Girl Stuff is full of hundreds of websites, books and other recommended contacts for every subject, including feelings, family troubles, friends, falling in love, periods, drinking, make up and clothes, drugs, sex, pregnancy, volunteering, shopping and heaps of others. Here is a sample list of some helpful phone numbers and useful websites:
- Kids Helpline or phone 1800 55 1800 for free counselling and help in Australia
- Reach Out for teens having a hard time
- Youthline or phone 0800 376 633 for free 24-hour counselling in New Zealand
Letter for Parents from Kaz Cooke
Hi Parents of Tweens and Teens,
If you're worried about the full range of information in Girl Stuff being unsuitable for younger girls (for example the Sex, Drinking and Drugs chapters) I understand your concern. As the mother of a teenage girl I, too, had to negotiate this question! While the book is generally aimed at teenage girls (13 up to 18), there is information about physical changes, feeling, body image, confidence and friends and bullies that younger girls can really benefit from. For example, most girls will have started some puberty changes by the age of 12, and it's quite normal for some changes to start even years earlier. Girl Stuff helps them to feel okay about the changes their bodies will go through, at whatever age.
So, please feel free to photocopy the first chapter in the book, Change, to give to girls aged 8 to 12, or indeed any other chapter you think may be useful or relevant. You can then hand over the entire book when they're 12 or 13, if you choose to. You will know your own daughter best: many girls will happily have the whole book from the age of 10 and only read the bits which interest them or are age appropriate.
It's tricky, but where possible, girls should have the information before they're involved in an activity such as drinking, or sex, not least so they can absorb the advice I give them on how to say no, or what they need to know if they're thinking of saying 'yes'. This also helps girls to know the real truth rather than being misinformed by stuff they're told by other kids, or advertising, or inappropriate media.