A parents guide to how the prefrontal cortex, amygdala and neurons change during adolescence.
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Maybe you hear that a lot: “You are worth it.” But what exactly is IT?
As you’re giving thanks this holiday season, remember to wrap your arms in a tight self-hug and think deeply about the many reasons you have to be grateful. Some days it feels easier to love ourselves than other days, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When we choose to focus our thoughts on what it actually means to be LOVABLE, instead of feeding the fear that we don’t measure up, we begin to understand and feel our self worth. Trust me… when you learn to think this way, you will see how you measure up!
Here’s a tip on learning to love the true you (a new spin on feeling lovable that perhaps you haven’t considered)....
Got 12 minutes? Listen to the RadioMD podcast as Dr. Holmes discusses how parents can do a better job talking with their kids about body changes and sexual health.
Are podcasts something you use regularly? If so, let us know! What topics would you like to hear the Girlology & Guyology team discuss? We may just start our own regularly posted podcasts that you can access on YOUR time!
As if body changes aren’t enough, the tween years also bring major changes in moods, behaviors, interests, and the way they think. Suddenly, your child can sling some attitude, text without looking, and argue you to death-all at once! Many of these new “skills” are blamed on raging hormones, but the truth is that most of them are actually caused by all the shiny new neurons and hardwiring going on in your adolescent’s brain.
As recently as a few decades ago, scientists thought the brain was finished growing around age two, and “data entry” was all that happened after that. Today, through advanced medical imaging techniques, we know that the brain begins a second, large growth spurt around age twelve and finishes up in the early...
Good news: Your TWEEN will Like This One!
We’ve been waiting for this official announcement, and it’s here! The CDC has recommended that for 11-14 year olds, the HPV vaccine now only requires 2 injections instead of 3. And instead of getting the second injection two months after the first, the spacing should now be at least 6 months apart, but even a year apart is fine.
Why the change? The newer vaccines, given at younger ages are producing such effective immunity that a 3rd injection isn’t necessary. This is based off of research studies that showed two doses of the HPV vaccine in younger adolescents (9-14) resulted in a similar or better immune response than three doses in 16-26 year olds.
As a pediatrician/adolescent medicine specialist, I ask questions all day long, including lots of questions about sex and sexuality. By now, I’ve probably interviewed tens of thousands of adolescents. I teach medical students to take sexual histories: always promising confidentiality unless someone’s life is in danger, emphasizing the importance of being non-judgmental and open-minded, and not making assumptions about people’s sexuality. I never asked my sons any such questions because I didn’t want to pry; if they wanted me to know something, I figured they’d tell me or ask me questions.
About five months before my older son was getting married, in the middle of dinner, my wife and I with our two sons, our younger son Noah stood...
Are you on Twitter? JOIN US for a Twitter Chat as we discuss better ways to talk with kids about sex, sexuality, love and relationships.
Never been part of a twitter chat? It's easy. You can participate as a spectator (and just enjoy the great comments and advice), or you can pitch in and add your own comments. If you see something helpful, give it a retweet or like it! If you have something to add, tweet it with the hashtag #TalkTips.
All you need to do is open Twitter on Thursday, Oct 27 from 3:00-4:00 pm, and in your search box, type #TalkTips or @girlology. Either will take you to the chat where we'll be asking professionals, parents, and young people how to improve the dialogues we have with children about...
Girlology is thrilled to be a small part of a huge project that is improving the way kids learn about sex and sexuality. Amaze.org has created animated videos (fun, accurate, humorous, goofy...just the way we like them!) that give kids all the answers they actually want to know about sex, their body and relationships. The video on menstruation was developed from our You Got IT ebook, and our Co-Founder, Dr. Holmes, serves as an Advisory Panel member providing feedback and input on all of the videos.
Pimples are problems for a lot of tweens and teens. Even though you may keep your skin squeaky clean, you may still get pimples, also known as zits or acne.
