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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Oct 1

Fall is Change

Posted By iamincontrol | October 1, 2015

The poll results are in and the teens of Iowa are ready for fall!

Fall is a time of change. School is under full swing. The weather turns colder, the leaves burst into color as they fall, and it’s time to gear up for the impeding winter. I enjoy the drastic change in weather that occurs in the fall. It’s a refreshing way to change up my routine. Change is good, but can be hard at the same time. Maybe, you are starting a new school, trying a new activity, or friend groups are changing. When change is happening, you may feel out of control of your life. But here are four ways to embrace change in your life:shutterstock_217031596

  • Reduce Expectations: There are times that we may expect a lot of a friend or family member, and they can’t provide that. Or you may have an expectation that your new school is going to be terrible. Get rid of these expectations.
  • Do something new and slightly scary: Sometimes when change is happening, we have to dive into this new change and do something that scares us. Sit by a new group of people at lunch, join that after school club; these connections will make change easier.
  • Be Flexible: You will have an easier time with change if you are flexible to the change and realize that you will get through the change.
  • Stop Comparing: It is so easy to compare your life now to what it was like before the change. Comparing your old house, school, or town. Or even, comparing your friendships to how they used to be.

Change is hard, but it can great a new beginning and journey. So be open to changes in your life this fall and all year round.

Sep 29

4 Tips to Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Posted By iamincontrol | September 29, 2015

Most nights, without a doubt, I am out cold when I lay down to sleep. I am known to sleep thought most movies and even some classes, which has not been good for my social or academic life. But sometimes, I lay in bed and just toss and turn, wondering when I will be able to drift away into a peaceful nights rest. And it can seem like the night is never going to end, and that is just the worst.

Everyone has their remedies: drink warm milk, take a hot bath, or count sheep in your head. But here are some tips that will help you:

  • No screen time an hour before bed: Studies have shown that looking at your screen causes you to be less likely to fall asleep, get rid of screens near your bed.
  • No caffeine after 6: This will allow you to slow down.
  • No eating after 8: This will also allow you to slow down and not be on a sugar high.teen sleeping
  • Darken Room: Pull your shades in your room to make your room darker
  • Noise Cancelling: Get a fan or white noise machine to drown out any outside noise.


Use this techniques to get yourself a better nights rest, it will allow you to do better at school and in all your tasks.


Sep 24

Back to School- How to Make the Most of Your Sexual Education

Posted By iamincontrol | September 24, 2015

The new school year is well underway. With the new school year comes, new classes, new teachers, and new opportunities. One of those new things that you may be experiencing is sexual education. While sex education can be a little awkward at first, it is nothing to fear.

If you have been following the blog for a while, you might remember that I wrote a post about my mother as my sex ed teacher. Your sexual education is an condomimportant part of growing up, so you want to make the most of it. So here are some tips to making the most of your sexual education:

  1. Get Rid of the Nerves: Don’t be afraid to say the word “penis” or “vagina,” get it out of the way the first day. Ask that burning question of your instructor.
  2. Ask Questions: You may not understand something, be willing to ask. If you don’t understand, others in the class don’t understand either!
  3. Write it down: If you are afraid to ask go ahead and write it down and hand it to your teacher.
  4. Your Teacher Understands: Your teacher has probably heard a student ask that question before, so they won’t be shocked.

Your sex education is yours, so make sure to make the most of it.

Sep 22

What the “Real Housewives” Tells me about Drinking

Posted By iamincontrol | September 22, 2015

I’ll be honest, I love the Real Housewives. I thrive on watching their mindless drama and ridiculously opulent lifestyles. On what other show can you see an Upper housewifeEast Side socialite take off her prosthetic leg (complete with a $500 stiletto) and throw it on a table during a fight??

My favorite Real Housewives city is Beverly Hills. Of all the Real Housewives, these ladies have the most insane wealth, the craziest fights, and the most high profile celebrity friends. There is a dark underbelly to all that affluence, though—these women have some serious problems underneath all the hair extensions and diamonds and Botox.

