As a mom of ten kids I’ve been though every stage (a few times!), and I have to say that the hardest, most confusing time for girls is the pre-teen and teen years. Between ages 12-16 girls’ bodies are changing, their emotions are charged, and on a scale from 1-10 their desire for peer approval is an 11.5!
All the lessons that little girls soaked in during quiet time devotions about their value, worth and beauty dissipate as soon as they turn teen and walk into a group setting and have a half-dozen sets of eyes fixed on them.
The truth is that there are multiple situations a day when teen girls have to deal with going with the crowd or choosing a different way and feeling uncomfortable and awkward. We raise our teens to be different than the world but being different is painful for girls who want to fit in!
I love what Kari Kampakis says in her book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know:
“It’s not a matter of if you’ll be pressured, but when. People will push you as far as you let them. Unless you establish parameters now, you’ll be talked into things against your better judgment.”
The good news is that parents can help! In addition to reading through 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know (which I recommend!), here are other ways parents can help. The advice below came from my mom friends. Feel free to use these as conversation starters for your teen girl.
Lea Anne: I try to emphasize more how uncomfortable the consequences are of doing wrong. That way these tough conversations or awkward ‘no’s’ seem like a positive step for their own safety and well-being.
Tina Marie: Even though it’s hard to stand up for yourself and not follow your peers, it is okay to stand up for what you feel is best for you and or right for you. It is okay to be different than them. If your friends are your true friends they will stick by you in the choice you make for yourself.
It is hard to see the consequences at the time of the wrong, but try not to rush into quick decisions. Wait till the last minute to give your answer, call your parents and talk it out with them. If allowed come up with your own group get-together that’s safe for all.