She Needs to Know: Three Tough Topics to Discuss With Your Daughter

HPV, Eating Disorders, and Alcohol Consumption

eating disorder empty plateContributed by Lisa Larkin, MD, FACP, NCMP

I can hear you shifting in your chair already. It’s true, these are not easy conversations to have with your daughter, but they will be some of the most important. So, take a deep breath and plunge into the discussion.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Talk to your daughter about:

Eating Disorders

Nearly 30 percent of girls ages 12-18 have an eating disorder with significant problems, such as loss of menstrual cycles, weakening of the heart muscle, anxiety and depression.

Talk to your daughter about:

  • The importance of making healthy food choices.
  • The risks of eating a poor diet, including obesity and chronic disease.

Keep in mind you don’t want to fuel obsessive behavior or body image issues. Focus on your daughter’s feelings and behaviors instead of appearance and weight. Most importantly, let her know she is loved and accepted no matter what her weight.

Underage Drinking

By high school, nearly 78 percent of teens have had a drink , and 47 percent of those have consumed 12 or more drinks in the past year.

Talk to your daughter about:

  • The consequences of drinking; not only is teen drinking illegal, it’s dangerous.
  • The negative effect drinking alcohol can have on her physical and emotional well-being, like changes in brain development and an increased risk of suicide, just to name a few.

It may not be easy to ask questions or talk with your daughter about these topics, but starting the conversation can have a profoundly positive impact on her life. Finally, let us know if we can help. We’re here to help you navigate your daughter through her teen years.

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