Dealing with troubled teenage girls is often very different than handling troubled teenage boys. Because girls often face family, peers, school and society with a different perspective than boys, it may not be enough for you to apply the same parenting techniques to your daughter that worked for your son. When you are attentive to your troubled teenage girls’ needs, it can help enormously with family relations and smoothing out defiant behavior.
The first behavioral issues most parents notice is a change in attitude, falling grades, disinterest in hobbies and activities that the teen once loved, suspicious activities, all new friends and more. As the negative behavior increases, you may be wondering what you can do to effectively deal with your troubled teenage girl.
Here are 3 things that you can do to keep in mind as you deal with your troubled teenage girl
Be Aware of What Your Teen Faces
Troubled teen girls are faced with a range of outside influences that can trigger negative behavior, ranging from peer pressure, a perfectionist drive, body image issues, depression, anxiety, disabilities, divorced parents, sexual exploration and even sexual abuse. These impact your daughter’s behavior greatly, and cause her to act in a range of ways, motivated by fear, desire to please, low self-esteem and more. As a parent, if you are going to try to help your troubled teen, you must be willing to walk a mile in her shoes and gain an in-depth understanding of what her environment is like.
Understand Typical Behavior vs. Troubled Behavior
As a parent of a teenage girl, it’s important to recognize when a teenager is trying to learn, grow and exercise independence. Although you are slowly loosening up the control of your child’s life, she still needs guidance, advice and even discipline. Identify what is normal teen behavior, like mood swings, obsessing over friends and even minimal drug or alcohol experimentation. Then, be aware of when teen behavior moves to a more troubled zone, like skipping school, increased aggression and substance abuse. When dealing with your teenage daughter, keep emotion out of it, be available for communication from your teen and set clear, fair house rules with clear, fair consequences if broken.
Express Love and Concern Frequently
As teenage girls grow, they often don’t act like they care what their parents think or feel. However, teens who are troubled are subconsciously checking to see if their behavior causes their parents to give up on them, abandon them or stop loving them. You must communicate with your teenage girl, letting her know that you are interested in her life and that you care about her. Every person, young or old, wants to feel loved, and even though teen girls may seem opposed to parental expression, they will still feel the benefits of positive, loving expressions and actions.
As a parent, you know your teen girl best and know when it’s time to turn to professional help. Your neighbors, parents, peers and school guidance counselors are good places to start when it comes to getting advice. They can often share their own experiences, recommend therapists or provide other resources. Help Your Teen Now is another resources for professional help and as a parent advocate group, we’re standing by to help you out in dealing with your troubled teenage girl.