parents

Scarleteen Confidential: Teens and Body Image

SCsquareOur 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.

So, what can you do - and what shouldn't you do - to help teens feel at home in their own skin?

Scarleteen Confidential: When You Don't Like Their Partner

SCsquareIt'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.

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.

So how do you go about working out whether or not your concerns are valid, and what to do about them if they are?

Parental Controls

Noodle
asks:
I have been in a monogamous relationship with someone my age for two years. We have been sexually active for a year now. My parents are religious and conservative, and believe strongly that there is no place for sex outside of marriage and I shouldn't be committed to my boyfriend until I have graduated college, which I am attending now....

Scarleteen Confidential: Parenting Gender Non-Conforming Youth

SCsquareMany trans or gender non-conforming youth come to us looking for support they're having difficulty finding, or don't feel safe looking for elsewhere. We know from talking with these users that one of the biggest factors in their overall well-being -- and how hard or easy all of this is on them -- is how supported and safe they feel in their identities when around their families.

This piece is created with an eye towards how can you support them while dealing with any emotions you might have.

Scarleteen Confidential: Teens and Mental Health

SCsquareMental 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. It can be doubly scary and intimidating if the person dealing with that illness is your child.

What can you do to create a more supportive environment for a child who may be coping with mental illness?

Connecting with WOC and Sexuality

Sexuality in ColorEver since puberty, I found my body to be a site of shame, something I desperately wanted to escape.

A transplant to predominantly white Catholic schools on Long Island, I was immediately deemed ugly. I had an older sister, but we were close enough in age that we were navigating puberty around the same time. As second-generation daughters of immigrant parents, we were on our own as far as navigating the personal and social meanings of our bodies.

Recovering from Sexual Shame

123throwme
asks:
When I was younger, I was caught "experimenting" with oral sex by my parents. They reprimanded me severely. Ever since then I've had a hard time coming to terms with my sexuality. It took me a long time to get over my feelings of how "sex is bad," but now I'm in a healthy, sexually active relationship....