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Menstrual cramps or period cramps (also known by the medical term “dysmenorrhea”) are that nagging ache that creeps up on you before or during your period. They usually last for 1-3 days. For some menstruators, cramping is barely noticeable, but for others, it can be a real pain in the pelvis (or lower back, or vagina, or upper thighs!). Sometimes cramps can be so painful, they cause nausea, vomiting or even fainting. The good news is that they tend to get less severe with age or after childbirth, but until then, they often require some treatment to prevent them from preventing YOU from having your usual fun!

But WHY?

Remember that your uterus is like a hollow muscle with a nice fluffy lining on the inside (called the...

We must get at least a dozen comments and emails every week from girls asking the question, “When will I get my first period?” It’s obvious that every girl has put a lot of thought into how puberty is progressing and what’s up next because we get all sorts of details. We hear about when breasts budded, how long pubic hair has been around, whether there’s discharge or not, when mom started her period, and how many friends have already started. Some girls seem worried, while others are clearly excited and impatient!

So how do you know? There are definitely some things that should happen BEFORE you start your period, but the timing is a bit of a mystery. Wouldn’t it be cool if you got a “reminder” that popped up on your cell phone?...

When your crush finally notices you and things start looking like they might become “official,” there are usually lots of warm and fuzzy emotions floating around. You may find yourself wanting to text or talk to that person all the time. You might get butterflies when you see your boo. You might create an emoji sequence with special meaning that you use to end every text conversation. It can be really fun to be someone’s “special someone.” 

In the teen years, the hormones that make you go through puberty also play a big part in driving feelings of attraction. Your hormones (you’re making more than ever before) can also affect emotions, making them feel bigger and stronger. For some people, when attraction and big emotions come...

Have you lost the balance between owning your weaknesses and celebrating your strengths? Wait, what? Did you forget that you can actually focus some of your attention on what’s going right? You are the first in line to shout out your shortcomings and insecurities, yet you minimize your strengths. It happens to the best of us. Learn to embrace the intimidating journey to becoming confident by accepting and owning that there are certain qualities that don’t come easy for you while there are other qualities that DO come easy. You have positive qualities that you ignore… and those qualities want your attention! Practice what makes you smile. Practice what makes you curious. Practice what uniquely shines in you when you’re NOT overthinking....

Even when you aren’t saying a thing, the way you stand, your expression, and your movements are telling others around you how you feel. That’s called body language, and it’s your non-verbal voice.

What does your body language say about you? Does it pull people towards you or push them away? In the previous blog, we discussed the importance of learning to communicate verbally, but messages you communicate non-verbally impact your relationships, too.  People notice body language (whether they are trying to or not), and they make assumptions based on your cues and movements.

A better understanding of your own body language can let people know when you’re serious, or prevent you from seeming standoffish or bored when, in fact...

What does your voice say about you? It depends, right? It depends on your mood, thoughts, and the audience. Some audiences get the quiet voice. Some get the loud, over-reactive voice. Some get the confident expressive voice, and yet others get the intimidated (almost non-verbal) voice.

Did you know that as your thoughts constantly circulate in your mind with traces of both fiction and non-fiction; your voice is formulating a plan of action? What if THIS happens? What if THAT happens? And what if THIS and THAT change my life as I know it? Worry begins to bubble up and your voice is on standby to help you stay true to what you really want.

Sometimes it’s hard to “find your voice” to speak up for yourself, but did you know...

I write this with a loving heart and an understanding that you are probably like most other humans with a heart and soul. That means I know you experience pain, regret, sorrow and icky thoughts and feelings of unlovability. It’s gigantic, hard stuff. The kind of gigantic, hard stuff that becomes etched in your spirit and worn daily like a uniform – worn daily as if it’s mandated by some higher authority figure. But what if you aren’t mandated to always wear your mistakes? Imagine the feeling of self-acceptance you could experience with permission to exhale a mistake that you’re holding on to and learn to let it go. Just release it. Learn to accept it as part of your story… but for crying out loud, LET...

It’s a familiar experience. The landscape and details may change, but the internal experience has no doubt been experienced by each of us. At times, it seems like an unwelcome visitor that insists on showing up. It’s the same for you as it is for her (that girl you think is prettier, smarter, and utterly flawless), but I’ll get to that part later. Just keep reading.

