As many of my readers know, I send a newsletter out each month highlighting stories relevant to topics of gender and culture. Often, these stories speak to social trends and important conversations for girls and women and families to enter into together.

I’ve received such encouraging feedback from so many of you about the content in those newsletters that I’ve decided to start including much of that content in this blog. Tune in each month to find the top stories I can’t help but to pass along.

This month, these were the headlines that had me captivated, riled up, or rejoicing.

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1. A Teenage Girl Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

If ever we begin to believe that a child must become an adult in order to change the world, we need not look further than activist and globe-changer Malala Yousafzai. Weeks ago, this brave and incredible young woman was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The youngest person to ever receive this honor, she continues to inspire young people across the world to use their life to transform the planet. Risking her life for her own education, she has become a passionate and priceless voice advocating for all children and girls to receive the right to an education. Girls, let Malala’s beautiful life inspire you to also change the world.

2. Top 15 Things Your Middle School Girl Wishes You Knew

Parents, you’ll love this article on HuffPost Parents written by Rachel Vail, author of Unfriended and a series of books for teens on friendship.

A piece packed full of good truth, this gem is one of my favorites:

“10. I will fight you every step of the way if you make me do stuff I don’t want to do (get some exercise, do my homework, write a thank-you note, practice piano, apologize to my sister, take a shower, wear deodorant… so many things), but you should probably make me do them anyway. I know I will feel better if I sweat and shower each day, and develop my study skills, and show up tomorrow prepared, and, and, and. I know! But please don’t overwhelm me. I might not be able to do what I should right away. I might need reminders, later, which will annoy me completely. Remind me anyway.”

3. The Sex Ed Gap

If knowledge is power, then the research reveals many Americans have a lot more learning to do. Despite our nation’s culture exposing youth to all things sexual, many young adults lack basic knowledge of sexuality, anatomy/physiology, and pregnancy prevention. In this particular article, Catherine Rampell, with The Washington Post, discusses the stark contrast in knowledge of sex, birth control, and pregnancy found among those with higher education and economic resources contrary to those with less education and income. Take some time to check out these statistics. The data will surprise you, and leave you rushing to have “the talk” with your teens.

4. Kids and Screen Time: Cutting Through the Statistic

Rumor has it that Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple, didn’t allow his children to use the products he developed. He knew the research and the risks. In an unprecedented age of technology, we’re learning more each year about the benefits and challenges of raising children and young adults surrounded by screens. The information can be confusing, but knowledge is power. The more we understand the effects of screen time, the better we can help young people navigate the pitfalls and avoid unhelpful consequences, reaping its boundless benefits instead. Produced by NPR, here’s an article that helps make sense of this new technology and parenting frontier.

5. Cyber-Bullying: Monica Lewinsky Speaks Out

The youth of this generation weren’t old enough to remember Monica Lewinsky, but they’ll likely not forget the speech she gave recently at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. Speaking to more than 1,000 young professionals and entrepreneurs, Monica Lewinsky had the world’s respect when she spoke about the heartache and dangers of cyber-bullying and online abuse. Both the video and the entire transcript were released by Forbes, provided in the link above. I encourage you to honor her brave and redemptive words as you watch her leave the world better by her courage and advocacy for our youth.

Have you read a story you think I’d like to know about? Send it my way at shannon@speakingpink.com.

On a final note, if you’d like to be included in the newsletter I send via email each month, please send me an email at shannon@speakingpink.com and I’ll be sure to add your name to my mailing list. Please note, newsletters are sent once monthly and registrants’ email addresses are never shared or distributed. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

SHANNON WEST

is the owner and founder of Speaking Pink, a private therapy and consulting practice devoted to teen girls and twenties women in Seattle / Kirkland, Washington. Shannon is a licensed family therapist, a private consultant, and a writer about all things on the journey from girl to woman. Follow on Pinterest and Twitter or send an email to Shannon@speakingpink.com.