teenager

These Doctors Will Teach You How To Deal With Your Teen And The Dreaded Sex Talk

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Jena: This is one of the (many) things I admire most about Logan, she is able to discuss what many people would view as “cringe worthy” and make it comfortable and enlightening for everyone involved.  For me, having a medical background sometimes gets in the way, so if I discuss the topic of safe sex with my oldest daughter, I focus on the safe part, the risk of STD’s, the mechanics, the biology…she’ll stare at me and nod, but I know deep inside that her eyes are rolling to the back of her head.  After writing the book, our discussions have enabled my to listen more to her and craft conversations that impart my values, addressing her concerns.

One topic I’m always interested in, and you touched on this briefly in the book, is the whole arena of slut shaming. I agree with you, in that women and girls should never be judged for how they dress, but when it comes to my own daughter I find it difficult to marry this belief with my own personal desire for her not to wear items that may put her at risk for street harassment or for being judged on how she dresses. How can we deal with wanting our daughters to feel confident no matter what they don’t or do wear and the hem lengths of their skirts to the realization that because of the world we live in, they may be subjected to unwanted attention due to what they wear? 

Jena: Many girls love fashion and it’s certainly a great way to express yourself.  But when you’re 11,12, 13 years old, dressing in “sexy” clothing before you even know what sexy is, is unhealthy.  It’s also important to remember that the reason your daughter wants to wear certain types of clothing is because that’s what she’s seeing in the media; she’s been overexposed to these images.  Our job as parents is to instill as sense of self esteem in our kids, to let them know that their self-worth isn’t tied to their boobs, thighs or butts.  They are great just the way they are and definitely do not need to wear things just to fit in if they don’t fit properly!

Logan: I trouble with the words we use to describe girls and their bodies — as if a piece of fabric (or a smaller piece of fabric) automatically changes what they do with their body and who they do it with. (Yes, I’m calling out the word, “slutty.”) But I don’t have an issue with being realistic with our kids. They should know that while clothing doesn’t dictate what they do with their bodies (it is simply an expression of self at a given moment in time), people don’t always respond appropriately or respectfully. They need to be armed with this knowledge so that they can feel confident in their own skin and know when to challenge this. Of course, I say that, but when I was nine months pregnant and waddling around in yoga pants and with dirty hair I was still hooted at on the street. So for that reason alone, I would say that we should spend more time with our sons, explaining to them why they should never comment on, gossip about, or holler at girls and women. Our sons don’t want to be perceived as predatory, and unfortunately, that’s how they appear if we condone that behavior.

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