Our Purpose

Youth want to know the truth, speak it in love, and they want to be ready.

Tough Topics is an educational program of instruction on cultural issues and role-playing to prepare teens to have solid friendships – to be attentive and ready to lead each other down paths of health and healing.

The purpose of Tough Topics is for participants to gain knowledge and skills needed to seize opportunities in everyday conversations to clear up confusion, affirm common sense, and offer genuine support.

T2 started as a youth group activity at a parish in McLean, Virginia. The program was developed by a team of parents, directors of youth ministry, and others under the spiritual guidance of the pastor. It has been used in homes by families and as a youth group activity.


Recommended Age:

13+ years old, with parents. For parents of younger children see the additional resources on each topic page.

Best Practice:

Allow about two hours (one hour for video and one hour for role-playing). Present the video to a small group of teen friends. Encourage parents to also watch and role-play. To keep the focus on the youth, have the front reserved for the teens. After presenting the video, move to another room or rearrange the setting and act out the role-playing scenarios. Give each teen a chance to read the “You” part of each script. Adults take the roles in the scripts opposite of “You.”

The role-playing was a primary motivation for developing the T2 programs. Youth in the parish wanted not only to learn about a tough topic but also get practice articulating the principles underlying the Christian response to the topic.