The teenage years are confusing. Troubled teen girls have a difficult time figuring it all out and knowing what is right and wrong. The good news is you can help your daughter navigate the crazy world of adolescence much easier, so she can feel confident about her body.
Troubled Teen Girls and Their Bodies
Troubled teens often feel as though their body is for someone else. They believe they have something boys want, so they use it to get their attention. Your job is to change the focus. A body isn’t for anyone else but the person it belongs to, and when a teen can take back her body and value it, that’s when she starts to treat it as a special gift instead of just a lure to fish for attention.
Identify What Is Normal
Teenagers receive many messages from friends and adults around them. They notice the obvious and the subtle information they are exposed to each day. Your job is to identify what is normal teen behavior for your daughter.
This can be a difficult thing to do because it’s common for a teen girl to refute anything that doesn’t go along with their beliefs. All you can do is bring up situations to your teen and then discuss what is normal. This includes anything from how to dress, what to do with boys, and how to behave in front of people.
Teen girls have many questions, even if they say they don’t have them. Any time your teen has a question, invite it and discuss it with her. Any time you say, “Don’t talk to me about that,” she will close up a little more to the point of not asking any questions at all.
You can encourage your teen to ask questions by paying attention to statements she makes. If she says something about what someone else has said or done, you may want to ask, “What do you think of that?” This can engage your teen in a conversation that will lead her to ask you questions.
Step In When Needed
Helping your teen understand appropriate behavior and beliefs about her body isn’t one discussion. It’s a continuous process. You may start to see your teen girl looking at magazines or at sites that have racy images of young women. You may take this opportunity to discuss the reasons behind those images – marketing, inaccurate displays of romance, etc.
If you hear of friends having sex or dressing inappropriately, you can speak to your troubled teen about the messages they are delivering to boys and the public. You can then ask if that is the same message she wants to deliver. If she surprises you with, “Yes!” you can explore why she wants to deliver that message, and how she can get those same feelings in other ways.
The best thing you can do is step in when there are situations that could lead your troubled teen down the wrong path. Inappropriate outfits, sexual behaviors, or anything else that has to do with your teen girl’s sexuality or body should be confronted immediately. This shows what she is doing is serious and needs to be corrected.
Keep It Up
Do the best you can with your troubled teen girl. Being there and directing her behavior, thoughts, and beliefs is the best thing you can do right now. Just keep it up, and in time, she will see that you really do know what you’re talking about.
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