A survival guide for teenage girls

July 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Talking to you teenage daughters about the touchiest topics can be a little awkward and uncomfortable, but it doesn't have to be. Richard Dudum, author of "What Your Mother Never Told You: A Survival Guide for Teenage Girls," shares some sound parenting advice.

  1. Always have a Game Plan:
    It's often difficult to have a game plan during high school. Plans change quickly, and it's difficult to know exactly where you're going to be and who is going to be there. It is absolutely impossible to know what will happen when you get there. It's because of this uncertainty that you must always have a game plan. Never assume that things will work out. Pay attention to the details.

  2. Figure Out Who You are ? Not!
    All teenagers want to figure out who they are. That's a part of growing up, but it's no easy task. If you don't yet know who you are, it's much easier to figure out who you're NOT. It's so simple. You can better understand what you do and don't believe by figuring out who you are NOT and what you DON'T want to do. Every time you face a difficult decision ask yourself, IS THIS THE PERSON I WANT TO BE? If not, then you just figured out who you are NOT as it relates to that one issue. You are now one step closer to figuring out who you are.

  3. Change Friends When It's Time:
    A friend is someone you can trust and who will always be there for you. That friend will listen to you, respect you and help you in times of need. It's hard to find good friends. At some point in everyone's life, there comes a time when you need to shuffle and change friends. When that time comes, you have a decision to make. It may be time to make new friends and sometimes distance yourself from old friends who no longer share your interests.

  4. It's not just peer pressure:
    Your parents want to protect you from peer pressure. You may laugh it off because you don't' think you're susceptible to peer pressure. Let me help you understand what I mean when I say "misery loves company." If your friends get drunk, high, randomly makeout, have sex, cut school, lie, cheat, or engage in other questionable activity, it's so much easier for them to feel better about themselves and their actions if they know they are not alone. Why? Even though they may not realize it, misery loves company. Your friends may not be trying to hurt you. They simply don't want to be alone in the mistakes they make.

  5. You don't owe him Jack:
    You get compliments. You get gifts. He buys you a ring. He takes you out. He tells you you're beautiful. He says all the things you want to hear. What do you owe him? Nothing. You don't owe him Jack. Never feel pressure to give something in return just because a boy says or does something nice.

  6. Facebook, Email, webcams:
    Facebook, MySpace, and other social websites are a great way to socialize with friends that you know. It's also a great way to ruin your reputation and life. It's your face on Facebook. Never put important and personal information on the Internet including your address, cell number, home phone number, and social security number. Identity theft is a real issue. Also be very careful what Evites or Facebook invites you send out. You don't want the wrong people to show-up.
Buy the book on Amazon: What Your Mother Never Told You

About Richard Dudum
Richard Dudum is a San Francisco trial attorney, a realtor, a musician, a summer camp director, and a cancer survivor. He's also a husband, and the father of two sons and two daughters.

He says the best part of his life has been the past 28 years working with hundreds of teenagers and young adults, including his own children. He's tried to provide tools to help them successfully communicate and navigate through the turbulent teenage years.

"What Your Mother Never Told You" was written to help teenage girls anticipate issues and to provide strategies to address those issues.

For more information, visit www.whatyourmothernevertoldyou.net


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