My best friend once confided in me that she’d recently asked her mum to get her some sanitary pads while she was at the supermarket. “The ones with wings please Mum.” she’d requested. Her mum was aghast. “They have wings??!” We collapsed in giggles at the thought of what was going through her poor mother’s mind at the thought of a flying period aid, and reminisced at buried memories of finding strange elastic belts and loops in our parent’s bathroom cabinets, next to the castor oil, and something called setting lotion.

Though we laughed, it made us realise just how far women’s period paraphernalia has come, and how ill-equipped we might be to advise our own daughters on what products to use. In fact, the whole business of puberty was looming, and all of us were nervous about how to approach the conversations with our kids. We weren’t alone. 68% of parents find it difficult to approach puberty topics with their teen* and a quarter of mums and dads avoid it altogether!

Gabby Logan and Daughter Lois sign up to #TeenTalk

Puberty is such a rite of passage that it’s important to get the conversations right, so that teens of both sexes don’t just clam up and rely on half truths and rumours from their friends. Although open conversation with your peers is important, parents are crucial to teenagers having the confidence to make the right choices for them, and avoid some of the pitfalls of growing up. That’s why Boots have teamed up with TV presenter Gabby Logan to launch #TeenTalk, giving parents tips and tools to navigate the process.

It can be especially difficult for dads to #TeenTalk with their daughters, and for mums to approach it with boys. As the mother of 12 year old boy/girl twins, Gabby sees both sides of the gender coin, and says that boys and girls entering puberty have different concerns and needs from their parents at this tricky time. She says “They suddenly go from telling their parents everything, to one word answers… What I love about the #TeenTalk campaign is that it helps give parents the confidence to start and maintain a strong, open and honest conversation with their child through puberty and beyond.” And the great news is that the #TeenTalk website has a separate Puberty 101 for boys and for girls.

What’s going on with teenagers these days

I met with Gabby recently, and over afternoon tea we chatted with teenologist (I know, right, amazing job title. Or scary, depending how you look at it!) Sarah Newton about how things have changed for teenagers since our day. She told us that far from the teen arena being the scary place we parents like to think it is, today’s young adults are making very sensible choices. For starters, teen pregnancy, drinking and drug-taking are at an all time low. And whilst body image is important, young women are more focused on being healthy than on being thin. She also said that whilst kids will seek advice from their friends, they’re unlikely to make final decisions on important things without consulting their parents. If we’re ready for that, the likelihood is they will benefit from our own experiences.

Trusted brands

Boots have joined forces with P&G, who make Always, Tampax and Venus products to compile a free #TeenTalk Guide which consists of trusted information on topics like the ‘teenage brain’ and teen behaviours, filling mums, dads and teens in on what they can expect as they approach ‘the chat’. The guide includes helpful tips on grooming, personal care and body changes, to encourage parent and teen dialogue and, more importantly, keep the conversation going. These are also exclusively available at Boots stores in the free #TeenTalk guide with the purchase of any Venus, Always and Tampax products from the 10th May – 8th June.  As an added bonus, parents and teens will also receive a free gift with each purchase.

Gabby Logan and her daughter Lois have joined forces with Boots and P&G for the second year of the #TeenTalk campaign which provides parents with the tips and tools to have the #TeenTalk with confidence.  As part of this, Boots is also offering great offers on the purchase of relevant products such as Venus, Always and Tampax products from the 10th May – 8th June and a free gift with purchase.  For further information visit www.boots.com/teentalk. Post in association with Boots and P&G.

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Nervous about having the Teen Talk? You're not alone, but help is at hand. Click through for some resources to help broach the subject of puberty with teenagers.

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