Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (nbCC) is proud to announce the pilot release of Family Conversation Cards, a deck of cards meant to encourage and promote discussion and healthy decision-making between youth and parents.

Here's the Official Press Release From nbCC:

Studies demonstrate that young people who can openly communicate with their parents on a regular basis—and feel like they are being heard—are less likely to engage in a wide range of risky behaviors, and that these benefits extend after high school.

While talking openly with your children can be difficult, research shows that as children enter early adolescence, they are less likely to disclose aspects about their life to their parents, so creating ways to have healthy communication is especially important.

Wendy Penner, nbCC’s Director of Prevention and Recovery, explained how these cards were developed: “It’s not uncommon for families with children to find conversations about serious topics challenging. Where do you begin, how do you ask questions in a way that sparks fruitful discussion? We created these Family Conversation Cards with the goal of families using them as a tool for having positive and informed conversations about healthy decision-making.”

nbCC Executive Director Amber Besaw added that these cards represent the interconnectedness of the work that nbCC does: “At nbCC, we work with families, we work with young people, and we also work with community members who struggle with substance use. Naturally, these groups of people all intersect. We conceived these Conversation Cards by channeling the knowledge and experience we’ve gleaned from working with this diverse—yet interconnected—Northern Berkshire community into helping families talk about making healthy choices.”

The Conversation Cards, which are geared toward families with children ages 9 and up, come in a deck of 46 with color-coded cards:

  • Green questions are meant to get parents and children talking.

  • Yellow questions involve more self-disclosure.

  • Red questions may be a deeper exploration into sensitive topics such as personal values and choices.


Some examples include:

  • Green: Who are the people in your life who help you a lot?

  • Yellow: What should someone do if they are invited to get in the car with someone who has been drinking? Using marijuana?

  • Red: What words do you wish someone would say to you when you're having a tough time?

Instructions and resources on a number of topics that are explored are also included. Parents and children are encouraged to take turns asking questions, so that the conversations aren’t one-sided.

nbCC is looking for families (and professionals who work with families with adolescents) who would be interested in participating in the Family Conversation Cards pilot program and offering feedback on the cards.

Anyone who would like to participate should contact Wendy Penner at 413-663-7588 or

About Northern Berkshire Community Coalition:

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition’s mission is to empower the Northern Berkshire region to enhance the quality of life through our efforts at connecting, convening, and supporting all facets of the community. For more information, visit or call 413-663-7588.

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