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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....

As we look ahead to a new year, most of us will try to find that perfect magical New Year’s resolution that will make us feel… well…BETTER. If you’re making New Year’s resolutions, deep down you might think that it probably won’t last, but for a split second when you think about what that resolution should be, there will be hope that you can become a better version of yourself this year than you were last year. Right? And maybe you’ll be similar to the other millions of people fantasizing about looking better… fitting in better … fitting into your jeans better… and being seen by others as simply better (than before).

What if I told you that your well-intentioned New Year’s resolution will likely be motivated by the same need that...

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)....

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....

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...

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 

  1. 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...

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: How much vaginal discharge is normal? 

Vaginal discharge is the creamy, clear-to-whilte-to-yellow stuff that oozes out of your vagina. It normally starts early in puberty, around  the same time your breasts bud, because both of these changes are caused by estrogen, the main puberty hormone for girls. Even though you don't hear a lot of people talk about discharge, all girls and women have it. It's actually the way the vagina cleans itself and stays moist and comfortable. When it comes out, it usually has a milky or creamy appearance, but when it dries in your underwear, it can look darker yellow and become "crusty." It's usually enough to lightly stain the crotch of your underwear, so yes, that's normal, too...

The average age that girls start their first period is 12.5, but it can happen anytime from ages 9 to 16. That’s a big range, so how’s a girl to know when it's really on its way? 

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a text message or a post card in the mail to tell you when to be ready for your first period? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. But don’t worry, there will definitely be some signs that you are getting close to the big day!

You can know it’s on its way when you notice these signs:

  • Your breasts have progressed past breast buds and you have a mound of breast tissue (size doesn't matter - it’s the rounded shape that matters). This is usually 18-24 months after your breasts bud.
  • Your...

As we teach children about their changing bodies, we can’t forget to teach them about what’s happening to the opposite gender. Whether or not your boy is anywhere close to puberty himself, the girls are changing as early as 2nd grade. Giving him a basic understanding goes a long way to help him feel informed, decrease anxiety about what’s ahead, AND improve his support for peers who may be blooming early.

Here’s our list of things a boy needs to know as he faces puberty blossoming among the girls. Let us know what you would add!

  • Girls go First. Let him know that girls’ bodies usually start to change before boys’ do, sometimes as early as 2nd grade. Since the first outward sign of puberty for most...

“If you’re like most girls, there was no warning or announcement. It just showed up. Maybe you were totally surprised, and maybe you’d been waiting for it — like, forever.” 

Our newest book, You Got IT: Everything You Need to Know When You Start Your Period by Drs. Holmes & Hutchison, provides all sorts of knowledge as well as tips and tricks for managing your monthly. But in addition to knowing the facts, girls also want to know how it happened for other girls and women. What's your period story? Where were you? How did you manage? Were you surprised? Scared? Everyone seems to have some memories about their first period. Your story might be just the one that helps another girl feel more normal or...

Looking back at fifth grade, it was a rough time for me...REALLY rough.  Before this, I struggled with being “different” because I was one of the few Indian students at school.  After dispelling many rumors about my culture, (“No, I don’t know how to charm a snake... No, I don’t have to wear a dot on my forehead”), I thought life would get a little easier, but then, all of a sudden, I had BOOBS.  Seriously. They seemed to come out of NOWHERE. I was flat as a pancake one day and curvy the next. How could that happen?

I quickly realized that I HAD to wear baggy clothes and avoid making any sudden movements if I didn’t want the two blobs on my chest to jiggle. Ugh. I hated my boobs because no one else seemed to have them in my class...

"It got to the point where I would scroll through my accounts and not recognize the girl in the photos; she looked pretty, happy, and popular, but she wasn’t me."

Whether loved or despised, the use of internet and social media has become an integral part of daily life for most Americans, who on average spend over eleven hours a day on virtual media. Long days of research in the office or classroom transition easily into nights of television and Netflix, phones are pulled out even just to wait in line to get coffee, and I hardly know anyone who doesn’t check their texts first thing in the morning. We have deemed this type of behavior socially normal, rather than focusing on the addictive patterns it...

Know The Facts 30 seconds

Before you get close, get the facts. 1 in 4 teens will get an STD. Protecting your health is key. Sexually transmitted infections can happen with skin to skin contact, not just "sex." If you're having sex, get tested. If you're thinking about it, protect yourself. 

Puberty is inevitable, but every girl has a unique experience and handles it in her own way. You can help make it a positive experience by helping your daughter know what to expect and reassuring her that some of the weirdness is actually normal!

To help her (and you) know what’s coming, here’s a brief overview of “the order of things”

  • Feet and hands grow first.
  • Breast buds are next for about 85% of girls.
  • Remember that one side usually buds first as a hard, sometimes tender, knot under the areola. The other side will bud within a short time usually, but sometimes it takes up to 6 months.
  • Shortly after breasts bud (a sign of circulating estrogen), she will begin to have vaginal discharge (...

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