GIRLOLOGY: 10 Survival Tips for Today's Teen Girls
Hang-ups, Hook-ups, and Holding Out: Stuff You Need To Know About Your Body, Sex, and Dating
Based on information from the book, GIRLOLOGY: Hang Ups, Hook Ups & Holding Out: Stuff You Need To Know About Your Body, Sex and Dating by Melisa Holmes, M.D. and Trish Hutchison, M.D., comes this list of "10 Survival Tips for Today's Teen Girls." Check them out, it might save you some embarrassment (or worse) in the future!
10 SURVIVAL TIPS FOR TODAY'S TEEN GIRLS
1. It may feel exciting to do risky things in front of your friends, but anything you do can be recorded, and you never know where or when it might show up again. Remember that everything that is digitally created (using cell phones, cameras, video, and even e-mails, voice mails, and text messages) is recordable, reproducible, and positively permanent!
2. Normal is not what you see in ads and on TV. When you get mixed up about what is normal, lose sight of reality, and forget about your strengths, you inevitably start to feel badly about yourself. There’s no easy answer, but you can start to pull away from the negative messages by respecting yourself, focusing on what you like about your body, and appreciating the amazing things your body can do.
3. Whether you want it to be or not, sex is a big deal because it can have lifelong consequences. The possibility of something great like creating a new life – or of something horrible like getting an infection – make it nearly impossible to experience sex as something purely physical with no “emotional” strings attached.
4. Get to know the nice guys. When you place too much emphasis on “what” you are dating (hottie, jock, rocker, popular guy) or just how he looks, you’ll find yourself developing bad relationship habits that can stick with you for a long time. Instead, check out who he really is by taking the time to learn more about him. Does he have goals? A sense of humor? A passion for animals? Getting to know him will help you find a great guy or recognize a really shallow one that’s not worth your time.
5. Confidentiality is a very important part of your relationship with your doctor. If you can’t be honest with your doctor because you fear your parents will know everything you discuss, your doctor can’t take care of you and give you the advice and information you need. It’s a great time to get your mom (or another trusted adult) to help you find a doctor of your own with whom you feel comfortable discussing private stuff.
6. Be smart about alcohol and drug use. Know how to say no. Know what these substances do and what they don’t do. For starters, they don’t improve your life (not even your sex life). Ever.
7. It’s normal to think about sex and have sexual desires, but learning to manage your feelings in a safe and responsible way is really important. Think about your future goals and what you value, then decide how far you feel comfortable going when it comes to sex. Set your sexual boundaries now and you’ll be more likely to stick to them rather than just “letting things happen” when you didn’t really want to.
8. Don’t be fooled into thinking “it” won’t happen to you. Unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases affect teens more than any other age group. If you’re having sex, get serious about birth control, preventing infections, taking care of your body, and getting tested regularly.
9. No matter what you may hear, most high school teens are holding out on sex. In fact, more and more teens today are deciding that sex is just too stressful and risky. Some have had sex before, but decided to stop and wait until they’re older before becoming sexually involved again. Some have never had sex because they’ve just made that decision from the start. Either way, waiting is a wise choice that will let you enjoy your teen years without the worries and responsibilities related to sex.
10. There’s something to learn from every relationship – even when it’s ending. If you find yourself on the dropped end of a break up, just remember that you can’t change someone’s feelings for you, no matter how much you cry, grovel or beg. If it’s over, don’t turn it into a big drama. Let it end as nicely as you can, and you’ll preserve your dignity and respect.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Melisa Holmes, M.D., and Trish Hutchison, M.D. are the authors of GIRLOLOGY™: Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups, and Holding Out (Health Communications, Inc./September 2007). Dr. Holmes is an ob-gyn and a nationally recognized advocate for adolescent health. Dr. Hutchison is a pediatrician with a passion for adolescents. As trusted physicians with over 25 years of clinical experience between them, both have been named among the Best Doctors in America. These doctors “get it” on many levels and provide a healthy dose of uncensored advice that today’s teens crave. For further information please visit www.girlology.com.
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