Behavior Issues In Adolescent Girls
At some point or another, we have all heard the saying, “boys will be boys”. This expression is most commonly used when a boy or man partakes in mischievous or childish behavior and essentially makes light of their actions, excusing them because “well what did you expect?”. This sort of mentality has led to a noticeable stigma surrounding troubled adolescent girls who struggle with the same issues that plague troubled teenage boys. For some reason, erratic or worrisome behaviors have become expected from boys of a certain age, while the same is ignored when it comes to girls.
The truth is, issues with identity, substance abuse, anger, depression, anxiety and more transcend gender. Young girls and teenagers are just as likely to need guidance as their male counterparts. While it is true that teenage girls don’t tend to act-out violently with the frequency that boys do, they do have their own type of attention-seeking behavior as they grow up. Much of the time, this behavior becomes too much for the parents of the child to handle, and this is where we come in.
Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center serves both girls and boys at our facility. We offer the guidance, support, and most often, the perspective that teenage girls need to be able to overcome their issues. However, before we discuss how we make this happen, we should take a deeper look at what sorts of struggles adolescent girls face and why they react to them in the ways that they do.
Sensitivity, Introspection, & Self-Absorption
Let’s be honest, teenage girls have a bad reputation when it comes to how they handle their emotions. Whether it is being portrayed on television, in movies, or simply in the stories that your mother still tells about your sister while she was growing up, people everywhere seem to agree that adolescent girls are emotional, sensitive, and a bit selfish. Teenage girls are also extremely well-versed in questioning their every action when they are outside the confines of their parents’ home. Something as simple as wearing a shirt with a stain on it out in public wouldn’t be a terribly big deal for many people, but for a teenage girl, this is quite devastating. When their self-absorption combines with their insecurities it almost always results in an emotional reaction.
Let us be clear, this is the nature of adolescence. There are mood swings, identity issues, and pressure to be just as good, if not better than the other people that are being interacted with on a daily basis. It is when these reactions begin to take a turn for the worse that we feel it is our job to help out. When a teenage girl begins to show signs of depression or anxiety or she begins to search for outlets like drugs or alcohol, you as a parent have every right to be concerned and try to assist your child. However, blooming adolescence isn’t the only thing that aids in a young woman finding herself on a questionable path.
The Search For Conformity
Since teenage girls are so incredibly critical of themselves, it is no surprise that they begin to search for tactics by which they can fit in with others. There are a number of ways in which this can be done. For example, some girls may choose to dumb themselves down by hiding their intellect and ambition. Others may choose to settle for becoming friends with a person or a group that goes against their basic values, while others will choose to simply remove themselves from all social situations. Regardless of which route she takes, it is clear that none of these methods are going to benefit her in any way. It is up to you, as the parent, to make a plan of action if you feel as though your daughter is beginning to become a person who, she herself, would not be proud to be.
As The Parent, What Should You Do?
There are, of course, many different actions a parent can take if they feel as though their daughter is going down a bad path or even if they simply wish to help her survive adolescence. The good news is that you too were a teenager at one point, and therefore, you understand your child much more than you are likely giving yourself credit for.
It is our belief that helping your child to develop a healthy self-image is always the best place to start. On the other hand, you also cannot choose to simply forego all discipline. You can do both of these things by following some of the tips below:
- Pick your battles wisely. While some parents want to address every single small issue that presents itself to them, we would suggest that you let the little stuff go. When you do this, you will have more success when you are truly digging your heels in about bigger, more important issues.
- Simply try to understand. Think about how your teenage daughter feels, as well as how she perceives and defines the world in any given situation.
- Be aware of what she is facing. There are plenty of issues in the world today that were not present when you were in high school. Being aware of the different social pressures your daughter is facing can help you to empathize with her.
- Know that thin is in. Whether it is healthy or whether or not you disagree, women and young girls are currently under more scrutiny about their bodies than ever before in history.
- Acknowledge the lure of drugs and alcohol. You are not so naive as to think that your child won’t be exposed to substances at some point or another. On the other hand, knowing how to convince your daughter that she doesn’t need to partake in these social pressures is an important step.
- Set rules that are fair, clear and consistent. Teenagers can spot hypocrisy from a mile away. Don’t give your daughter a reason to question the rules you have put into place.
