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This month’s post is dedicated to the moms (and dads) of teenage girls. While we usually complain about this age group’s mood swings, angst-y attitudes and general rolling-of-the-eyes, it’s important to remember that the pressures on young females are complex and intense. Yes, their opportunities for achievement are greater than ever before, but so are their risks. This month we invite you to start a conversation with your daughter about the pressures she feels she is facing, as well as what she loves about being who she is. In true Healthy Chats’ style, we’ve come up with some talking points to get the conversation rolling (often the hardest part).
Now wait a minute – this girl is FIFTEEN!
Without the funds to pay for her schooling, her parents told her she would be married off. This story brings up lots of talking points, even beyond the basics of where is Bangladesh and what is life for women like there? For starters: how does it make you feel that a 15 year old girl wouldn’t be able to finish her education and have to get married? How does it compare with your life choices? Does it change the way you think about the challenges you face? What about the challenges girls around the world face?
These examples from the media are only suggestions to pique your daughter’s interest in this subject matter. With or without these campaigns, our hope this month is that you start a conversation with your teen about what she’s facing that may be challenging, upsetting, uplifting or empowering. Let her know that you care about her perspective and what she’s going through. Remind your daughter of all she has to feel good about, that you are there for her no matter what, and to hold herself to no ones standards but her own.
Enjoy your daughter and all the amazing girls in your life.
Founder of Healthy Chats, Dr. Chrystal de Freitas is a pediatrician, author and mother of three children who has a special interest in health education. She completed her pediatric training at the University of Washington, in Seattle, WA, and has been in private practice for 22 years. She practiced with North County Health Services in Encinitas, for 6 years. In 2004, Dr. de Freitas opened her solo private practice of pediatrics, Carmel Valley Pediatrics in San Diego, CA.