Q: I recently lost a lot of weight and started high school at the same time. I'm getting all sorts of attention from boys, and I just don't know what to do about it because it's so new to me. I kind of like it. . .but I'm nervous. What should I do?
That's a question I would have asked if I'd written to Girl Talk at the start of my freshman year of high school. But, I didn't know to ask. I didn't know I was facing a challenge. I simply reacted to things as I faced them. And I made mistakes. Many of them.
Each of us has a set of experiences and circumstances, some within our control, and some not, that shapes the way we look at choices, temptation, sin, peer pressure, and everything that comes up along the way. If we can help prepare girls before they find themselves staring peer pressure in the face, they'll feel more equipped to stand strong. To say NO to whatever life throws at them.
Hmm. What is it about girls? That's a great question. I guess I relate to them because I am one. But, more than that, I have an ache in my heart that wants to help 'em out. I've said it 1000 times, but I'll say it 1000 more, I'm sure. It's the memory of the poor choices I made as a teen, and the results of those choices, that motivates me to help today's teenagers avoid those same mistakes.
And bad decisions are one thing, but there's also the stuff girls deal with that they have no control over: Divorce, Abuse, Loss, Grief, Illness, financial strain, etc. . .etc. . . Those life-altering circumstances make it even more difficult for girls to stand against the pressure when all they want is friendship, acceptance, and love.
It takes pro-active, intentional effort to make the necessary preparations to help teens combat peer pressure.
That's why my daughters and I started the Girl Talk Column on my blog. We wanted to give girls a place they could go with those tough questions about life. The column grew and the questions built up to the point when we, along with Barbour Publishing, decided to put 180 questions from readers and our answers into a book. But it's not just any book--the vibrant, trendy format has a scrapbook-y feel as each page is full color with graphics galore. Take a look at the trailer to get a better feel for what it looks like:
And here's some info right from the back cover:
Q: My mom is always on me about what I wear. I just don’t see why it should matter to her. I mean, she got to wear the things she wanted to wear when she was young–the styles are different now, though. She won’t let me wear any shirts that show even a fraction of my stomach, and I have to actually bend over in jeans to prove to her that nothing shows in the back—if you know what I mean. She even says there’s stuff in the Bible about the way to dress right. Is that true? What should I do to change her mind?
Q: I have a friend who is pretty skinny, but she thinks she’s fat. . . . I actually heard her make herself throw up in the school bathroom a couple of times. What should I do about it? Or is it none of my business?
It’s Time for Some Girl Talk! . . .
Popular blogging trio—mother, Nicole O’Dell, along with daughters, Emily and Natalie—offer trustworthy, biblically-based advice for all your ups, downs, and in-betweens. Culled from actual questions they’ve encountered on their blog site, this fabulous resource offers real-life helps for issues including relationships, character, body image, fashion, gossip, and more. You’ll find 180 questions along with answers and related scripture selections that will both encourage and challenge you in your faith walk.
Nat, Em, and I hope you'll pass this resource along to the teens in your life. Also, the Girl Talk column is ongoing. You can write to us with your questions anytime! Contact us here.
And if you'd like to win a copy of Girl Talk, signed by all three of us, just leave a comment here. Tweeting about this post will earn you another entry if you let us know you did. I'd also love it if you signed up for my Choices e-Zine/newsletter, too--that will earn you a third entry!
Remember, it's all about choices!
Nicole O'Dell, founder of Choose NOW Ministries and host of Teen Talk Radio, is a mom of six—ranging from 20 all the way down to a set of toddler triplets. She writes fiction for teens including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series. Her nonfiction focuses on helping teens make good choices and bridging the gap in parent/teen communication. On Teen Talk Radio, Nicole talks with teens and special guests about the real issues young people face today, and she loves getting out among teens and parents when speaking at youth groups and conferences. Visit http://www.nicoleodell.com/ or www.facebook.com/nicoleodell.
Emily is a straight-A fifth grader at Eastlawn School in Paxton, IL. She lives with her mom, stepdad, three sisters, and two broth- ers. Never found without her iPod, Emily loves to dance and sing. She’s a busy girl who enjoys swimming, skateboarding, and hanging out with friends. She’s active in her community and local church, and plans to be a teacher when she grows up.
Natalie is an honor student in the eighth grade at PBL Middle School in Paxton, IL. The oldest daughter of six kids, Natalie is a very loving and hands-on big sister. She’s passionate about her walk with Christ, and almost as passionate about the game of volleyball. She holds first- chair clarinet in the school band and looks forward to high school marching band. At this point, Natalie aspires to a career in the culinary arts, but is open to other possibilities.