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Wonder what your teen really NEEDS? We've got you covered! There's nothing to wrap and it's all FREE and PRICELESS. DOWNLOAD our list!

We don't usually promote products (and we're not being paid by any of these folks...) but we love great gifts! We talked with some of our Girlologists across the country and found out what they are giving some of their own daughters. We believe these gifts will spark creativity, boost confidence, support healthy habits or just create special times with friends and family. Let us know what other gifts you find that do the same for your girls!

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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...

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’. ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Most men admit it – periods freak them out a little. Is it worth the effort to help them overcome their menstrual misunderstandings? What if they were actually supportive – even low key supportive. We don’t need men cheering us on when we start, or making a big deal about our miraculous monthly, but we DO need men to be cool with it and not stutter or cover their ears when we mention menstruation. How nice would it be for him to grab a box of your favorite fem care products when he sees it on sale? Yeah. We have some work to do.

Sure, we women can continue buying our own stuff and managing just fine, right? But for those men with daughters, it’s actually important to help him loosen up when it comes to lady stuff.

...

Did you hear about that guy in Connecticut who asked his date to the prom by skydiving from 10,000 feet in the air? True story. How about the one on America’s Got Talent? A basic search on YouTube will easily reveal 150,000 plus videos of “Promposals.” The fixation on social media and Youtube has opened the door to showcasing proposals to prom and the idea that we all must outdo each other along the way. I must tell you that I overheard a parent talking to her teenage son a few weeks ago at dinner, and more than these stunts working overtime to attract attention, her words were truly spectacular.

According to VISA Inc., the average family spends nearly one thousand dollars on prom.  One thousand dollars worth of updos, spray...

Is oral sex "sex"? 

Go ahead, ask your middle schooler........................................................

Each year, I speak to hundreds of middle school and high school students in community centers, schools and churches about topics related to healthy relationships and sexual health. I always ask them the same questions as we make our way through information that is both intriguing and awkward. When I get to the oral sex question, this is how it typically goes:

First, there is silent staring… "I can’t believe she just asked us that."

Then a few begin shaking their heads, and finally someone brave says, “No….” then, the rest begin to comment, “Not really;” “No, because you can’t get...

In the midst of bitterly cold winter a few years ago, we were invited to lunch on a half day of school, the last day leading into our break. The middle school girls I’d volunteered to supervise were excited to be included, and I was pumped at the thought of adult conversation with other moms. Parking in the garage, we noticed a car with boys from our school a few spots away.  Out of the shadows a family we love surfaced.  We’d vacationed together and toodled around in little red wagons.  They were long time friends. A slew of boys, five in all, crawled out of the wagon.  I was not prepared for what happened next.   

Whispers, giggles, hair slinging, hip-swishing, but absolutely no speaking. Just like that, we entered a new phase...

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