NameTuning in to Teens
Target AudienceParents
CfC ObjectiveSupporting Families and Parents
School Transition and Engagement
OrganisationUniversity of Melbourne
Delivery SettingCommunity-based

A universal parenting program for parents of children aged 10+ years. The program aims to increase parent-child connection by improving emotional communication in the family.

Tuning in to Teens provides parents with a greater understanding of their teen’s emotional experiences while teaching specific skills that can assist in being supportive, empathic and staying connected with the young person. The program builds on the Tuning in to Kids program, which has been shown to have positive effects on young children.

Delivered toParent
Delivered bySocial workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, teachers and others working with children and families.
Program Structure

Tuning in to Teens is a 6x2 hour group parenting program with a structured manual for the facilitator to follow. The manual includes a range of resources, including handouts for parents (also on USB), and a USB demonstrating parenting skills. The ideas and techniques taught in the program are of specific relevance to parents of adolescents.

It is also possible to adapt the delivery of this program.


A 3-session, online professional development workshop is required to become a facilitator. The workshop provides trainees with the concepts of Emotional Intelligence and Emotion Coaching, as well as useful information about adolescent brain development.

Currently all training is being delivered online. It is hoped that face to face training will resume in the near future.

Online training is offered regularly throughout the year:

An In-Service Model of training is also available for organisations looking to train larger groups of people.

  • 3 session training course: $940.50 per person (price includes the manual)
  • The cost for in-service training will depend on the size of the group and travel-related requirements. You can find out more by contacting the Tuning in to Kids organisation.
ContactContact: Gabi Macdonald
Phone: 0421 864 545
Email: [email protected]
Evaluation and effectiveness

A RCT was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of Tuning in to Teens (Kehoe, Havighurst & Harley, 2014). The outcomes of the evaluation showed:

  • Intervention parents reported significant reductions in their own anxiety/depressive symptoms and improved emotional competence when compared to control families who reported no changes.
  • Parents and their children reported improvements in parenting and reductions in family conflict.
  • Parents reports significant reductions in the young person’s anxiety, depressive symptoms, somatic complaints and behaviour problems.

Havighurst, S.S., Kehoe, C.E. & Harley, A.E. (2015). Tuning in to Teens: Improving parental responses to anger and reducing youth externalizing behaviour problems. Journal of Adolescence, 42, 148-158.

Kehoe, C. E., Havighurst, S. S., & Harley, A. E. (2014). Tuning in to Teens: Improving parent emotion socialization to reduce youth internalizing difficulties. Social Development, 23(2), 413-431.

Kehoe, C. E., Havighurst, S. S., & Harley, A. E. (Online). Somatic complaints in early adolescence: The role of parents’ emotion socialisation. Journal of Early Adolescence.

For more information about the program’s evidence base, see: