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Even though no two relationships are exactly alike, there are a lot of qualities that make a relationship "good" or “normal.” But what is normal anyway? When it comes to relationships, we prefer to use the terms “healthy” and “unhealthy.”

Healthy relationships are those that allow each individual to feel respected, valued, and free to honestly express themselves.  In a healthy relationship, neither person feels the need to change their personality, beliefs or values to make the other person happy.  They like and respect each other for exactly who they are.  There is a level of comfort that allows each of them to share private thoughts and dreams without worrying about being teased or rejected. 

In unhealthy relationships,...

Puberty will bring on lots of mixed up feelings. Exciting? Yes. Embarrassing? Sometimes. Awkward? Sure. And while all these changes are happening, there will be people in your life who are amazed. But the most embarrassing part can happen when people feel the need to say something about it. That’s when knowing how to deal with their comments becomes a big part of getting through puberty with a little less embarrassment. 

When grandma says something like, “My, my my. Aren’t you looking like a young woman?!” It can make you want to crawl under a rock. You know she’s commenting on your growing breasts, but you also know she cares about you, so you try to be polite. The best reply in a situation like that is to just smile (if you can...

Dear Caroline,

In my quiet moments, often before you are awake, I can sometimes hear the soundtrack to my life. When that happens, I get to look at you and me as though we were in a movie. I see a little girl with her hands in the sand and one foot in the air- she is dancing in her mind. I see a mom watching with so much love for that girl that it hurts sometimes. I imagine us from the outside in- as someone watching us might see us. I wonder about their relationship and what that mom tells that little girl.

Then, like water, my thoughts flow to the place with least resistance and I worry that I might not have the chance to tell you everything I would like to tell you.

You are 4 years old as I write this. You...

Whenever we talk about parent-child communication and how it affects teen sexual behaviors, most of what we know comes from research involving a MOTHER’S influence.  And whenever we discuss those findings, the natural question that follows from everyone is “What about Dads?”

Great question.We have our theories about how very much Dad’s matter and why, but now we have more objective support.

This month in the journal Pediatrics, researchers provide a summary of articles published from 1980 to 2011 that specifically focused on paternal parenting and adolescent sexual behavior. (Interestingly, there were only 13 articles that qualified over 31 years! There are hundreds that address maternal influences).  From compiling...

When we stop to consider what matters most in life, many of us lose sight of the fundamental privileges we receive every day—freedom, safety, homes, family and friends, and health.

Although we also possess many material blessings, we still tend to focus on wanting MORE. But how much MORE do we really NEED? Our society is painfully obsessed with celebrities, unattainable beauty, perfection, and wealth. Don’t we owe it to girls to exercise Girl Power and concentrate on the values that truly cultivate self-esteem and pride? Consider the following questions and imagine the gratitude you can experience if you celebrate all that you are…

  • Would you rather be voted best dressed or most likely to succeed?
  • Would you...

Emergency contraception (EC), marketed as the product Plan B, is largely misunderstood. As a parent, do you understand it? If not, you’re certainly not alone as evidenced yesterday by a surprising move by the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, who overrode the decision of the FDA to remove the age restriction on emergency contraception availability. 

Using science and research to prove safety and effectiveness, the FDA concluded that Plan B One Step should be available over the counter to all ages and no longer require a prescription for those under 17. In a political move that ignored the science, the decision was blocked.

As a parent of teens, and a physician to teens and their moms, I...

Thanks to our guest blogger, Dani California. Learn more about her below

Whether you’re a tween, teen, or adult, learning to love who we are inside and out can be a difficult task. Especially when we are being bombarded with misleading images in the media. We constantly feel the need to compare ourselves to others and strive to be thinner, smaller, firmer, etc. So how do we stop it?

There is no definitive way to stop the beauty industry and media from portraying un-realistic images and ways of living, but what you can do is learn how to view it differently, and how to talk to your daughters about it.

 “But How” you ask? Good question. Talking to your daughter about positive body image is a sensitive topic...

Lucky you.  9 is a magical age where girls are growing up and can understand some “adult-ish” things, but are young enough to still have that innocent sense of wonder and awe.  Unfortunately, it’s also the age (4th grade is notorious for this) where some kid in her class has already provided their interpretation of what “sex” is – right or wrong. 

That means it’s the perfect time to set the record straight and take the opportunity to interject your family values. 

We always encourage parents to first ask their child what they already know about sex, because by age 8 and 9, most children have heard something.  Ask her if she’s heard the word “sex”? (certainly she has). Then ask her if she knows exactly what it means.  This...

The transitions are amazing.  That’s what keeps us so passionate and excited about offering Girlology’s mom-daughter programs.

When a 9 or 10 year old girl walks into our Something New About You program, there’s often a downward stare and I-don’t-wanna-talk-about-this written all over her face. 

The moms are typically jovial but a little nervous themselves. Talking about puberty and periods with our doll-playing, dirt-digging, recess-loving, cuddly little girls just does that.

Then we start: introductions, breaking the ice, saying the words, being silly, and asking lots of questions. There are always one or two girls that will answer the questions in the beginning, but eventually, everyone is chiming in and oh! oh!...

This blog comes from one of the most commonly asked questions from our programs for high school girls. 

A missed period can have very serious implications or may be nothing to worry about.  If you’ve had sex, the most serious implication is probably obvious. Skipping a period may be the first sign of pregnancy.

If you’ve had sex and you skip a period, it’s time to get serious about finding out why. 

If you’re pregnant, you’ve got a lot to think about. 

If you’re not pregnant, you’ll understand the fear and worry that is inevitable when you are having sex, even if you are being careful with birth control.  You know that birth control is not 100% effective, so that makes a late period a seriously scary...

Driving down the road with your young child, you happen to pass a car bearing a bold bumper sticker in the shape of a condom that reads “Just Wear It.” As you are attempting to speed past that awkward conversation, it happens.

Your six year old enthusiastic reader proudly sounds out, “Just Wear It?” Wear what?

You race through some possible answers:

  • “What does what mean? Just wear one? I have no idea.”
  • “Um...I think that’s telling people to wear their seat belts.”
  • “That is a naughty bumper sticker. It shouldn’t even be allowed on a car where children can see it!”

But in the spirit of open and honest conversations, you know the right thing to do.

You need to take it on. ...

Your daughter bounds into the house with an excitement that says this is something more than an A in English. The sensation is vaguely familiar, and you can almost see her heart pounding through her chest.

As she prattles on, you look into her eyes. They’re hazy green, like yours, and little… love struck? Then it hits you: Tommy Donnovan. He was your ninth grade, welcome to high school crush. Hers is a junior boy named Jake Summerlin. Over the past few weeks you’ve heard the talk. Jake is hot, smart, on the football team, and, today, he asked her to a party. You’re response is:

A) Wow, way to go! Have a blast! Wish I was invited. Wear that fur trimmed mini-skirt with your Ugg boots.B) No way! And there won’t be any...

This year, Girlology turns TEN! That means, we're heading into our own puberty, and we're taking on a new look. Please excuse our growing pains and our clumsy moments, and bear with us through this transition with our new website. It will help us most, if you let us know of any hiccups or problems you see on our new site.

Please look around, join the community, and be part of our growth. We are grateful for your interest and your trust as we continue to have conversations that matter!

Is your daughter ready to use tampons? Summertime may bring on that need. And as the warrior mom who has done other things against your nature for the benefit of your child, you are used to putting on your no-big-deal face and taking on the role of “coach.” But tampon-coach? 

If you’ve ever tried to help a daughter through her first tampon insertion, you’ll recognize the coaching role. You have to provide an encouraging pre-insertion speech (or at least show her the instructions in the box). You’ll probably be shouting directions and affirmations from the sidelines (behind the bathroom door). Then you’ll wait anxiously for that final cry of victory or defeat. And sometimes, as the coach, you may even have to provide some hands-on...

Jealousy is a funny thing.  Not ha ha funny at all, just confusing - especially for adolescents. As guys enter their teens and have all that testosterone (the hormone that is responsible for things like sexual feelings, aggression, and feeling “manly”) flowing in their veins, the testosterone makes them a bit territorial –“Stay outta my space; keep your hands off my stuff!” 

Girls can be jealous and possessive, too, but it’s less testosterone driven and more emotionally driven.  For girls, feeling possessive of someone else mostly comes from feeling insecure and desperately needing attention. 

When it comes to feeling territorial, it’s fine as long as it’s about stuff and not people.  People are not property that anyone...