One of those problems? These women drink. A LOT! Most of their interactions with each other can best be described as ‘booze-fueled.’ In any given scene, the ladies are never far from a glass of wine or a mimosa. Their drunken antics make for entertaining television, sure, but what message does all that drinking send to audiences?


As this article  points out, we definitely live in a culture dominated by drinking as a social event—and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reflects that to an extreme, implicitly backing the idea that no gathering of friends is any fun without booze (and lots of it).

But one aspect of the show is that it does reveal the eventual consequences of so much casual binge drinking. The most notorious example, of course, is Paris Hilton’s aunt Kim Richards, who has struggled with alcoholism at the expense of her relationships, career, and public image. Recently, lacking family support, she fell off the wagon again and might go to jail over assault and public intoxication charges.

The show chronicles the full spectrum of drinking behaviors, though, beyond clinically diagnosed alcoholism. Brandi Glanville, a self-described ‘mean drunk’ who is struggling with her very public divorce, is often seen mixing Xanax with wine and ends up embarrassing herself or starting fights. Taylor Armstrong, whose husband committed suicide and left her in millions of dollars in debt, once drank so much she ended up on a plane to Colorado with no idea where her young daughter was.

The list could go on. The moral of the Beverly Hills story is perhaps that no matter how much fame, money, and success are involved, everyone still has problems—and those problems cannot be chased away by alcohol. In fact, alcohol often makes those problems even worse, as shown by several of the women on the show. So leave the drinking to the Real Housewives and learn from their mistakes when it comes to drinking irresponsibly.


Sep 17

What to Not to Say to Someone Who is Grieving and Better Alternatives

Posted By iamincontrol | September 17, 2015


All of us at one point or another in their life, unfortunately, feel grief. Grief is a powerful and blinding emotion that can consume someone, so for those on the outside, what do we say? What can we do? How should we interact with those that are grieving?   My hope is that you can use these suggestions as a resource for teen comfortingwhen you have somebody close in your life experience grief.

First, keep in mind that no two people experience grief the same way. Everyone experiences life differently and each journey is unique to him or her. In that case, you should keep in mind three things when you are attempting to help and share words with someone who is grieving—your relationship with the grieving, the context, and timing.   Below should provide some clarity to what I mean when I suggesting keeping in mind those three things I listed above (your relationship, context, timing).

Let’s be honest this is a very awkward and challenging place to be and not everyone is equipped with the social skills and strength to confront those grieving. If you are one of those people, you’re not alone! When stitching together something to say, here are few things NOT to say and better alternatives:

  1. Do not say, “I know how you feel.”

This can end up being one of the most insulting things you say to someone who is grieving, because, as I mentioned above, everyone’s life is unique, so the reality is you actually have no idea how they feel. Instead say, “I feel your pain.” This is very different from “I know how you feel.” “I feel your pain” let’s the grieving know they are not alone in his or her grief and that you are there for them. You can also say, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.” This provides support to the grieving and shows them that you are here to support them no matter what. Additionally, the pays tribute to the relationship the grieving had with that loved one.

  1. Avoid using phrases like, “He or she’s in a better place now,” or “She or he was such a good person God wanted her to be with him,” or “It was his or her time to go.”

You cannot just assume that everyone shares similar beliefs in an afterlife. This kind of language doesn’t speak to his or her feelings, but instead essentially sweeps them under the rug. Instead try, “I am so sorry for your loss. This is direct, meaningful, and avoids trying to make someone grieving feel better. Your job is to acknowledge and support him or her as they grieve. Another alternative is, “You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.”

