Today’s pop culture has created a disturbing trend: a wave of girls behaving badly. This generation of young, uninhibited girls even has its own catchphrase: “You only live once,” often written as “YOLO” in texts and on social media.
From the mean girl culture that breeds girl-on-girl violence, bullying, gossip and social isolation, to the early sexualization of preteen girls by fashion and entertainment icons, teen girls are more at risk than ever before.
The “girl power” movement, meant to empower young women and create strong, independent girls unhindered by gender stereotypes, seems to have backfired. Many teen girls today aren’t afraid to speak their own mind, but a growing number have crossed the line into rudeness, disobedience and disrespect.
Many parents struggle to arm their daughters with the conviction and assertiveness to succeed in life, while still preserving her morals and values. Others find it challenging to allow their teen daughters the freedom to enjoy social activities and teen culture with her friends – especially when they fear these people and activities might present temptations to make bad choices.
It’s unlikely that any teen daughter and her parents will always see eye-to-eye on every issue. Adolescence is a time for pushing family boundaries and asserting one’s sense of self, so a little rebellion and disagreement is a normal part of development.
However, being a teenager does not provide a carte blanche excuse to misbehave. Parents need to teach their daughters to respect themselves at all times. Ask your teen to think before she acts and to consider whether she would want a photo of what she’s about to do on the front page of the newspaper the next day.
Proactively managing your daughter’s time and behavior can also help preserve her character and help her make the right choices. Parents can help their daughters by spending consistent quality time with them, having set schedules for them, providing the structure they need and creating and involving the family in family traditions. These can be family dinners, going to church, going on a family vacation once a year or even celebrating the holidays in the family’s own way — things that teach family values.
In addition, remember that you are modeling behavior for your teen at all times. If parents use obscene language, lose their tempers, disrespect others and fail to control their emotions, teens will definitely feel they have license to do the same. Provide a positive precedent for your daughter through your own actions and words. She is paying attention more than you know.
To learn more about how Compass Rose Academy can help put a stop to the bad girl culture influences in your home, visit www.compassroseacademy.org.