The single best resource for GIRL TALK. Easy to read, lively, down to earth, and definitely teen-friendly. Ideal for BOTH mothers AND daughters. How to have engaging conversations about tough topics.
Start Talking contains more than 113 questions girls ask us every day about, well, everything: periods, sex, relationships, guys, eating, exercise, and more. There are also great ways to get your mom involved. This book can be a fresh start for both of you. The truth is, daughters want to talk—to their moms. And, moms can learn how to listen—from their daughters. Start Talking is the place to start!
The first book to get moms and daughters on the same page.
Now, you both get super straight answers about
• How your body works—top to bottom, we cover it all
• Feeling good, feeling fat, and everything in between
• Birth control, STDs, and what makes you a virgin
• Sex—how to know when you’re ready, and when you’re not
• Why just because you ask, doesn’t mean you want to do it
• Saying no and loving it—surprising reasons to wait
• Fun ways to get closer—from yoga mats to a day at the mall
• Loving your body and living your life to the fullest
• Getting what you want from life—right now and forever!
The single best resource for GIRL TALK.
Easy to read, lively, down to earth, and definitely teen-friendly. Ideal for both mothers and daughters.
How to have engaging conversations about tough topics.
One of the best tools for nurses, family doctors, therapists, and health-care professionals -- every office should have a dozen copies.
Start Talking A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever
Publication date: Nov 2008
Imprint: Bayou Publishing
Book Format: Paperback
Book Size: 6 x 9
Mary Jo Rapini Mary Jo Rapini, MD., LPC is featured on TLC's new series, Big Medicine. She is an intimacy and sex counselor, certified anger managment therapist, and popular speaker. A mom with two daughters, her passion is helping all girls become strong women. Janine Sherman Janine Sherman, RN-C, MSN is a popular presenter on mother-daughter issues. She is actively involved with physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals as well as daughters, daughters' friends, and teens in general.
Start Talking, by Mary Jo Rapini and Janine Sherman, is a 2009 Mom's Choice AwardsHonoree for the Young Adult Books category. It received the Gold Award for best Non-Fiction Young Adult Book of 2009 and also top honors for Family Relations/Health book of 2009.
Finalist in 2009 Foreword Magazine "Book of the Year Award" for Young Adults, Family, and Self-HelpCategories.
Start Talking is proud to have been selected as a distinguished winner for the iParenting Media Award.
Introduction | 11
Chapter 1 “Oops … I Had an Accident" | 17
Chapter 2 “But I’m Not Sick. Do I Really Need to See a Doctor?" | 39
Routine Female Health Care
Chapter 3 “How Do I Know If I’ve Got It?" | 61
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Chapter 4 “I Wanna Know" | 107
Sexuality and Relationships
Chapter 5 “Mom, I Need to Tell You Something" | 83
Chapter 6 “I’m So Fat!" | 133
Body Image, Eating Disorders and Psychological Health
Chapter 7 “Am I Becoming the Person I Want to Be?" | 157
Nurturing Your Passions and Gifts
Final Thoughts | 165
Notes | 167
Glossary | 169
Annotated Bibliography | 171
Index | 175
About the Authors | 183
Ordering Information | 184
A brief guide to unusual terms, medical terms, or common terms used by teens.
Amenorrhea is the absence of your menstrual cycle. Primary amenorrhea means you have never had a period; secondary amenorrhea means you have previously had at least one cycle.
Bacterial Vaginosis is a common vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of normal bacterial growth in the vagina.
Candidiasis is another word for yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida; a common form of vaginal infection.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection that, if untreated, can cause scarring in tubes and ovaries leading to infertility.
Corpus Luteum is what is left behind in the ovary after ovulation, and it produces progesterone.
Dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual cramps, painful periods.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue from the lining of the uterus gets misplaced anywhere in the pelvis outside of the uterus including the ovaries and fallopian tubes; a common source of pelvic pain.
Endometrium is the lining of the uterus.
Estrogen is a female hormone produced by the ovaries that causes the lining of the uterus to thicken up most prominent during the beginning of your cycle.
Follicle is a small fluid filled sac that forms in the ovaries that can produce an egg.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and arthritis if untreated.
Hormones are substances produced by the body that travel through the bloodstream to control certain organs. Estrogen and progesterone are examples of female hormones.
Hirsutism is excessive hair growth on the face chest or abdomen in women, often due to overproduction of testosterone.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a very common viral infection spread through sexual contact. It is the common virus associated with abnormal Pap tests and cervical cancer.
Mastodynia means painful breasts.
Pap test is a test that looks at cells from the uterine cervix, useful in detecting cervical cancer.
Teens today, more than ever, face a myriad of issues involving sex and sexuality, self-esteem and body image. They need education; they need guidance; they need support to make the right decisions at the right time.
In our profession as women’s health care providers, we’ve found that teens experience greater success through these difficult years when they have open communication with their mothers.
But we’ve also found that’s not quite as simple as it sounds.
As women’s health care providers we understand that daughters are commonly reluctant to approach their mothers for advice, for fear of punishment or lecture, or simply because they are embarrassed of the issue itself. They instead turn to their friends or the mass media, or avoid the issues altogether, creating greater problems for themselves in the future.
And as mothers ourselves, we also understand that many of us are embarrassed to admit that despite our best intentions, we hesitate to engage our daughters in health-related dialogue. We either feel shy, inadequate, and poorly informed, or we have been so looking forward to such interactions with our daughters—anticipating with cherished thoughts how our conversations will go, only to discover that our teenage daughters are disinterested, busy, or outright offended.
