Growing up is never easy. To make matters worse, other teenagers can be exceptionally cruel. While your daughter is concerned about her outburst of pimples and whether her crush likes her, other teenagers are deliberately trying to make her life harder. As she goes through puberty, she encounters a constant stream of changes to her body and her life. At the end of these changes, she will be an adult and ready to set out in the big world outside of your front door.
As a parent, you aren’t always the person that your daughter turns to when she needs help. The only thing you can do is create a relationship where she feels comfortable coming to you for help when she needs it. Some teenagers would rather figure out their own problems, but it will comfort her to know that you are there for help if and when she needs it. While every girl is different, these are 10 of the most common teenage girl problems and solutions.
When it comes to being a teenager, the most common problems are dating, self-esteem, depression, bullying, appearance, friendship, substance abuse, peer pressure, menstruation and education. We will include a brief overview of each teenage problem on this list along with some tips for solving it.
1. Substance Use
Problem: Unfortunately, substance abuse is a rising problem in the United States. Even if you believe that your child will never use drugs or drink alcohol, it can happen. Many teenager boys and girls across the world suffer from substance abuse, and peer pressure only encourages this problem. Some teenagers begin abusing alcohol or drugs out of a lack of self-esteem, stress or a need to feel accepted.
Solution: Before your teenager has a problem, it is important to talk about the side effects of substance abuse. If you discover the problem too late, you should still point out the harmful effects of substance abuse. Explain how it will harm her body and prevent her mind from developing properly. If your family is accepting of drinking, make sure that it is only done in your presence and at minimal levels. Drinking and drugs can harm a teenager’s mind as it develops though (and is also illegal for underage drinkers), so it is best to wait until your teenager turns 21 to let them drink.
Problem: Dating is something that all teenagers want to do, but it always carries problems. During puberty, sex hormones start to rise in the body. Before long, your teenage girl has her first crush and wants to try dating. Having a crush is healthy, but there can be problems along the way. The media and peer pressure may create unrealistic or damaging expectations for your daughter. At the very least, your daughter can be hurt after the inevitable break up happens. Sex is natural, but individuals must be mentally, physically and financially ready for the consequences before having sex. Teenagers need to know what safe, consensual sex is so that they are able to prevent or stop future problems.
Solution: Make sure to tell your daughter that it is perfectly acceptable to say no to sex. If someone keeps pressuring her, then that person is not interested in her for who she is. Make sure to educate her about sex, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control and how to have safe sex. She needs to feel comfortable talking to you about sex and know how to take precautions. You might not be able to stop her from having sex, but you can make sure that she knows to take precautions to prevent a pregnancy or an STD.
Problem: Depression is another problem among teenagers. They may feel pressured to get good grades or be suffering after a break up. High parental expectations, weight gain or problems with their peers can all lead to depression.
Solution: Start by watching for signs of depression. If she suddenly seems to lose interest in things she once loved, talk to her about it. Feeling down for a single day or week is fairly normal, but you should be concerned if she constantly appears dreary or depressed. If she suddenly stops sleeping or sleeps excessively, she could be depressed. If she talks about suicide or death frequently, do not dismiss it. Get professional help right away because this could be her way of letting you know that something is wrong and she needs help.
4. Peer Pressure
Problem: One of the most common problems among teenagers is peer pressure. They want to belong, so they try to do what their peers want them to. This can ultimately lead to other problems like being pressured into having sex or using drugs.
Solution: Start by explaining to your daughter what peer pressure is and how it works. Let her know that she is unique and perfect as she is, and she does not need to do anything to be liked or approved of. If her peers are acting in a way that she hates, she can detach herself from them and be herself. All of her hobbies, thoughts, fashion choices, views and habits make her who she is. She should never feel pressured to change just to make her peers happy.
Problem: Bullying has only become easier in recent years because of the internet. Even if no one is bullying her at school, cyber bullying could also be a problem. If your daughter seems depressed or acts oddly, talk to her about it because she could be a victim of bullies.
Solution: Create an open communication with your daughter so that she feels comfortable talking about anything with you. If you think she is being bullied, talk to her about her. Give her advice on what to do or how to stand up to the bully. You can also let her know about situations where you were bullied and how you felt. At the very least, this will let her know that she is not alone and that everything ultimately worked out fine for you. If the bullying is extremely severe, you can even discuss the option of changing schools.
Problem: Girls want to look pretty, and the media has made an almost unattainable idea of beauty. Her body is constantly changing as well, so adjusting to this can make it even more difficult.
Solution: Watch your teenager and make sure that she does not suddenly start eating too little or adopting strange diets. Make sure she knows that these looks are just fads, and unhealthy eating habits can affect her for the rest of her life. You should also make sure that she does not hang out with friends who have negative habits involving their appearance.
Problem: While friends can make life worthwhile, they can also cause a lot of stress. An ugly fight with a best friend can leave your daughter in tears. Teenagers are still working to develop their social skills, so many teenage friendships are prone to mood swings and instability.
Solution: Let your daughter know that fights are normal. While they shouldn’t be violent, even the best of friends have differences of opinions at times. Encourage to discuss these problems, forgive and forget. In addition, make sure that she hangs out with friends who are a good influence. If your daughter was the one in the wrong, encourage her to apologize and make amends. She needs to learn how to take responsibility for her actions, so she should be expected to apologize if she is the one at fault.
Problem: Menstruation can be scary, surprising or uncomfortable to experience for the first time. To make matters worse, there are a lot of misconceptions she may have heard at school.
Solution: Let your daughter know that this is a natural, normal experience. Talk to her about menstruation before it happens so that she knows what to expect. Teach her to have a tampon or pad with her so that she has one handy in case of an emergency. If she has severe headaches or cramps, make sure that she has medication with her to take care of it. To prevent messy surprises, teach her how to track her monthly period so that she will know when it is supposed to start.
Problem: School can be stressful, and many children feel pressure to succeed in school.
Solution: Let your daughter know that studying and grades are important, but you will love her no matter what. Encourage her to get involved in extra-curricular activities that she enjoys and that help her to relax.
Problem: Self-esteem is hard for adults, so it is unsurprising that teenagers have a problem as well. Teenage girls may constantly compare their grades, looks and bodies to other girls. As a result, she may feel self-conscious and suffer from a low self-esteem.
Solution: Try to keep her from idolizing models. If she does, make sure to explain that many of these photos involve Photoshop, plastic surgery and excessive amounts of makeup. Everyone is unique, and we all have different body types. To help with her self-esteem, encourage her to focus on her favorite hobby or skill. If she is extremely good at one hobby like art or hockey, it will help to boost her self-confidence.