1. Federal judge protects teen’s and women’s’ access to birth control!
A federal judge has blocked a recently proposed rule that would have allowed employers to refuse to cover birth control in health plans. According to Politico, on January 14 U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam, Jr. of California blocked the rule that would have allowed nearly any employer to drop birth control from its health insurance plan because of moral or religious objections. The block is only effective in 13 states and the District of Columbia. The current block is effective in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, according
For more information, read here: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/a-judge-blocked-trumps-most-recent-birth-control-rule?verso=true
- Ask your teen if they know where to go if they felt they needed condoms or birth control.
- Ask your teen what they think about the proposed rule that would block access to birth control. The goal of this conversation should be to give your teen an opportunity to help your teen to think critically about health care policies and how they may affect them.
- Ask your tween/teen if they know what birth control is and what it is used for.
- Consider visiting the birth control tab of our website with your tween/teen to learn together.
2. Research Looks at Why Puberty Happens in Teen Years
Teen Vogue recently sat down to discuss a new study about what tells your body to undergo puberty in the early teen years with one of the paper’s co-authors, Laura Pereira, a researcher with the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. The short answer is genetics. The team found a pathway of genes in the nematode worm that repress other genes until it is time for puberty. In other words, at the time of puberty, certain genes stop repressing the “puberty genes” and once turned off hormones and neurons can start working to change the body. Pereira says the research is important because it offers a mechanism for the change and may help researchers understand why other teen health issues, such as anxiety and depression, arise when they do.
Read the article here: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/research-looks-at-why-puberty-happens-in-teen-years
- Ask your teen who they might talk to if they had concerns about their own body, sexual desires or mood
- Reinforce that everyone’s body is different and puberty starts and changes at a different time and rate for everyone
- Consider discussing other health problems that run in the family with your teen, that way they can be prepared for future discussions with their doctor as well as for what genetic diseases may affect their future health
- Consider showing this article to your tween/teen and ask what they think about it
- Consider visiting our Puberty and Anatomy tab with your tween/teen as a place to explore what changes to expect during puberty
3. How to Wrap Advice as a Gift a Teenager Might Open
An article published in the New York Times by Lisa Damour explores approaches parents can use to help get an important message across. To counter the powerful drive for independence during adolescence, try to avoid lecturing unsolicited words of wisdom and instead ask for permission to share your thoughts and advise. Another helpful tip is to avoid referring to your own adolescence to make a point, teens often view their own experience as unique and are unlikely to listen to a sentence that starts with “when I was young”. When addressing a topic you are unfamiliar with, own your own lack of understanding. Consider asking your teen to explain what they know about a topic and follow-up with sincere questions and concerns. Similarly, using generalizations, rather than putting your child on the spot, when talking about uncomfortable topics can help make the conversation feel less like an attack on your teen.
- Ask your teen if perhaps there was a time where they felt your advice could have been given better. This will open the door to further conversation and let you teen know you are available in the future.
- If you have an uncomfortable topic you would like to talk with your teen about, consider using some of these tips to start a conversation. Let us know how it goes on our forum!
- Explore using some of these tools for giving advice with your tween/teen and ask them for their feedback on the conversation