So where are teen girls getting the little information they do have about health and sex? And what is it that they are concluding about health and sex and their bodies from these information sources? Adolescent girls learn about sex primarily from their conversations with their mothers, interactions with their peers, participation in school programs, and exposure to mass media, yet not necessarily in that order. All contribute to the knowledge our children receive about sex and their bodies; all are potential sources of conversation with our daughters.
Mothers. As mothers, from the time that our children are born, we make sure that they are clean, fed and clothed. We take them to the pediatrician regularly. We teach them everything, from how to ride a bike to how to use appropriate manners. We provide our children with love, protection and guidance. We tend to breeze through most of these tasks, and when we stumble occasionally, we turn to our own mothers for help.
As our children become more inquisitive and their lives become more complicated, these tasks can become far more challenging. Most of us find it uncomfortable when our daughters ask us questions about sex and their bodies. We often have difficulty teaching our daughters about sex because of our own discomfort and/or our own lack of knowledge. This uneasiness with the subject is often a reflection of the way that we were taught about sex by our own mothers, years earlier.
My mother had only two significant conversations with me about my body and sex, which were probably two more conversations than she had with her own mother. Our first conversation was about menstruation, and we had it just before I actually started getting my periods. Oversimplified and incomplete, the information that she provided was probably all she felt was needed to handle my first episode of bleeding.
Our second conversation, when I was 13 years old, was about human reproduction. My mother read me a book, which had been recommended by her gynecologist, entitled “How to Talk to 6-8 Year Olds." Like other mothers, she was uncomfortable about teaching me what I needed to know about sex and my body. Also, like other mothers, her knowledge about sexuality and related health issues may have been limited. Our conversations were a beginning but they did not provide me with all the information that I would need as a teen.
Peers. Adolescent girls exert a huge influence on each other. This is a time in a girl’s life when she desperately wants to “fit in." Peers help each other “figure it all out." Teen girls can also be a fabulous resource for inaccurate information.
Young girls also get a lot of inaccurate information from their boyfriends — whom they want to please — about the risks of sexual activity. For example, a common myth believed by boys is that girls can’t get pregnant “the first time."
Never underestimate the influence girls have on each other regarding the issue of body image. It’s been noted, for instance, that eating disorders can “run in packs." Girls teach each other how to “do it" and encourage each other to stay skinny. The concern to “be popular" or “fit in" is far more important than taking care of their bodies. They find out what it means to be popular and to fit in, first and foremost from their buddies.
School Programs. Our public schools are another primary source of sex education for girls. In 1996, the federal government enacted legislation limiting federal funding for sex education programs in public school to those programs with an “abstinence only" curriculum. Those programs focus on sex after marriage, ignore pre-marital sex, and do not mention birth control and safe sex practices. As parents, abstinence until marriage sounds like a great idea for our daughters. Unfortunately, as a public policy, it has not proven particularly effective.
A recent public health study not only confirms that teen girls generally are not abstaining from sexual intercourse, but demonstrates that 75% of females have had premarital sex by the age of 20. Further, by not emphasizing the need for safe sex practices if a girl decides not to abstain, school-based programs fail to show our girls how to protect their health. Fewer than 10% of sexually active teenagers are using condoms when having sex. Consequently, adolescents have the highest prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases.
Teenagers are surging with natural hormonal urges, yet they are not being taught in school how to deal with them. This is like putting hungry children in a room with all kinds of food. Most of them would take the junk food instead of the healthier alternatives unless we have taught them how to make better choices.
Mass media. The fourth, and perhaps the most influential source of information about sex is the mass media. From magazines to television to the Internet to radio—from every source you can think of—the message is the same. Each source screams “SEX" at adolescents. Prime time network television shows an average of eight sexual incidents per hour. Almost half of adolescents report learning about sex, pregnancy, and birth control from television, movies and magazines. Movies and television are powerful educators, often portraying reckless and unsafe behavior by teens in a glamorous or romantic light. Sex, as portrayed by the media, frequently involves quick hook-ups and immediate gratification.
Even in the absence of frank references to sex, magazines and other media targeting adolescent girls emphasize “ideal" body images and suggestive behaviors to attract boys sexually. As a result, girls are encouraged to have unhealthy diets and engage in practices with sex as the ultimate goal. For instance, look at any teen oriented fashion magazine; all of the models are unrealistically thin and the articles range from “how to kiss better" to “how to get him to notice you."
Health care providers often see young women after problems occur— problems that might have been avoided if the adolescents had received adequate education, or if they had found opportunities to engage a trusted, meaningful person with their questions. When we mothers fall short in educating our girls about health, sex, and self-esteem we miss out on our opportunities to prevent potential problems. We cannot count on the schools, our daughters’ peers or the mass media to provide our adolescent daughters with the information that they need to protect themselves.
The goal of this book is to empower mothers and daughters with accurate and comprehensive knowledge so that they can have the open, relaxed, and informative conversations about sex and female health that every young woman needs and deserves. Mothers have the chance to directly shape their daughters’ thought processes regarding their bodies, life choices, health and well being. The book also highlights the mother-daughter connection in helping girls to explore their passions and to focus their energies on self discovery.
For you mothers, table talk is a way of comfortably inviting your daughter into your beliefs and thoughts, and learning from her as well. For you daughter's, table talk is a way of comfortably inviting your mother into your beliefs and thoughts, and learning from her as well. This book is designed for both moms and daughters alike. The information is meant to be shared. It is deliberately meant to spark conversations. Getting started with table talk can happen almost any place or time, just as this book describes.
Young girls deserve accurate information presented in a relaxed way by people whom they trust. They deserve straightforward answers to their questions. Moms deserve a chance to have engaging conversations with their daughters about life-critical issues.
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