During puberty the kids grow mentally, physically, and socially all at the same time. The teenage years are considered the most awkward and perplexing phase of life where they get exposed to numerous external and internal stress.
They are expected to be good at academics, sports, social life, and everything they do. Coping with these forces exposes them to a lot of risk factors. However, we should be mindful that they are less likely to manage their feelings than adults and tend to be more vulnerable to social challenges.
This article will cover the 8 common teen girl problems that should never be neglected and some solutions to ensure their wellbeing.
Common Teen Girl Problems And Their Solutions
1. Mental Illness
Depression and anxiety are becoming common among teenagers. These arise due to hormonal changes and social pressure.
According to PEW Research 2019, teen girls are more prone to depression compared to their male counterparts.
If these problems are left unmonitored, they can affect their academic performance, and social life, and can also lead to abuse, and self-harm. The lack of physical and emotional maturity can lead to an increased risk of sexual assault which acts as another cause of depression.
If you notice your teenager is more irritable or silent than usual, let them know you have noticed and talk to them. For doing this parents have to establish open communication.
Encourage them to share their feelings and remind them that you are there for them, no matter what. If the situation goes beyond the threshold seek professional help immediately.
2. Peer Pressure
Family, school, and social environments of a child have a significant impact on their mental health. More often they are expected to perform well in academics, and extracurricular activities, and maintain great relationships with others.
To be accepted among peers and need to fit in society, stresses them out. Any rejection from others can lead to depression and anxiety and lifelong self-worth problems.
Looking into the friend circle of your teen can be beneficial in identifying any negative influence on their habits. Advising and guiding them in choosing friends wisely can also handle such situations.
3. Appearance and Body Image
During puberty, kids undergo drastic changes in the shape and size of their bodies and they struggle to get comfortable with it. Probably most teenagers are said to have insecurities about their appearance and body image.
The pressure of being called names like fatty and skinny increases mental pressure, creating problems like eating disorders and excessive exercise, and can lead to severe health problems.
Parents are advised to make their girls understand how manipulative society is and there is nobody who embodies perfection and to become confident in their skin. Also, ensure that your child does not develop unhealthy eating habits.
4. Low Self-Esteem
Intense pressure from parents and society takes a hit on self-esteem during puberty. Exposure to social media exposes them to believing in picture-perfect bodies and perfect life increases the need to measure up.
With this constant reminder, their self-esteem burns out and affects the kid’s confidence and social engagement. This is said to increase self-consciousness about things they do and things they wear.
To increase your girl’s self-esteem, make sure she does not idolize models and celebs. Again, remind her we are all unique and are bound to have insecurities.
5. Substance Abuse
Teenagers are inclined to explore and experiment with a lot of things. That includes the use of drugs and alcohol. Peer pressure plays an important role in it and most of the time these experiments end in addiction. Teen girls depend on it to ease their stress and pain.
Educating them about the ill effects of substance abuse is recommended. Also, if they want to try it, make them do it under your supervision.
6. Underage Sex and Pregnancy
Due to the ignorance of teens about sex, they often face consequences such as STDs and pregnancy. Some of these can have lifelong impacts on their life.
Even though having sex talk with kids feels uncomfortable it is recommended to educate the kids on its risks, ways to practice safe and consensual sex, and legal consequences.
Most girls get their menstruation during their teenage years. The chances of developing misconceptions are considered high if they get it young.
So parents should give a pep talk on accepting it as a natural process that every girl has to go through, hygiene, how to use sanitary napkins, tracking the cycle every month, and the occurrence of period cramps and other premenstrual syndromes.
Bullying commonly occurs at schools, but nowadays it happens online in the form of cyberbullying. Here the bullies post hurtful comments and share them with others, multiplying the damage. Persistent bullying can cause isolation, despair, and lasting emotional trauma.
Parents should check in with their child any signs of self-harm or if they are making excuses for avoiding gatherings or going to school or any signs of detachment from school activities. If you find any signs that your child is getting bullied, get involved immediately.
To summarise, teen girls experience a spectrum of challenges such as identity crises, bodily changes, mental illness, etc in accordance with hormonal changes and social pressures.
Parents, teachers, and other caregivers have to pay close attention to their behavioral patterns and should find ways to support them in overcoming their challenges.