Teen Girls & Antisocial Behavior
The teenage years can be filled with changes, both stressful and pleasing: dating, making and breaking friendships, working and growing into an independent adult. Teenage girls may cope with these life stresses by withdrawing or growing distant from family and friends. Concerned parents can help a teen girl work through any problems causing antisocial behavior.
Antisocial Behavior and Personality
Some teenage girls dread social gatherings and find ways to avoid lingering at family dinner parties. While parents may hope for a teen girl who is a social butterfly, some antisocial behavior may be part of a girl's personality. If she has been antisocial for many years, or most of her life, her behavior may be an example of her personality. Allowing her to cut out of big gatherings early, and spending one-on-one time with her doing activities that she enjoys, will likely be more successful than pushing a daughter to socialize more often.
Depression and Antisocial Behavior
A teen girl who withdraws and isolates herself from others may also experience sadness, guilt, anger toward others, and declining performance at work or school. Teen girls with depression or low self-esteem may speak negatively of themselves and their abilities 2. If these symptoms last for more than a week, a teen girl may be suffering from depression 2. Parents may want to call a doctor for advice if they suspect that a teenager may be dealing with depression 2.
Problems and Antisocial Behavior
Withdrawing from other people can offer teen girls a chance to recuperate before going back into the world. Dealing with bullies, troubled friendships or romantic break-ups, or problems at work or school could play a role in a teenager's antisocial behavior. Offering advice on a teen girl's problems, like seeking tutoring if she is struggling in school or joining a club if she feels lonely, may help her break away from antisocial behavior and regain her confidence.
Talking to Teen Girls About Antisocial Behavior
Moms and Dads should try to create a safe, non-judgmental environment where teen girls can feel comfortable talking about problems. Keep calm as you talk to her and ask her questions to make sure that you understand what bothers her. If she does not want to talk, accept it and ask her if you can talk again later; give her space if she needs it. Showing your support, like offering to take her to see a doctor if she feels depressed, may help your teen girl learn that it is safe to reach out to others for help.
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