Book­let ad­dresses teens’ ques­tions on sex

Austin American-Statesman - - TV TONIGHT - DEAR ABBY Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Dear Abby ap­pears on Sun­day, Mon­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day. E-mail Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com.

Dear Abby: When I was a teen, my mother gave me a copy of your book­let “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know.” She left it on my bed for me to read at my own pace, and let me know that I could come to her if I had any ques­tions.

For years that book­let served as a ref­er­ence guide for me. I also lent it to many of my friends whose par­ents were not so forth­com­ing. Be­ing in­formed and not be­liev­ing ur­ban myths made a big dif­fer­ence in our de­ci­sions.

I now of­ten work with teens who have re­ceived no com­pre­hen­sive ed­u­ca­tion about sex, drugs, or the im­pact of de­ci­sions they make dur­ing ado­les­cence. Your book­let re­mains an im­por­tant tool in these kids’ ed­u­ca­tions. I en­cour­age all par­ents, grand­par­ents and relatives of teens to keep a copy handy. — Kris­ten Woy­tonik,

Dover, N.H.

Dear Kris­ten: Thank you for your en­dorse­ment. To­day many teenagers en­gage in adult ac­tiv­i­ties at a much ear­lier age than those of pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. That’s why it is so im­por­tant for par­ents to take the ini­tia­tive and dis­cuss al­co­hol, drugs, sex and fam­ily val­ues with their chil­dren well be­fore na­ture takes over and they start ex­per­i­ment­ing.

My teen book­let con­tains an­swers to com­monly asked ques­tions such as: How old must a girl be be­fore she can get preg­nant? Can a girl get preg­nant the first time she has sex? What time of the month is a girl 100 per­cent safe? How old must a boy be be­fore he can fa­ther a child?

To or­der “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know,” send your name and ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $6 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby, Teen Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.

My teen book­let also con­tains in­for­ma­tion on date rape, con­tra­cep­tion and sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases. It has been dis­trib­uted in doc­tors’ of­fices and used to pro­mote dis­cus­sion by ed­u­ca­tors and re­li­gious lead­ers, and is of­ten used by par­ents who find it dif­fi­cult to dis­cuss sex with their chil­dren.

Dear Abby: My niece is be­ing mar­ried — again. This will be No. 5. What kind of gift would you sug­gest? I am out of ideas, as I’m think­ing she al­ready has ev­ery­thing. The wed­ding is in a few months. Help!

— Stumped in Reno

Dear Stumped: Af­ter the sec­ond or third wed­ding, one would think the mar­riage would be a quiet, low-key af­fair. And be­cause you have al­ready given her four wed­ding gifts, what you should send her is your good wishes for a long and suc­cess­ful mar­riage.

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