, the new MTV/Nickelodeon venture, recently pursued Charlene for advice parents can give teens who are having problems with body image and self-image. Read on for fun, creative, and female insight on how to give your teen girl added confidence and empowerment!

Q: Sexiness, and having sex, is a confusing issue these days for teenagers. How do we put it all in perspective for them?

A: Just last night I broke my own house rule, and channel surfed. I landed on the TV guide page where cutaway interviews of lingerie models were running. How many ways can we continue to tie-up, push up, squish down, and show off the body parts that are supposed to drive us to procreation? Ah yes, and wonderful pleasure as well. However, we’ve got a cultural misconception with sexiness and having sex. Sexiness is about confidence, knowing who you are when you walk into a room of people. It’s about feeling worthy, self-loving, and embracing your gifts from a very fundamental level. Anyone who operates from a centered, deep sense of self-appreciation is hugely magnetic.

Sexiness is celebrating your body, and what it can do, in loveable ways and appreciating every moment you have for this amazing opportunity we call “life.” But it takes practice and maturity. We can never have too much of that, especially in a world that highlights violence. Teach your teen to love their divine self, their own unique spark of creation. And teens having sex? Yikes. I’m an advocate of encouraging them to wait until they are old enough to understand the responsibilities that go along with it: Risky STD’s, pregnancy, birth control – and the complexities that accompany serious relationships.

Q: Raising a teenage daughter is hard on my self-esteem; it makes me feel older but not wiser! Can I be feminine without competing with my daughter's youth?

A: You can’t pass a healthy dose of self-esteem on to your daughter when you can’t generate enough on your own. And as long as you are taking care of yourself with a proper diet, exercise, and nurturing yourself through wonderful and productive work, what are you worrying about? Lead by example from the inside first, and quit worrying about what you look like and how many numbers you’ve racked up.

When you feel you don’t age gracefully, it means you are insecure. To provide clarity, you need to affirm who you are, in a present-moment statement:

“Each stage in my life is wonderful. My wisdom and experience acquired from life make me a person who has a lot to offer the world. Every moment I continue to engage in the world is valuable to others. I no longer need disease or drama to secure a place in the world. I do not need to compete with anyone to be noticed. I am shining, with all my wisdom, in my security. I feel safe knowing no one can take my place.”

My prescription: recite 3 times a day, in front of a mirror. In ten days, stand up and declare it in front of your family…teens and all. You’ll feel full of your wonderful self!

Q: My son and his friends like having friends who are girls, without the pressure of dating. Is there a healthy way for teens to socialize without the pressure of "hooking up"?

A: As a mother of two teen boys, I’ve seen dating and socializing patterns throughout the entire middle and high school experience. Thankfully, compared to my day where a girl couldn’t attend a dance or a social event without being “asked” by a boy (she could, but looked mighty silly), it’s all different now. Boys and girls attend proms in groups not couples, movies are done in big numbers too, and nobody has to pay for someone else.

They like to meet at a neutral place where all involved have an escape plan, especially if someone has a meltdown or commits a major faux pas. I like it, it’s a good thing, and allows them some flexibility and an opportunity to test the dating waters gingerly. They’ve got their entire lives to hook up and discover the opposite sex, so go for the groups. Encourage them to socialize this way and show your support by offering rides (Mothers, hold off on advice given while behind the wheel! Otherwise, your teen will not ask you to drive again! You will risk not knowing where your son or daughter is spending their time!)

Given that sports and other school extra-curricular requirements, like community service work now required on most college applications, teens don’t seem to have as much time to get after school part-time jobs (or have a family dinner, but that’s another story). Therefore, the lack of funds does prevent many boys from treating girls the old school way – they can’t afford to pay for entertainment and dinners. I still like it because it encourages girls to think about financial independence – and get realistic about what it costs to support themselves.

© The Goddess Network, Inc. and Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D. 2007. All Rights Reserved. See for more empowering thoughts! Register for The E-Show, a series of enlightening lectures!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Charlene M. Proctor is the founder of The Goddess Network, Inc. an on-line educational resource for topics on spirituality, relationships, and women's studies. Author of Let Your Goddess Grow! she is a researcher and educator in the field of women's empowerment and develops self-empowerment strategies for women in all walks of life. She is a subject matter expert for, the world's largest self-help and personal growth website. Her affirmations from The Women's Book of Empowerment reach 2.7 million web visitors daily. She currently facilitates the PATH to Empowerment program for Lighthouse Path in Michigan, a residential women's shelter for homeless mothers, teaching them how to cope with life and increase self-esteem and confidence. To learn more, visit

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