parents

Scarleteen Confidential: In Defense of Teen Media

SCsquareFor 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.

What struck me about these conversations was that ninety-nine percent of the time, the adult in question had not even read the book they were criticizing. They dismissed it, either as inappropriate trash or as mindless fiction without ever actually seeing what it had to say.

You Can't Test for Virginity

Tammyluvgurl
asks:
Hello I'm 13 and don't plan on having sex but my mother says that when I'm 16-18 she is going to get me checked to see if I'm still a virgin because I'm religious and we believe in no sex till marriage. Even though I don't plan on having sex, does masturbation affect the test the doctors going to take? And how do they take this test?...

Scarleteen Confidential: The Big Five

If we had to pick just five central things we think are most important to parent well around sex, sexuality and relationships, these are the five we'd choose.

Scarleteen Confidential: (Better) BC Invitations

SCsquareQuite a few young people have come to us with this scenario: a parent has told their child that they are open to talking about contraception. But when the young people bring this up with us, they sometimes say that even though that invitation was extended, they don't feel comfortable picking it up and asking for that help, or can't figure out how.

I absolutely see what I am sure are usually the best of intentions with this invitation. But I'd like to suggest an alternative that will probably work better.

About Scarleteen Confidential

New for parents and families! We're taking what we hear and learn from young people to help adults do better with sex and sexuality parenting.

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....