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

Tag: parents

Dec 24

Breaking Up

Posted By iamincontrol | December 24, 2013

Breaking Up
By Morgan

Dating and breakups in high school can be some of the most stressful and difficult events for teens. I experienced a heartbreaking breakup my senior year of high school. I was dating a boy a year younger than me for more than two and a half years, and we thought we were going to be together forever. We were very close – you could say we were best friends. My parents felt like he was part of the family, and they looked at him like a son. My little brother also became best friends with him, and he idolized him. My boyfriend and I were always together, and we had great communication with each other.

Then he started to distance himself and decreased his communication. I began to get very stressed out and did not know how to deal with the situation. I got to a point where I worried my mom so much that she took me to the doctor where I was diagnosed with anxiety. I began taking medicine in order to help reduce panic attacks and the stress. I continued to try to communicate with my boyfriend, but he continued to distance himself. I found out on Facebook that he had cheated on me, and it broke my heart. I understood it was an unhealthy situation, so I left.

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Nov 21

A Wound that Never Heals

Posted By iamincontrol | November 21, 2013

A wound that never heals
By Erin

I would like to think that up till 7th grade that I led a “normal” life. I had a mother, father, and brother, and we made our way of life work. We didn’t always get along or see eye to eye, but we were a family. Experiencing the death of my father has forever changed me as a person. If you have experienced the loss of a parent, pet, sibling, best friend, acquaintance, grandparent, or anyone/anything that meant something to you, it’s easy for you to understand that getting “over it” is impossible.

I remember the day to the very last detail. It was a beautiful summer day and my mother, brother, and I had just finished supper. The phone started to ring, so I ran to answer it. The person on the other line asked for Amy (my mom). I was a snoopy little kid, so I stayed on the line. Then I heard the words, “Steve has just been in an accident and was transported by helicopter, and we’re unable to disclose his condition right now.” My heart felt like it had moved all the way down to my stomach and been torn to shreds. The drive to Waterloo felt like it took an eternity, and nothing was said the whole way down.

When we got to the hospital, I realized just how bad my father’s condition was. It was then that I started to let the reality of letting my father go sink in.

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Sep 24

Friends or Family Time?

Posted By iamincontrol | September 24, 2013

By Abby

In high school, I had a really close group of girl friends. Every weekend we did something together: football games, going to the movies, parties. There were many times that I did not even come home from school on Fridays. I would leave right from school and go to my friend’s house and get ready to celebrate the weekend. This happened most often during my senior year of high school.

I am the oldest of four children, and family has always been important to me.  However, it was my senior year!! After high school, my friends would be going all over the place for college and our group of friends would never be the same. There were several times when I would make plans with my sister or brothers and break them to go out with friends instead.

One day I got into a huge fight with my mom. She was disappointed with the amount of time I was spending with friends on the weekends. She said to me, “It’s not like you are going to be friends with these people forever; people change.” Being angry and hurt by her comment, I immediately responded with: “Just because you aren’t friends with your friends from high school, doesn’t mean I won’t be! I actually make my friends a priority!”

Reflecting now, I do not regret the time I spent with friends. Friends understand the pressures of being a teenager and high school better than anyone. But I do wish I had spent more time with my family. It was the last time that all four of my siblings would live under the same roof. I am still really close with three of the girls I went to high school with, but much of the group has fallen apart.  My mom was right, people do change. Memories, however, do not.  Cherish the friendships you have as they help shape the people you become…just try to make time for family too!

Aug 29

Teen Pregnancy in My Hometown

Posted By iamincontrol | August 29, 2013

By Anonymous

While growing up, your parents tell you to make smart decisions and remind you to do your best to avoid peer pressure. Unfortunately, most of us take this opinion with a grain of salt. I feel that our life is directly correlated with the advice our parents give us growing up and how we react to it. Sadly, not as many parents were as thorough as my own when it came to advice and guidance, especially when it came to safe sex.

In 2011, I graduated with 124 other classmates from a high school in western Iowa. When commencement rolled around and we were officially “free” from school, I knew of two female classmates who were soon-to-be parents. Today, exactly 26 months later, I know of 16 female classmates who are parents. There are also 11 known fathers in my graduating class and at least two other “men” denying a potential child. These numbers make a grand total of almost 30 of my 124 classmates as parents.

My friend Sarah found out in October 2011 that she was going to be a mom. Being in college and paying for tuition by herself, Sarah was nothing short of devastated. She was constantly worrying about what people would think, what people would say, and most importantly – who would leave her. After she realized she was going to have a baby, most of Sarah’s closest friends abandoned her, telling her she really screwed up their social life with this baby.

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Aug 12

HIT Week 2013 Video Contest Winner

Posted By iamincontrol | August 12, 2013

Do you have health insurance?
Have you ever had a broken bone or the flu?  Odds are you’ve had to go to the doctor once or twice in your life.  Your parents might have taken care of it for you, or you may have handed the receptionist a card and went on your way.

But what if you didn’t have that magic little card and had to pay for the entire visit?  Depending on how long you were there and what you needed done, a regular doctor visit could cost anywhere from $100-$500.  Medical care for a broken arm could be as much as $3,000—that’s a down payment on a new car, or a new computer and an iPad!  If I had to guess, you don’t have that kind of money lying around.  And if you do, I’m fairly certain you don’t want to spend it on medical care.

