Parenting: It’s a Life



To equip Iowa youth with life skills and introduce them to the emotional, social, and financial realities of being a parent by providing a free, relevant, and research-driven curriculum to schools and youth-serving agencies across Iowa.


Our vision is to empower Iowa youth to be good stewards of their decision-making responsibilities across their lifespan.


Parenting: It's a Life is a free curriculum designed for grades 7-12. It introduces teens to the financial realities of being a parent, responsible decision-making, healthy relationships, peer pressure, and concepts related to paternity and child support. The teaching materials are a valuable addition to courses in Family and Consumer Sciences, Life Skills, and Health.

Access the FCS National Standards supported by Parenting: It's a Life curriculum here:


The curriculum is divided into 10 modules that can be used independently, and teachers can use, adapt, or incorporate any of the materials as they see fit. Or our project staff can come to your school to present the curriculum directly to your students! To arrange a classroom visit or ask a question, contact the PIAL Leadership Team at or (515) 294-9061.

Click the download button below to access the whole curriculum or any individual module!

Teen Dating Violence Simulation

Parenting: It's a Life offers a teen dating violence simulation for students called "In Their Shoes" created by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. During the simulation, students walk through one of six short stories based on real-life scenarios of unhealthy relationships. Students make decisions as if they are the main character and then discuss how the relationship impacted the lives of their character. We encourage you to have a school counselor present for students in case they feel the need to talk to someone about what they experienced during the simulation.

Watch a video trailer for In Their Shoes:



Creative Commons License The entire curriculum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. This license requires only that you attribute the original content to the Iowa State University Child Welfare Research and Training Project and share your creations in a similar manner.