There is a new book out for parents that in my opinion is an absolute ‘Must Read’ entitled Got Teens: The Doctor Moms’ Guide To Sexuality, Social Media And Other Adolescent Realities.Â I like to think I’m some sort of parenting expert, but even I don’t have all the answers (shocking, I know) – what I loved most about this book is that it is incredibly realistic and doesn’t talk down to parents or our teens, it offers advice in practical, sensible, totally realistic ways when you are trying to help your teen navigate through all the icky realities of the world, social media, rape culture, slut shaming and making their own ways towards adulthood. From the book description:
There are some “inevitables” during adolescence: sexual development, the need for independence, the need to conform, and the need to experiment. We are not alarmists. We are realists, and these aren’t innately bad, they are just greatly complicated by our high-tech, sexualized, and mixed-messaged world. Parents are often confused because the world is different today and outcomes seem far more permanent. Some of us become paralyzed by the thought of dealing with issues like sexting, oral sex, or alcohol use.
That’s where we come in. We believe that it’s time to trust our gut. It’s time to deal with the tough issues head on because, guess what, that’s our job.
We are moms. We are professionals (a Ph.D and an MD), and the goal of Got Teens? The Doctor Moms’ Guide to Sexuality, Social Media, and Other Adolescent Realities is to talk about these adolescent “inevitables” in a way that is thoughtful, entertaining, and informative. Imagine if you were sitting next to your best friends at a bar. That’s us. We cover issues ranging from puberty to gender identity, technology to body image, and everything in between. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Got Teens? should assist you in preparing your prepubescent child for what’s to come, and give you the motivation to manage the most cringeworthy teen subjects, too. I got to speak with the authors, Logan Levkoff, PhD and Jennifer Wider, MD, all about this incredibly important book.
What topics did you personally feel were important to include in the book? What were your ‘biggies” that you felt had to be included?Â
Logan: I used to wake up in the middle of night terrified that we had left crucial issues out of the book. Yes, we knew we had to tackle puberty and social media and other more common subjects, but we were passionate about the more “political” ones like slut shaming, consent, and reproductive choice. We wanted to create a parenting book that was unapologetic in terms of our beliefs. Yes, parents have the right to their own values, but we didn’t want to shy away from ours either.
Jena: After the Chris Brown/Rihanna reunion, which occurred while we were writing, I was horrified when some (many) girls posted tweets like “Chris Brown can beat me down anytime.” Â Where were we going wrong as a society that relationship abuse was not only accepted but desired? Â I knew we had to address it.