When looking through the pages of Girls’ Life magazine, it’s clear that today’s teenager is far and away more worldly than I was back in 1990-whatever (“Well, when I was your age….”). There’s more to this publication than just the requisite “Does he like you?” question-and-answer indulgence, although there are a couple of those. After all, this is a magazine for teenage girls.
The April/May issue went deeper, though, and I can’t help but wonder: Could some of these articles help moms open the door to some difficult conversations? The magazine has regular sections on boys, friendships and a changing body, all of which allow readers to ask questions they might not be comfortable asking their moms. That issue also included a really great article on smoking pot entitled “Up in Smoke,” which talks about how smoking up is on the rise, what it does to your body and what to do if a friend is smoking. And the overall message is clear: Stay away from the drug.
But my favorite had to be a section called “Dear Carol” (“Dear Abby” for a new generation). Girls felt free to ask questions about how to talk to their parents about their birth mothers, how to help a friend whose parents are abusing her, and what to do if you think a parent is cheating–tough stuff! Through it all, “Carol” extends warm yet firm advice, but most of all, a kind ear. In fact, if you write in and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, Carol or one of her assistants will write back with some advice. That beats bottling up those feelings inside. Of course, the alternative could always be (gasp) talking to dear, old Mom.