According to Dr. Phil, many parents believe that they cannot be friends and parents to their teen children simultaneously. They also fear confronting their adolescent kids in the belief that it would destroy the peace in their relationships, which they believe amounts to a stable relationship. Such perceptions impair their vision and deprive their children of the guidance they need to get through the adolescent stage safely. Female adolescents provide parents with various problems, some of which are different from teen male problems.
1. Teen Pregnancy
The adolescence period places your teen daughter in danger of becoming pregnant. Telltale signs of a pregnant teenager include frequent urination, swollen breasts or food cravings. According to South Idaho Public Health, peer pressure, poor parental supervision or early onset of puberty are risk factors for teen pregnancy. Other risk factors include dating boys who are five years older than her, having an intimate relationship at an early age or your dating habits if you are a single parent. Educate her on the risks of having unprotected sex, or advocate abstinence as the best form of protection.
2. Teen Anger
According to Psychologist Roni Cohen-Sandler, mothers often form a perfect target for teen daughters who pile their frustrations and anger on them. This is because mothers, unlike teachers and friends, are unlikely to shun their daughters and may feel afraid to respond angrily because it may portray them as bad parents. Speak directly with her after choosing an appropriate time and make her understand that anger is a normal emotion. When an argument threatens to degenerate into a fight, you can postpone the talk until an appropriate moment.
3. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are a big problem for adolescent females and can stem from low self-esteem, high expectations in the family, substance abuse and societal attitudes that often view a slim body as physically attractive. Your teen daughter can also develop eating disorders when participating in sports, such as ballet, gymnastics and wrestling, which require lean bodies. Poor concentration, fatigue, irritability and seizures could be indicators of an eating disorder. Inform a licensed health care professional of any changes in her exercising or eating habits. Avoid terms that give your daughter the impression that she is fat or has gained weight.
4. Underage Drinking
Adolescent female underage drinking may become a problem for some parents. According to Help Guide, American adolescent females taste their first drink at 13 years old on average. Risk factors for underage drinking include peer influence, genetics and personality traits. Girls get drunk faster than men because their bodies have fewer enzymes that break down alcohol, which impairs judgment. Such a scenario exposes your daughter to potential sexual or physical assault. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that, unlike men, low alcohol consumption can give women alcohol-related complications, such as liver cirrhosis.
- Dr. Phil: Myths Parents Believe about Teens
- South Idaho Public Health: Risk Factors for Teen Pregnancy
- MedicineNet.com: I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You!: A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict with Roni Cohen-Sandler
- The Guardian: 10 Things You Must Tell Your Teen Girl
- Help Guide: Teenage Drinking
- National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Women
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