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Scarleteen Confidential: "The Talk"

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

If you're caring for a young person, then the question of when and how to have "the talk" with them has likely crossed your mind. For anyone not familiar with the concept, "the talk" is the apparent moment where you sit a child down and explain all the whys and hows of sex in one fell swoop. It's generally understood to be one of the more dreaded moments of raising a young person, because it's awkward for everyone involved and seems like an awful lot to have to do all at once.

But it doesn't have to be an awkward, embarrassing, weird metaphors about birds and bees filled discussion. And it not only doesn't have to be all at once, it sh

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Scarleteen Confidential: Ten Questions with Dr. Karen Rayne about Parenting, Sex, and Communication

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

You've probably seen all kinds of adults writing about teens and sex. Some of that writing is well-researched and thoughtful. Some --- most, sadly -- is hysterical and full of fearmongering and shoddy (or no) research. I was lucky enough to interview an author who belongs solidly in the first category.

Dr Karen Rayne has spent the past ten years actively and thoughtfully supporting parents and teens in their conversations about sex and sexuality, and she's released a new book called Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Tips for Talking to Teenagers about Sex, which we think is accessible, compassionate, and incredibly useful. Keeping with the

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Scarleteen Confidential: Quick Hits

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

Welcome to Scarleteen Confidential quick hits! In this series, we cover topics that are important, but that aren't long enough for a full post of their own.

Ways to connect with the teens in your life

We talk a lot about allowing teens the space to explore and pursue their own interests. And while that's important, we still hear from teens who want to stay connected with their parents, even as they create lives that are more and more their own. So what can you do to stay connected without becoming the main component of their social lives?

  • Keep it Regular, or, as regular as you can manage. Something like cooking a meal together on a sp
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Scarleteen Confidential: In Defense of Teen Media

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

For two years, I worked in a bookstore that was aimed primarily at children and teenagers. It was a job I quite enjoyed, but I quickly discovered that when you work near books, people always want to tell you their opinions on said books. That's fine most of the time. But I noticed a pattern when parents or adults would refer to The Hunger Games series. They would express dismay over a child wanting to read the book, wondering what they saw in it, and either implicitly or explicitly stating that they thought the book was not good for youth to be reading. I would usually give a neutral response about how yes, the book is dark (for t

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Scarleteen Confidential: (Better) BC Invitations

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

"How could i tell my mom in the best possible way i wanna be on birth control? help me plzzzz!!!! I need help with this badly."

"i want to start using birth control but who do i consult with first my parents or my doctor and if my parents (specifically my mom) how do i tell her with out saying the wrong things?"

"I want to talk to my mom about starting birth control, but I'm not sure how...she told me when my bf, Nat, and I started dating (over 7 months ago) that I could come to her and talk to her, but I haven't really seen any of that openness since, and I'm scared about how she'll react. I really want this for myself though, the bc

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Scarleteen Confidential: Teens and Body Image

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

Our societies are chock full of norms and ideals of beauty, and we all run up against them eventually. These norms and expectations often have a hand in shaping how we feel about our own bodies. When you're a teen and trying to sort out how to feel comfortable in your changing body, these messages can be very potent indeed. Sadly, what is defined as desirable, fit, or beautiful is often based on a very narrow ideal of the human body, rather than on the diverse and wonderful reality of human appearance.

Adolescence involves dramatic changes to your appearance (boobs! hair in new places! acne in places you didn't even know you had!)

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Scarleteen Confidential: When You Don't Like Their Partner

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag above, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

It's a perennial cliché in nearly every coming of age movie, book, and sitcom. An adolescent or emerging adult character brings home a new boyfriend or girlfriend, who is met with dismay or disapproval by parents. Perhaps there is a joke (because threats of violence are apparently hilarious) made about shotguns if the daughter has brought home a boyfriend. Often, the scenario is played for laughs, or for soap opera levels of drama.

In real life, it's not unusual for parents to not immediately like the partner of their teen, or to feel wary or cautious when it comes to supporting their romantic or sexual relationship. But that situation

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Scarleteen Confidential: Supporting a Teen after Sexual Assault

How do you support a teen as they recover from sexual assault?

Scarleteen Confidential: Teens and Mental Health

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians, click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag here at Scarleteen, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.

Mental illness is often a hard thing to talk about even at the best of times. There's still so much stigma attached to it and mental healthcare, and a lot of misconceptions about what someone with a mental illness looks or acts like (and they are not positive misconceptions). It can be doubly scary and intimidating if the person dealing with that illness is is your child.

We see many users struggling with mental health issues (most commonly anxiety and/or depression). Sometimes these issues are primarily situational (they're anxious about a particular incident), and sometimes they're part of a bigger, ongoing pattern of w

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The Scarleteen Safety Plan

If you're in an abusive relationship, to make abuse stop you've got to get away and stay away. Here's help to do that safely, and to be as safe as you can before leaving.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.