Looking for a popular subject? Just click on a tag!

toxins teen identity eating disorder development sex road show hormones friendship book review vaccination #notyourgirl the talk breast growth parenting teen abstinence emerging sexuality transgender STEM early puberty promise ring STD parenting teens relationships self confidence gratitude nonconsensual pornography sexuality ed anatomy adolescents love birth control vaginal discharge prevention condom question of the week selfie masturbation Melisa Holmes body image breast sexual abuse prevention cramps revenge porn friends sexual development father-daughter warts Trichomonas healthy relationships menarche middle school premature puberty ego oral sex sexual desire early development period sexuality STI preteen gardasil pap smear dating violence 5th grade body language pubic hair breast size cervical cancer social media instagram early childhood menstrual calendar sexually transmitted infections LARC bisexual sexual health something new about you girlology Chlamydia environmental toxins breast buds queer cancer boys puberty parent-child connection Gonorrhea breast pain pre-school 4th grade risk taking TEDx play list LARCs self esteem 4th grader HPV vaccine Playlist parent-child Let's Talk vaping touch hunger cell phones teen behavior periods communication skipped period breast development vaginal odor pregnancy contraception teen sex ed hygiene parenting HIV normal period acne reproduction organic vagina adolescent development condoms friendships puberty KTFF irregular period voice spencer george hpv mental health first period homosexuality anxiety TEDx Greenville Sex Talk menstruation tween dating emotions porn pornography girls puberty coming out AIDS teen brain self worth Intern prom e-cigarettes social development parenting tween breast bud vaccine smoking body odor consent music cancer prevention self-acceptance Herpes precocious puberty vulva teen pregnancy prevention boys' puberty powerful girls sexting Trish Hutchison moods teen relationships

It's LET'S TALK MONTH, so, first, Let's Talk about The Talk with a guest blog by Kim Cook. Learn more about her below.

The Talk. Just the mere thought of starting the conversation with your child can send quivers of anxiety through your body. Panic sets in: What if they ask me something I don’t know? What if I tell them something wrong? Aren’t the schools teaching them what they need to know? What if they see the fear in my eyes?

Yes, indeed. What if? 

 

How did your parents approach “the talk” with you?

Take a moment to reflect upon your experience as a youngster. Many parents share their stories about talking with their own parents about sex and relationships— or...

Ah! The smell of adolescence.

There’s nothing quite like the end-of-the-day funk that wafts from a pubescent kid. Some of them (younger ones usually) have no idea they stink or they just don’t care because their friends haven’t noticed. But as kids head into middle school and beyond, body odor is a common cause for teasing, exclusion, and shaming. Besides the usual body odor from sweaty pits and stinky feet, there are also new and strong odors from their morphing private zones. For girls, in particular, those private odors often become an embarrassment and even a source of anxiety, but some reassurance about normal healthy odors and details about basic hygiene may be all they need.

First, let me stress that there’s...

In my last blog, I considered whether sexting is liberating for girls or if it’s just making them think they’re liberated as they’re plunging right into the cultural pressure to show up as sexualized objects for others’ pleasure. We live in a culture that packages self-objectification as liberation for girls and women. But exactly what does that mean? How is someone an object or a subject?

Self-objectification is the act of treating oneself as an object instead of a subject. Objects don’t really do things. Instead, their value comes from how they look or how they are used. Subjects do things to objects; their value comes from what they do. So here lies...

Even when you aren’t saying a thing, the way you stand, your expression, and your movements are telling others around you how you feel. That’s called body language, and it’s your non-verbal voice.

What does your body language say about you? Does it pull people towards you or push them away? In the previous blog, we discussed the importance of learning to communicate verbally, but messages you communicate non-verbally impact your relationships, too.  People notice body language (whether they are trying to or not), and they make assumptions based on your cues and movements.

A better understanding of your own body language can let people know when you’re serious, or prevent you from seeming standoffish or bored when, in fact...

Girls receive so many messages telling them to prove their hotness through media, and these messages are reinforced by peers and rarely combated by parents. Youth grow up marinating in sexualized imagery without even being conscious of it. Sexualization is when you take something that is not overtly sexual and you make it sexy. For example, we do this a lot with food: Carls Jr. commercials, anyone? And we certainly do this with girls through making their toys and clothes sexy but not boys’. ...

What does your voice say about you? It depends, right? It depends on your mood, thoughts, and the audience. Some audiences get the quiet voice. Some get the loud, over-reactive voice. Some get the confident expressive voice, and yet others get the intimidated (almost non-verbal) voice.

Did you know that as your thoughts constantly circulate in your mind with traces of both fiction and non-fiction; your voice is formulating a plan of action? What if THIS happens? What if THAT happens? And what if THIS and THAT change my life as I know it? Worry begins to bubble up and your voice is on standby to help you stay true to what you really want.

Sometimes it’s hard to “find your voice” to speak up for yourself, but did you know...

Recently, our middle schooler, a rising seventh grader, casually mentioned seeing some of her classmates vaping in a parking lot. I found myself in one of those moments as a mom for which I was unprepared to talk but knew that is exactly what I needed to do: have a solid, but brief conversation with facts.  

