The teenage years are a time of many changes, socially and biologically. Many different issues contribute to the emotional upheaval for teen girls.
As a teen counselor, these changes are often a topic of conversation in teen therapy. These changes can influence their relationships with others. Whether they are peer relationships or family relationships, the teen years can be hard.
What are some of those changes that can be topics of conversation in teen counseling? And is there anything parents can do to help?
Teen Girls & Teen Changes: 4 Tips for Parents
Teen girls and teen boys both have their unique challenges during the teen years. As parents, it can sometimes be challenging to know just how to help. Below are some things to look out for teen girls and tips that can help parents.
Fluctuations in mood are a standard part of the teen years but can be more noticeable in teen girls due to their menstrual cycle. The premenstrual cycle, known as PMS, can influence mood swings throwing you and your daughter off guard.
Parents can help their teen daughter by encouraging exercise and a healthy diet. Also, teach your daughter how to track her cycle through the use of a smartphone calendar or a period tracker app. Keeping track of her cycle will help your teen, and those around her, feel more prepared for those unpredictable PMS symptoms.
It is helpful to refrain from imposing stereotypes on your daughter. For example, do not say "you are so emotional" or "you must be on your period" when you notice changes. This can lead to shame around her cycle and expressing emotions.
Instead, create an empowering and supportive environment that helps your daughter feel supported when she may feel out of control.
Many changes that occur during the teen years may lead your daughter to have moments of insecurity. Learning how to navigate the social nuances with her peers, dating, and changes to her bod all can contribute to moments of self-doubt.
Remember to provide encouragement and guide them through their thoughts and emotions. Yet, be cautious not to be overly directive in your approach or fix the situation. This reaction can cause your teen to avoid sharing with you.
In 2021, the US Surgeon General declared children's mental health a national crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Data showed that adolescent girls are at high risk, with a 51% increase in suicide attempts.
Teen depression has increased steadily over the past decade. Pediatricians provide assessments for their teenage patients even if they don't observe symptoms of depression themselves. This has been a life saving measure in some cases.
If you notice:
Signs of irritability,
Loss of interest,
Excessive eating or sleeping,
Talking about death, there is help available.
It is essential to take these changes seriously and not write them off as a regular part of adolescent development. Encourage your daughter to speak to a school counselor or private therapist and follow up with their pediatrician for additional testing and referrals. These changes may signal a deeper problem and early intervention is crucial.
During the teen years, there is a shift for parents as well! It may be challenging to remember how important peer relationships were during your teen years.
In addition, you can experience a bit of loneliness or even envy of how much time your teen is spending with other people. Your daughter spends more time with friends and less time engaging in activities she did with you during her younger years.
Encourage conversations around healthy friendships. Although the conversations about abstaining from sex and drugs are essential, find ways to give your input about boundaries, conflict resolution, and how to develop trust. Keep in mind that some of her friends are only temporary, and some she will be friends for life.
The teen years are not easy for young women. As we take time to reflect during Women's History month, remember that there are many struggles girls and women face as they transition through different phases of life.
It takes a lot of support and encouragement to make it through. Be the person your daughter can feel comfortable talking to and leaning on during these challenging times of her life.
Teen Therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Katy, Tx & Houston
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our therapists specialize in working with teens. We provide individual teen therapy, family counseling, and group therapy to help the teens and families we work with.
School stress can trigger things like depression and anxiety. If your teen is struggling with teen depression or teen anxiety, it can block access to their innate talents, gifts, and abilities. Academics can suffer as a result.
We can help. Katy Teen & Family Counseling is easy to get to and is conveniently located just off of 99 and I-10. If you are ready to start teen counseling, family therapy, or group therapy, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Speak with our therapists who specialize in teen counseling
Get the support that you and your teen may need during a difficult time
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we use therapy and counseling approaches that are supported by research. These approaches have been shown to work in the shortest amount of time.
We also offer the following therapy and counseling services:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Group Therapy for Teens
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Support Group for Parents
Parents of teenagers and young adults face unique challenges. The "Parents Supporting Parent's" group at Katy Teen & Family Counseling provides a place where parents can meet with other parents of teenagers and young adults who may be struggling.
Parents will walk away from this group with a greater feeling of support, actionable skills, and even friendships.
About the Author
Jheri has been providing therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2009. She enjoys using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) due to it's effectiveness with teens and young adults.
Jheri also has a unique understanding of some of the challenges teens and young adults face who are bi-racial. Identity, acceptance, and embracing a mixed heritage are some of the challenges she helps teens and young adults manage.
Also being raised in a blended family, Jheri can help parents and teens of blended families make this journey a little less complex.