Parent Buzz Newsletter - Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
The Parent Buzz
A Newsletter for Parents from Let's Be Honest
March 2010 - Issue 20

In This Issue
Sign Up
Quick Links
Book Image
If you want to help your kids make responsible sexual choices, not only do you have to talk to them about sex, you have to do it in a way that addresses their real concerns with advice that's relevant to their lives.

Talking Sex With Your Kids: Keeping Them Safe and You Sane - By Knowing What They're Really Thinking, is written in down-to-earth language with real life advice by 26-year-old sex educator Amber Madison who has spent her post college years touring the country talking with teens about sex and sexuality topics. After publishing her first book Hooking Up: A Girl's All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality, and winning an award for sexual health communication from Choice USA, now she's letting parents in on everything she's learned about teens and sex. In her latest book, Amber offers parents a unique advantage to tackling this subject by providing the inside scoop as to what teens are really thinking, and how to approach them so that they'll actually listen.
  • What you can do when your kids are young to help them make healthy sexual choices as young adults.
  • Teens' real sexual concerns and misconceptions: "Condoms are too awkward," "If he doesn't hit me it's not abuse," and "If someone had an STD it would be obvious."
  • Talking about sex so that your teen will actually listen: what to say, how to phrase it, and when to say it.
  • How to address sex in the media, Facebook, cell phones and other technological sex hazards.
  • What girls need to hear, and the important messages boys aren't getting from anyone.
  • How to get over your own embarrassment, and what parents can do to ensure their kids make sound sexual decisions.
  • Everything you need to know about STDs, contraception, and how to deal with the unexpected.

Join Amber Madison and Planned Parenthood at a book signing for this new book on Wednesday, April 7 from 7-9 p.m. at Wellesley Booksmith, 82 Central Street, Wellesley, MA, 02482. One of our parent educators will be available to offer useful tips for talking and resources for parents to use in their ongoing conversations with kids about the importance of sexual health.
A female's outer sex organs, the clitoris and the opening to the vagina, are hard to see because they are located between her legs. The whole area of soft skin between a female's legs is called the vulva. The word vulva comes from the Latin word volva, which means covering. The vulva covers the clitoris, the opening to the vagina, the opening to the urethra, and the labia. The labia are two sets of soft folds of skin inside the vulva. They cover the inner parts of the vulva - the clitoris, the opening to the urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body), and the opening to the vagina. Labia is the Latin word for lips. The clitoris is a small mound of skin about the size of a pea. It has nerve endings and is sensitive to the touch.
One of the ways that pre-teens express themselves and announce that they are growing up is by the way they dress. But what do you do if your pre-teen daughter wants to wear makeup and skimpy clothing that you don't feel is appropriate for her age? Start by talking to her about what messages she wants to send with her appearance. Explain that even if she's not trying to look sexy, some people may think she is. She may think that dressing a certain way helps her fit in to her peer group. Validate her feelings about this need to belong. Perhaps you can compromise and buy her some clothes that you can both agree on that will still make her feel more grown-up. But remember, as her parent it's your right and responsibility to set limits on her behavior. Bolster her self-esteem by making sure she knows that your opinion about her clothes doesn't affect how you feel about her. And share your values with her by reminding her that that looks aren't as important in life as character, intelligence, love, and friendship.
A recent study from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, CA and the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that health websites that have sexual health information for teens are often "riddled with errors and omissions." Lead researcher Sophia Yen, MD, said, "Even widely trusted sites are not always accurate when it comes to adolescent reproductive health...Teens should be cautious about finding sexual health answers on the Web." For example, about half of the Web sites, including such highly trafficked destinations as Wikipedia, failed to provide accurate, complete information about emergency contraception, also known as "the morning-after pill."

So, where can young people and their parents find accurate sexual health info? The research team who conducted the study found that the most reliable sites are Go Ask Alice, Columbia University's Health Q&A Internet service, the Center for Young Women's Health, Children's Hospital, Boston, TeensHealth, Nemours Centers for Children's Health Media, and Planned Parenthood's Teen Talk.

Visit our website for helpful tips, information about workshops, and much more.
Don't miss an opportunity to be the primary sexuality educator for your children.
Need help? Call our Parent Education Team at (617) 616-1658.


Parent Education
Planned Parenthood League of MA

Tell us what you think of The Parent Buzz. We want to hear from you!
phone: (617) 616-1658
Email Marketing by