I bet you sometimes fear that you look as clueless in social situations as you feel. Anxiety bubbles from the pit of your pretzeled stomach and you scan the room looking for a sign that you’re not that awkward. You decide you must be because the feeling is so intense. Remember that I’ve taught you feelings aren’t facts. Just because you ...

In the last blog, I shared with you the importance of learning to tap into the part of you that is soul. You can’t feed soul through starvation, body-shaming, and unnecessary insecurities. You and I both know that when the going gets tough, for some reason, we become increasingly dissatisfied with our body. I know… I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. I want you to know that it is with compassion and understanding that I insist that a positive identity can’t be found through the size or shape of your body. Searching for satisfaction through your jeans size will never lead you to feeling loved. It leads to the opposite: It leads to the dead-end road of self-pity and an uncomfortable relationship with food.

When...

You’re trying desperately to manage the strangulating pressures of life, and working hard to reject your impulses to feel rejected. You may think the answers can be found in the dying-to-look-like-they-look comparison game. But you won’t find the answers playing the comparison game because (SPOILER ALERT!) the game is fiction. It’s an illusion.

I want to teach you the difference between ego and soul:

So, what’s ego? For the sake of simplicity, think of ego as the part of you that seeks approval, recognition, and the feeling of being special. Your ego wants you to shine. It wants you to have popularity, privilege, and praise. It wants you to go shopping for what-she-is-wearing outfits. It wants you to have...

Did you know that two things can be true at the same time? That’s right! Keep reading and hopefully life will begin looking brighter by simply understanding how to modify a certain type of negative thinking that makes perspectives seem dim and disappointing.

All-or-nothing thinking is the tendency to evaluate a situation in extreme categories. When we judge ourselves, or others, using extreme measures, we decide –consciously or subconsciously – that a situation is all good (perfection) or all bad (failure). Now, if we make all good or all bad our only two choices, and perfection doesn’t exist, then the only choice left with this type of thinking is… all bad. Yep, a big, bad, hideously daunting failure!

So, if you tend to...

Have you ever heard the saying “paint yourself in a positive light?” It means make yourself look good… I MEAN REALLY GOOD! And for many on social media, this concept has become so amplified that it actually means TRY TO LOOK PERFECT! Everybody is doing it, right? It’s mind-blowing the measures people will go to in an effort to paint themselves in a positive light. Some take 100 selfies to try to find that ONE perfect picture. Some use an editing app to try to create a perfect, flawless smile and body. Some agonize over the perfect caption to promote the perfect friend group. Some work tirelessly to capture the perfect, relaxed look on that perfect eat-your-heart-out-bet-you-wish-you-were-here vacation.

It’s EXHAUSTING trying to...

Our phones allow us to find “the best,” “the funniest,” “the craziest,” as we constantly search for something better or funnier in the endless supply of material on the Internet. But have you ever thought about how much time you spend looking for more stuff ... just checking and scrolling?

When we’re constantly looking at and checking our phone, others often feel like we’re looking past them to see if someone better will show up. Have you ever felt like a third-wheel because someone was so immersed in her phone that she missed the plot twist in your conversation? Or you pour your heart out only to get the inappropriately-timed response of “that’s awful?” We all know that feeling. It can feel like your...

The other day I read a story about “the nightshade plant.” At first glance, this plant seems harmless with it’s reddish, bell-shaped flowers and shiny-coated black berries. Sounds harmless, right? Not so. This plant is actually considered a toxic, poisonous A-Lister plant… AKA “devil’s berries,” “death cherries,” and “devil’s herb.”

And now for the blog: 

What’s the core thought in your NEGATIVE THINKING? Take a moment and consider one deep wound or insecurity that can unexpectedly show up in your life (sometimes as a barely audible whisper and sometimes as an ear-piercing scream). Is that wound an emotional injury from a relationship that didn’t work out or a team you didn’t make? We all get...

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of the girls I know start feeling flooded by thoughts and feelings of being loved by another… by some dreamy soulmate…by someone that’s indisputably “too good to be true!” But why do we let one day result in so much disappointment and negative self-talk about being unlovable? C’mon… do we really want to measure our worth based on a box of chocolates or flowers? If you really stop and think about it, it’s way over-rated. Right?!?!

Let’s dare to find ways to be “too good to be true” to the family and friends we love... and also to ourselves. Instead of defining our worth based on what we receive, let’s empower ourselves to start making it a day to appreciate our ability to give....

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