- Instill a desire for involvement in your child. When your daughter is involved in sports and other extracurricular activities, the likelihood of her isolating herself from others or running with the wrong crowd is decreased greatly.
Forget The Stigma, What Are The Facts?
Despite ideas in modern day culture that girls are much more likely to stay out of trouble as teens than boys are, the numbers do not lie. Let’s take a look at some statistics regarding teenage girls, substance abuse and more. The following data was compiled by the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and can be found at oas.samhsa.gov.
42.9% of females age 12 or older reported that they had used an illicit drug at some point in their life.
12.2% of females age 12 and older reported that they had used an illicit drug in the last year.
6.3% of females age 12 and older reported that they had used an illicit drug in the last month.
Different Issues We Can Assist Your Child With At Fire Mountain
Our residential treatment center exists so that we can help to guide teenagers to find the right path for them in life. However, as we mentioned above, there are a number of issues that plague adolescents. Luckily, we know how to handle nearly all of them. Check out some of our most commonly tackled issues below and see if any of them apply to your child.
Does your daughter have an issue with substance abuse?
Knowing that your teenage daughter has a substance abuse problem is a scary thing for any parent. At Fire Mountain, we know how to approach this problem in order to get the very best outcome. Our rehabilitation methods focus on the addiction itself rather than the substance. The basis of this is that it does not matter what the substance is because all addictions have common themes and require similar solutions. We will help your daughter to become more aware of herself and the ability she has to face the challenges that come with life without relying on an addiction to get her through whatever it is she is experiencing.
Does your daughter have an issue with self-harm?
No parent wants to discover that their child is harming themselves. After all, as the parent, you have an innate desire to protect your child in every way possible. When your daughter comes to Fire Mountain to be treated for self-harm, they will be provided with the very best in therapy as well as receive counseling that will help them to move past this dangerous coping mechanism. Your daughter may also have a Low Dose Naltrexone treatment in order to help her reduce her need to harm herself for the time being.
Does your daughter have an issue with anxiety and/or depression?
There are many different schools of thought when it comes to how to treat anxiety and depression in people of all ages. Our approach is cumulative. Just like the rest of our treatment plans, this one requires a good amount of therapy and counseling. However, there are other tactics that can be used as well. We will likely help your daughter in any way we possibly can — teaching her how to meditate, changing her diet, and in the most extreme cases, prescribing medication.
Does your daughter have an issue with low self-esteem?
As we mentioned above, the majority of teenage girls suffer from some degree of low self-esteem. Not only is she trying to figure out who she is, but she is also constantly surrounded by social pressures that make her question her every word and action. Additionally, teenager girls are constantly bombarded by images of what a typical girl their age “should” look like. At Fire Mountain, we offer strategies that will help your daughter to uncover her true worth, leading her to start feeling comfortable in her own skin. Much of this work is done through therapy and interactions with other teens who are experiencing the same thing in their day to day lives.
Does your daughter have an issue with anger?
It’s important that you know that teenagers are in no way predisposed to anger. This means that there are issues far beyond what is happening in your teen’s head that are causing her to feel as though she has something to be angry about. Plain and simple, children and teenagers alike look to their parents and other adults in their life to provide them with a blueprint. Without the proper guidance, it is extremely easy for a teenager to become both confused and defiant. After all, they do not know any better than what they have observed.
Does your daughter have an issue with family relationships?
Much of the time when teenagers are having consistent issues with members of their family, it is a problem that goes beyond just the teen themselves. If your daughter and yourself are unable to communicate in an effective and respectful manner, it is likely that this goes far beyond just moody adolescent behavior. In fact, it’s likely that you, as the parent, may have some work to do as well. Plain and simple, good parents, behave like parents. They know how to set boundaries, as well as communicate clearly and openly, making time to spend with their kids.
Our Coed Rehabilitation Facility
While there are plenty of rehabilitation centers for teens all over the United States that are gender specific, Fire Mountain is not one of them. Part of the reason we do not cater to one sex over the other is due to the stigma we have been discussing. Regardless of whether they are a boy or a girl, we believe all teens should be given the opportunity to start anew.
If you have been struggling to help your teenage daughter and you want to be able to provide her with an opportunity to get back on track, Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center is the right place for her. Learn more about what we have to offer by contacting us today or by checking out some of the posts on our blog page!