please make sure you have looked at the PDF of Life Planning Education before purchasing - that is the version that is available to buy. 

Purpose: To encourage communication between adolescents and their parents or guardians

Materials: Newsprint and markers or board and chalk; Leader’s Resource, Sample Interview Questions, one copy for each participant of the handout, Guidelines for Interviews for each participant; one copy of interview questions (Session 2) for each participant

Time: 30-40 minutes (session one); 15-20 minutes (session two)

Planning Notes:

  • Before conducting this activity, consider your schedule and the timeline for completion. When will you be able to return the completed questions to your participants? When will they have completed their interview? Fill in the necessary information in Step 3.
  • Think about these issues as your group chooses questions for the interviews:
    • What is the cultural background(s) of participants?
    • How have their family and cultural experiences affected their lives?
    • What topics might adults feel uncomfortable discussing with adolescents?
    • What topics would facilitate positive interactions between parents and adolescents?
  • After the first session, type and duplicate the group’s interview questions so each participant will have a copy.

Session 1

  1. Ask the group what happens when a reporter interviews someone for a radio or television show or a magazine article. (If necessary, clarify that a reporter asks people questions, records the information and later presents it to an audience.)
  2. Explain that participants are going to interview a parent or parents, stepparents, guardians, or another adult who lives with them. The purpose of the interview is to find out how the adult remembers his/her adolescent years and what she/he remembers family relationships to have been like.
  3. Go over the instructions for this activity
    • As a group, come up with 10 to 12 questions to use in the interviews.
    • I will type and copy your questions and you will get them by _________________.
    • When we meet on ___________________, you will share some of the findings from your interview. Before we meet again, be sure you ask the person you interviewed if you can share some or all of her/his answers with the group.
  4. Brainstorm and list ideas for questions on the board or newsprint. Add ideas from the Leader’s Resource, if appropriate.
  5. Distribute Guidelines for Interviews, one copy to each participant of. Discuss the Guidelines with the group.
  6. Answer questions about doing interviews, then dismiss the group until the next session.
Session 2
  1. Ask the participants to select another group member with whom to discuss the results of their interview.
  2. After about 10 minutes, ask volunteers to share their findings. Remind them to share only what the adults said they could share as well as what is appropriate for the whole group to hear.
  3. Conclude the activity using the discussion points below.
Discussion Points:
  1. What was it like to interview your parent or another adult?
  2. What new information did you learn?
  3. How did your parent or other adult seem to feel about the interview?
  4. What is one thing that surprised you during the interview?
  5. How will you be similar or different when you are a parent of adolescents?

Life Planning Education, Advocates for Youth, Updated 2009.

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