Acne is your body’s response to changes on your skin’s surface. It can occur all over your body, but most commonly shows up on your face, chest or back. Whether or not you have acne has a lot to do with your genetics -- did your parents have acne? If so, you probably will, too.
Besides genetics, acne is caused by 4 things:
- Increased sebum (oil) production. This happens around puberty because hormones tell your skin to make more oil-producing glands which create the sebum.
- Clogged pores....
When parents started asking us to offer a program on sex as a follow up to our puberty program, we hesitated. It’s one thing to talk with our own kids or write blogs about “talking with your kids about sex,” but it’s a whole new ball game when we actually talk to your kid for you!
But if you know us, you know we didn’t hesitate very long. Not only were we up for it, we’re loving it!
Our Reproduction programs are quickly becoming our favorites. The kids, 5th and 6th graders, are so very ready for the information. Most of them have already heard some gossip about sex, but they are definitely fuzzy on the facts. And the parents - many come in a bit squirmy and anxious, but they all leave with a sense of relief that the topic...
To understand the term “bisexual,” it’s important to understand some basics about sexuality - and that’s a big topic!
Sexuality is a term that describes how people feel and act with respect to their "male-ness" or "female-ness" and how they express their romantic and sexual feelings for others. Sexuality may seem confusing when you’re young, because it develops over time, may change over time, and is influenced by many things including your biology, family, beliefs, experiences, and relationships.
Your sexuality includes a lot of things, such as…
- Biological sex: Were you born with female or male chromosomes and body parts?
- Gender Identity: In your mind, do you feel...
If you (or someone close to you) has noticed a new not-so-nice smell floating around you, it’s probably puberty - well, it’s body odor caused by puberty. But don’t worry! We can help!
You probably already know that your hormones change pretty quickly as you enter puberty. But don’t let hormones worry you. They are just chemical messengers that help your body parts communicate with each other.
As you enter puberty, there’s a hormone that makes your skin become more oily and another that causes your sweat glands to make more sweat. When your sweat and oils mix, they create a yummy “soup” that gets slurped up by the bacteria that normally live on your skin. As the bacteria munch on your body soup, they put off stinky smells...
I wasn’t totally surprised when I found out (from another mom) that my 6th grade daughter* had a “boyfriend.” I had noticed the flirtation and bigger-than-usual-smile when he was around. Besides, I was in the 6th grade once, too. Back then, we called it “going steady.” Today, I hear it’s called “going out.”
I knew better than to say what I said, but it just slithered out of that dorkey-parent-talk space that materializes when you have children.
“I heard you’re going out with Sam.* So… where are you going?”
If you have an adolescent daughter, you can imagine the response.
I wasn’t making fun of her BF interest, just trying to keep it “light.” I just didn’t want her to think that we were diving head...
I recently asked a room full of 5th and 6th graders to anonymously write down what they had heard about sex from their friends or parents. Although a few wrote, “nothing,” the rest had heard plenty.
Some of their (mostly inaccurate) reports were about “how” sex happens, “the dude touches the lady with his penis.” But most of the others reported soundbites like, “You have to use a condom” or “You can get AIDS.” Then there was one that made me want to cry, “Boys like it but girls don’t.” Do you see how much they need real sex ed?!
So if your child is beyond elementary school age, whether you think she’s old enough to know about sexually transmitted infections or not, she has probably already heard more...
When girls and women talk about cramps, they are usually referring to menstrual cramps, not just a leg cramp (although girls have plenty of those, too!). Cramps happen because the uterus, which is made of muscle, squeezes to release the endometrial lining that makes up a period. As the uterus squeezes, it can cramp, just like any muscle that works hard.
The most effective treatments for cramps are
- EXERCISE. Taking a brisk walk or a slow jog are a great way to reduce menstrual cramps. We’ve heard from many girls that when they are involved in daily sports practice, they don’t have very much pain with their period, but when they are off season and less active, their cramps are worse. Scientific...