  1. Don’t say, “Call me if you need anything.”

This puts the ball in the grieving person’s court and that’s not appropriate. It is challenging to ask for help, especially if that person is grieving. Instead, be forward and take control of the situation (appropriately).   Instead say, “I’ll bring over some nachos next Wednesday” or “I’ll be by at noon to take you to lunch next Tuesday.” Of course these are just examples, but taking control of the situation in this fashion shows that you are willing to be there and keeps the pressure off the person grieving who probably doesn’t even know what will happen next.

  1. Never say, “There is a reason for everything.”

This can come off very condescending and could potentially upset those grieving even though that is not the intention. Grieving the loss of a loved one can be the worst pain anyone endures throughout his or her lifetime. Instead give a hug and say nothing. Of course if depends on the individual (some people are not touchy-feeling), but this gesture can be more soothing than any words could provide.

  1. Don’t say, “Time heals all,” or “Life goes on.”

Avoid putting time limits on any person grief. Like I’ve said, no two people grieve in the same way, because each individual experiences life uniquely. Instead focus on the now and say, “My favorite memory of your loved one is…” This gives you an opportunity to bond at a closer level with the individual grieving and shines a positive light, even for a moment, about the life lost.


Many of us, including myself, have said “what not to say” and “what to say.” Nobody’s intention is to increase the pain that someone grieving is already experiencing. The most important thing is being present and acknowledging the person’s loss. I hope these tips and suggestions help you help those you love grieving.

Sep 15

Life Skills- When to Tell if a Relationship is Turning Sour?

Posted By iamincontrol | September 15, 2015

Have you ever met someone that gave you instant butterflies? You know what I’m talking about. I mean the sweaty palms, stumbled over your words, can’t think straight, feels like you ate a brick feeling. Most of you have been there. You fall head over heels for someone, and you start dating. They become your best friend that’s always there for you. You tell each other everything and even start to think about the future with them and possibly think that they are your one and only. But suddenly after a while things start to change. You realize that things with you and this person just isn’t the same. This person makes you cry more than laugh. You find yourself walking on eggshells trying not to make that person mad, only your trying isn’t good enough because a fight always breaks out. This person will leave you sitting at home bawling wondering what you did to start a fight this time. Making you feel like you are the most worthless person in the world and that you can do no right. If you have ever had /have someone like this in your life that has made you question your worth, I am here to tell you right now that they are NOT bviolenceworth it.

I met the person that made me feel all of these ways when I was a senior in high school. We started off great and were inseparable. When we first started dating he made me feel like I was on top of the world and could do anything. We even planned to go to college together. Soon after a year of dating, things started to change. I noticed that we fought a lot more, and he was always asking me where I was, and what I was doing, or who I was with. Once we got to college things got a lot worse. I transferred to a different school for my major and it made things between us a lot worse. If I didn’t respond to his messages in a certain amount of time, I would get constant back-to-back calls until I answered. Once I did answer it was just another pointless fight. I knew the relationship I was in wasn’t healthy but I didn’t want to let go. I felt like I couldn’t let go because I didn’t think I was good enough for anyone else. Everyone around me could see what the relationship was doing to me. I had constant and anxiety because of the things he was saying and doing to me. Finally after our last fight of another ridiculous accusation he had made, I had had enough. I went and changed my number, and blocked him from any social media that he could contact me from. I am still working through the emotional abuse that he put me through, but with the friends and family I have, it is getting a lot better. I have learned that no relationship is worth your tears. If someone is making you question your worth, they do not deserve an ounce of your attention.

Sep 10

4 Ways to Step In During a Bullying Incident

Posted By iamincontrol | September 10, 2015

Sometime, you will witness a bullying incident. It is the sad truth about American schools. But have you thought about how you would react if you saw someone being bullied? Has anyone ever stepped in when you were bullied? To stop bullying from happening, we must learn to step in and tell the bully it was wrong. Here are some tips to stepping in during a bullying incident.

  1. Don’t Laugh: If Bullying occurs don’t laugh or make the bully think it is funny.
  2. Help Them Get Away: Create a Distraction, tell the student, “Hey, Mr. Robinson was looking for you right now, better go see him right now.”
  3. Tell a Trusted Adult: Tell an adult about the incident right away.
  4. Participate in Anti-Bullying Activities: Take part in the activities to set an example that bullying is not okay.

As the new school year has just begun, use these tips to become more than just a console

Sep 8

5 Tips to Working-out in Small Town Iowa

Posted By iamincontrol | September 8, 2015

Many times it can be hard to stay active when you live in a smaller town. Where I grew up, there were no running trails or gyms. Many of the roads were dangerous to run on due to farm equipment and the rolling hills landscape of Iowa. So this left myself and many people to struggle with ways to be active. And unlike popular belief, you would not find me or many of my friends out getting our physical activity by bailing hay or completing farm work. So here are some tips to being active:

  1. Find a Partner or Groups: Having a partner will keep you accountable and safe while you work out. In addition, you could form a group that could meet inshutterstock_136301591 a church basement or a community center.
  2. Use workout apps: There are apps that allow you to get a good workout without equipment right on your phone
  3. Be creative: Does your football field have stairs? Play equipment at your town park? There are places to get a good workout in small towns with some creativity
  4. Create a routine: Sit down on the beginning of the week and figure out when you will workout
  5. People aren’t watching: Most people will not think badly of you if your running form isn’t perfect. They will be glad to see you are active. Plus, Haters gonna hate.

Finding a way to workout in small towns can be hard, but once you use these tips, you are sure on your way to being more active.

Sep 3

Big is Beautiful

Posted By iamincontrol | September 3, 2015

shutterstock_139543490Body image is one of the most important things going on in the world today. Society expects us to be a model size “2” or have a “coke bottle” figure. There are a lot of different expectations in different cultures as well. Hate to break it to you, but there are a lot of full figured women out there like me. I love my figure and all my curves and everything. A little extra isn’t so bad. I think big girls are beautiful. I think all body shapes are beautiful.

As long as you feel good about yourself, then that’s all that matters. Let the other people hate, who cares what others think about your body, it’s yours! That goes for men too because a lot of people expect men to be the ‘Calvin Klein” model but in reality there are a lot of men out there that are fluffy too. Yes, they are beautiful as well. I don’t think there are enough people out there to promote plus sized human beings and to tell them that they are beautiful too. Well I’m here to tell you big women and men that yes you are beautiful too!

Sep 1

Cell Phones: Addictive or Helpful?

Posted By iamincontrol | September 1, 2015

The poll results are in and overwhelmingly, the teens of Iowa find cell phones both helpful and addictive.

Cell Phones appear to be everywhere. But actually, a little over half of teens aged 10-14 have a cellphone and only a third have a smart phone. So in reality, not everyone has a smartphone. I am sure you have heard a parent or adult say, “Put that phone away” or “Do we need to surgically remove that phone from your hand?” My parents tell me that all the time, so it got me wondering if cell phones are addictive or really helpful.

Many people have been looking into this and found the average teen spends 8 hours a day on their cell phone. This is funny; because one of my friends had a breakdown last week, when he broke his phone and had to go phoneless for a week. Would you consider that an addiction? Probably. Are they helpful? Probably. Many people have been able to connect and find friendships and partners via cell phone technology. But it’s a fine line between too much. Here are 5 signs of cell phone addiction:

  1. Phantom Rings: You think your phone rings and vibrates when it doesn’t.
  2. Speedy Replies: You feel like you have to reply right away to all messages and your friends ask what was wrong when you don’t.
  3. Anxious When Away: You get anxiety when you can’t have your phone on you or look at it.
  4. FOMO: Fear of Missing Out when you look at your friend Insta Pics.
  5. Carry a Charger Everywhere: Just so your cell phone doesn’t die.

If you are going through any of these, maybe it’s time to look at whether you are addicted to your phone.