I went straight to the FDA to do a little research, and just as I suspected, the newest and attempt to be cool is definitely a harmful choice.  

The facts

In recent years, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), and e-pipes, all types of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), have become increasingly popular among young people. In 2015, more than 3...

I write this with a loving heart and an understanding that you are probably like most other humans with a heart and soul. That means I know you experience pain, regret, sorrow and icky thoughts and feelings of unlovability. It’s gigantic, hard stuff. The kind of gigantic, hard stuff that becomes etched in your spirit and worn daily like a uniform – worn daily as if it’s mandated by some higher authority figure. But what if you aren’t mandated to always wear your mistakes? Imagine the feeling of self-acceptance you could experience with permission to exhale a mistake that you’re holding on to and learn to let it go. Just release it. Learn to accept it as part of your story… but for crying out loud, LET...

There is nothing new about sharing a nude photo with a beloved. You just used to have to go to a seedy photography shop to get your film developed, or use a Polaroid and hand it over. The chances of lots of people seeing the photo were low. Remember needing to spring for double prints? Now, within seconds, thousands of people can see your nude photo depending on which app or website it gets uploaded to. Stats on the prevalence of sexting among teens are unclear, because studies range between 9%-60% (1, 2) of teens reporting that they have ever shared a nude image of themselves. But the stats are boring - what we really need to think about is WHY are teens sexting and are there differences in sexting between boys and girls that we need...

It’s a familiar experience. The landscape and details may change, but the internal experience has no doubt been experienced by each of us. At times, it seems like an unwelcome visitor that insists on showing up. It’s the same for you as it is for her (that girl you think is prettier, smarter, and utterly flawless), but I’ll get to that part later. Just keep reading.

I bet you sometimes fear that you look as clueless in social situations as you feel. Anxiety bubbles from the pit of your pretzeled stomach and you scan the room looking for a sign that you’re not that awkward. You decide you must be because the feeling is so intense. Remember that I’ve taught you feelings aren’t facts. Just because you...

If you use the word vagina when referring to female parts “down below,” let me first say we’re proud of you for NOT using hoo ha, or cootchie, or lady bits… or junk. We’ve come a long way toward creating comfort around using the word “vagina,” but we may have taken it a bit too far. 

“Vagina” is not a catchall term for all the parts that exist in the magical space between a female’s legs, but it’s just one part (albeit an important one) of anatomy among many parts that make up the VULVA - which IS the catchall term for those parts.

Maybe in our puritanical efforts to minimize discussions about our genitals, our foremothers decided to keep it short and sweet: boys have a penis; girls have a vagina. But to be honest, the...

In the last blog, I shared with you the importance of learning to tap into the part of you that is soul. You can’t feed soul through starvation, body-shaming, and unnecessary insecurities. You and I both know that when the going gets tough, for some reason, we become increasingly dissatisfied with our body. I know… I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. I want you to know that it is with compassion and understanding that I insist that a positive identity can’t be found through the size or shape of your body. Searching for satisfaction through your jeans size will never lead you to feeling loved. It leads to the opposite: It leads to the dead-end road of self-pity and an uncomfortable relationship with food.

When...

Gone are the days when we pretend that our teenage girls are not immersed in a sexual society.  Finally, we get it. Sex surrounds them, entices them and sadly, in many cases sex defines them. Thanks to likes of Peggy Orenstein and her latest book, Girls and Sex, we have a better look at what the girls themselves are thinking. She provides insight into sexually stimulated world of teenagers in this book written for parents, asks crucial questions, and in my opinion, most importantly shows us that girls are willing and want to talk to us about sex.  

Orienstein interviewed 70 middle class young women between the ages of 15 and 20, both heterosexual and homosexual, a wide range of psychologists, and experts. In this thought...

You’re trying desperately to manage the strangulating pressures of life, and working hard to reject your impulses to feel rejected. You may think the answers can be found in the dying-to-look-like-they-look comparison game. But you won’t find the answers playing the comparison game because (SPOILER ALERT!) the game is fiction. It’s an illusion.

I want to teach you the difference between ego and soul:

So, what’s ego? For the sake of simplicity, think of ego as the part of you that seeks approval, recognition, and the feeling of being special. Your ego wants you to shine. It wants you to have popularity, privilege, and praise. It wants you to go shopping for what-she-is-wearing outfits. It wants you to have...

When my daughter was 14, she started begging to get her ear cartilage pierced. To be totally honest, I have always thought extra earrings were pretty cool, but not necessarily for my young teen. So, I ignored her like I ignored her childhood requests for a pony. She didn’t have any friends who had cartilage piercings; she just thought it looked cool. And to a girl who never really felt “cool,” this was the way she wanted to demonstrate that she wasn’t “just” the stellar student, the responsible big sister, the hardworking, considerate, and helpful daughter. But she was also my child who always had the perfect justification to support her cause, and she was beginning to work her persuasive magic on me.

As I began to consider her...

Pages