If you don’t know whether or not you have health insurance, now is the time to find out.  Take control of your health and talk to your parents about it—they will appreciate you being responsible for yourself, and you might save your family some money.  If you don’t have health insurance, talk to them about hawk-i  and Medicaid—both are excellent programs for affordable healthcare coverage, and your family might qualify even if both of your parents work.  Go to for more information.

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for…the HIT Week 2013 Video Contest winner!

Congratulations to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s Teen Outreach Program!  Check out their video below:


Congratulations to the runner-up from Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc.’s Teen Outreach Program!  See their video below:

Aug 6

A Biker’s Guide to the Universe

Posted By iamincontrol | August 6, 2013

By Caitlin

A cool breeze whips my face and is the only relief I’ve had all day from the blazing hot sun and the scorching blacktop of the road. I roll up to a shady grove of trees where a little girl is selling lemonade and an old engine click-clacks and stirs up a fresh batch of home-made ice cream. I gingerly set my bike against a tree and lay down in the soft grass. Ahh, this is the life! This is RAGBRAI.

Since I was a little girl, my family has ridden our bikes across the state on RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Riding my bike, especially on RAGBRAI, has taught me many things about safety, about myself, and about life.

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Jul 2

Annual Checkup

Posted By iamincontrol | July 2, 2013

When was your last annual checkup?
June is over, so let’s take a look at the poll results!  Here was the poll question for June.

How often do you get an annual checkup?

You said:

  • Annually.  (100%)
  • I can’t remember the last time I had a checkup.  (0%)
  • I only go to the doctor when I’m sick.  (0%)
  • Never.  (0%)

All of you said you get a checkup every year, which is AWESOME.  However, a survey this April revealed that 60% of teens feel like they don’t need an annual checkup.  IAMincontrol wants to emphasize the importance of an annual checkup.  It may seem silly – you feel perfectly healthy!  But there are things you may not always feel that can be going wrong.

Here are some of the things you should talk to your doctor about at your next checkup:

  • Are your height, weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure normal?
  • Are there any upcoming vaccinations you need?
  • If your family has a history of a certain chronic health problems (like diabetes or high blood pressure), what can you do to prevent these?
  • What advice do they have on how to avoid smoking or taking drugs?  They see the results of these risky behaviors every day and might make you think twice about picking up those habits.

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Jun 20

No Shame

Posted By iamincontrol | June 20, 2013

Teenage boy needing help
By Anonymous

My Teenage Ignorance

As a teenager, I thought I was pretty clever; a “sarcasm queen.”  Unfortunately, my sarcasm was only funny at the expense of others, especially those who needed “help.”  I thought counselors were pointless and anyone could do it. I mean, all they do is have their clients lie on couches and just repeatedly ask “And how does that make you feel?” right?  Wrong.  First, sadly they don’t let you lay on a couch and second, the work they do is irreplaceable in terms of helping those with mental illness.  In my ignorance, I blinded myself from seeing that I was in need of help.  I thought I was too strong to need a counselor.

Search for Happiness

My harsh sarcastic jokes stemmed from my own insecurity.  I strived to “fit in” with friends and boyfriends while abandoning my true self.  I abandoned my morals and values thinking I’d be happier if I just gave in to peer pressure.  It turns out a life full of partying and sexual activity is completely empty.  I didn’t find true happiness at all; I found myself feeling as if there was nowhere else to turn.  There wasn’t true happiness at home either…

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Mar 21

How to Talk to Your Parents

Posted By iamincontrol | March 21, 2013

By SarahTeenager and her mother

Being a teenager can be hard work! You’re living in a fast-paced world and have access to information about complicated issues. You probably have a lot of questions about how you fit in to the chaos of your school and your community. For many teens, trying to “fit in” means doing what “everyone” else is doing, and far too often that can mean alcohol, drugs or sex. How many times have you heard a classmate or friend say “everyone is doing it”? But despite what your classmate might say or how adults might characterize teens, there are a huge number of teens who are making healthy choices. There are teens in your school who are saying no to drugs and alcohol. There are teens in your school who are waiting until they are married before having sex. But being a teen that makes those kinds of decisions is made a lot easier when you have the right information and support.

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Mar 14

My Experience with LGBTQ Bullying

Posted By iamincontrol | March 14, 2013

By Andrea

Did you know that 9 out of 10 LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) students have been bullied in the past year?  I am one of those students, and I would like to share my story.

It started in middle school. I was dating my best guy friend, thinking I was in love, happy. Yet I wondered. I wondered why I looked at girls the way I did. I wondered if maybe I was just jealous that a girl was prettier than me. I searched and searched for an answer, and I ran across it in my own group of friends. “Gay.” That word scared me so much. I knew that if you were ‘gay’ then you were hated, that if you even did the slightest thing that made you look, or act ‘gay’, people would shun you.

One of my closest friends was gay. I asked her endless questions, like how she knew, when she knew, and what happened when she told her parents. I also looked online and found so much. I found out that about 9 million people are gay in the world!

I asked out this girl in my school that I knew was bisexual. I realized that I was bi too, and I really liked her, so I held hands with her in the hallways.

The school blew up.

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