The goal of the game ‘Blush’ is to open high-quality communication about sex between parents and their adolescents. It has been found that when there is such communication present in families, the likelihood of the adolescent delaying vaginal intercourse and using contraceptives increases dramatically, as found by Karofsky, Zeng and Kosorok (2001) and Bersamin et al. (2008). A big problem with communication is the awkwardness and embarrassment that comes with talking about sex, according to Jaccard, Dittus and Gordon (2000). It is considered a stigmatized subject in most societies, and is therefore not often discussed.
‘Blush’ is designed to stimulate conversation in families. It has been proven that board games assist with promoting communication skills in families, according to Yeager (2001) and Smith and Renter (1997). The game will help parents to talk to their teenagers about sex in a non-confrontational way and make sure that they have absorbed the information. It will help adolescents to ask their parents questions, ones that they may not even know that they had.
Kirby and Miller (2002) designed programmes to promote communication about sex between parents and their teenagers. They said that a good program will have four outcomes:
(a) increase parents’ knowledge about sexual issues and also about the sexual behaviours of young people; (b) help parents understand that talking about sex to teenagers is likely to have beneficial effects, and unlikely to increase the chances that their teenagers will engage in sex; (c) help parents clarify their own values about sex and express these in ways that do not ‘turn off’ the teenager, and thus foreclose further discussion possibilities; and (d) improve parents’ skills in talking about sexuality, through increasing their comfort with the material, their listening skills and their skills in initiating discussions. (cited in Moore and Rosenthal, 2006, p 98)
‘Blush’ will achieve all four outcomes. The trivia questions will expand the knowledge background of all participants, and help open communication on various levels for both generations.
It is very important for adolescents to be able to communicate with their parents about sexuality, and this game will stimulate conversation on various topics in sexuality. Adolescents who are unaware or think they are aware of all the risks involved have a chance of getting hurt, an STI, or pregnant. Most learning programs and websites are set up for adolescents to discover the answers to their questions on their own. But if the teenager is unaware of some aspect of sexuality, they may not know what question to ask.
This game is comprised of all the topics required to give the curious mind a well-rounded description of all the topics necessary to ensure that the adolescent is well prepared for anything and everything. From the body, birth control and safety to pleasure, myths and alternate lifestyles, this game covers all the topics that parents want their children to know, and children want to know the answers to, but were too afraid to ask. The idea of coming out and asking your parents a question about sex can be intimidating, especially if your parents don’t seem to have an open mind about sex.
‘Blush’ is set up so that teenagers can get the answers to the questions they want to hear, and parents can be sure that their teen knows of all the dangers and how to be safe. As parents, they can also clearly define their values and goals for their adolescent. Not everyone feels the same way about sex before marriage, or homosexuality, and this game is not made to enforce the creator’s beliefs, but to educate. Playing this game can create a more relaxed atmosphere while talking about sex, as opposed to the dreaded ‘sex-talk’ that happens between teenagers and their parents.
Websites and books can provide most of the information given in this game, but they are geared towards one person accessing them at a time. The whole family can participate when you play this game, or teenagers can play with their friends. This provides a unique opportunity for parents or peers to provide additional information and clarification, as they see fit. Websites can also have the wrong information, and sometimes it is difficult to search through the falsities to find the truth. The questions in this game have been researched thoroughly from reliable sources such as books, journal articles and professional websites. All the information is now in one place, with easy access, for a fun experience with the whole family.
You can ask any questions you like in our anonymous ask box:
I will occasionally answer questions on the blog, if I feel like they will promote a good discussion.
I am incredibly excited to be working with Renaissance Press on this project! My dream of making this game a reality has finally come true, after seven years. I can’t wait!
Bersamin, M., et al. (2008). Parenting Practices and Adolescent Sexual Behaviour: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70(1), 97-112.
Jaccard, J., Dittus, P. J., & Gordon, V. V. (2000). Parent-teen communication about premarital sex: Factors associated with the extent of communication. Journal of Adolescent Research, 15(2), 187-208.
Karofsky, P. S., Zeng, L., & Kosorok, M. R. (2001). Relationship between adolescent-parental communication and initiation of first intercourse by adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 28(1), 41-45.
Moore, S., & Rosenthal, D. (2006). Sexuality in adolescence: Current trends. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
Smith, C. W., & Renter, S. G. (1997). The play is the thing: Using self-constructed board games in family therapy. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 8(3), 67-72.
Yeager, M. F. (2001). Treasure time: A journey in communication and understanding. In H. G. Kaduson & C. E. Schaefer (Eds.), 101 more favorite play therapy techniques (pp. 386-389) Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson.