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Adolescent girls

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Helping you and your daughter navigate this time of change

A girl’s adolescent years (typically, age 11 to age 15) are a time of major physical change – they begin to menstruate and develop facial acne and they see an increase in body fat. These changes could lead to dissatisfaction and frustration with their appearance and ultimately a lower self-esteem. In fact, studies have shown that during adolescence, girls have a lower self-esteem than boys.

This is also a time of self-discovery when girls may explore their sexuality and experience emotional pressures from their peers and may be tempted to conform to gender-role stereotypes.

Your Novant Health pediatrician or family medicine doctor can help your daughter during this time of change.

You can also try these tips:

  • Give your daughter the freedom to explore her interests without conforming to gender expectations.
  • Take your daughter to work so that she can see the importance and contribution of women in the community.
  • Ask your daughter about her day – school, extracurricular activities and friends – to ensure she feels valued.
  • Listen to your daughter. Make sure she knows she can ask questions, air complaints and talk about anything going on in her life.
  • Be aware that girls receive conflicting messages about how they should look and act from school, television, magazines and peers. Help your daughter responsibly manage these social expectations.

The strength of your daughter's self-image right now may have long-term implications. Support and encourage your daughter during her adolescent years to help her grow into a healthy, well-adjusted and self-confident young woman.