Parents And Teen Girl Problems With Their Solutions
I get so angry with my parents!
My parents never seem to see my point of view on anything! I get so angry with them. They make jokes about me being a ‘typical teen’ but it’s not funny. I feel so trapped by all their silly rules. Sometimes I feel a bit out of control. Once I smashed up my bedroom and another time I lashed out at my dad. I feel like I hate my parents sometimes!
No matter how angry it might make you feel, you don’t have the right to hurt your parents or to smash up their home (even if it’s your room). Next time you get angry like this you need to take a deep breath, walk out of the room and count to 10 in your head. Then take another deep breath and compose yourself. Unfortunately, your anger is only demonstrating to them that you still have a lot of growing up to do. They would respect your opinions more if you challenged them calmly and rationally, and discussed finding a compromise. Work on getting your anger under control, but if it keeps on taking hold then speak to your mum, aunt or a trusted teacher. Serious anger issues can be dealt with by specialist counsellors who will be able to help you.
Problem – I’m afraid someone might hurt me!
My family often watches the news while having dinner in the evening. It always seems to be full of terrible things going on all over the world. Recently I’ve been getting more and more scared of going out on my own because something might happen to me. It sometimes seems like there are terrorists, muggers and violent criminals everywhere – even in our small town! My dad always says not to talk to strangers. I know this is good advice but I’m worried about all kinds of things happening to me!
It’s true that the news is full of awful events and terrorism has been in the news a lot in the last decade or so, but try to keep your fears in perspective. Statistically speaking, it’s unlikely that you will ever be involved in a terrorist attack. If news programmes frighten you, suggest to your family that you don’t watch them over dinner. it’s one thing to be street aware and another to let these fears overtake your life. Of course, street crime is more of a serious concern. When you’re out on the street keep your wits about you. Don’t stare at people on the street and try not to meet a stranger’s gaze. Don’t walk around alone at night. Stick to well-lit areas and don’t take shortcuts. Keep your mobile or iPod well hidden. Act confidently and look like you know where you are going. If you think someone is following you, head immediately for the nearest shop or well populated area and phone the police. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!
Problem – I can’t stop thinking about death and dying!
I’m terrified of dying. I lie awake at night trying to imagine what it would feel like to die. I worry about whether there is an afterlife. I worry about all my family and friends dying. Obviously I’ve known about death since I was a little girl, but I’m sure it’s not normal to think about it all the time. Can you help me?
Worrying about death is quite normal and a part of life that we all go through at one time or another. However, try to see that focusing on death and imagining that you’re going to die and lose all your loved ones is futile. It doesn’t help, and it doesn’t make the present time very enjoyable for you. On the one hand, don’t be afraid to express your fears to trusted people in your life as I am sure many of your friends will have gone through the same process. At the same time, work on taking the focus off these negative thoughts and concentrate on living now! Join a sports club or theatre group, start a new hobby or just hang out with friends doing something you all enjoy and you will soon forget thoughts of death and dying and start enjoying life again.
My granddad died and I can’t stop crying.
Last month my granddad passed away. I loved him so much and always looked forward to spending time with him. He’s the first person that I’ve known who has died. When my mum told me it was a really big shock. I just couldn’t believe that wouldn’t see him again. I started crying on the way to school the other day. My dad said to let it out and then he cried too. It was really sad. Can you help?
We all deal with loss in different ways. Some people bottle things up, while others express their feelings openly. There is no ‘right’ way to deal with loss; grief is a natural process and it will take time for you deal with what has happened. It’s early days for you yet, so try to open up and talk to your dad and the other people you love and trust about how you are feeling. It would help both you and your dad to remember the good times you had with your granddad. In time, perhaps frame some special pictures of him to keep around the house or keep an album of photos that will remind you of special times you spent together. You can’t change what’s happened, but you should try to support each other so you don’t feel so alone in your sadness.
Problem – I’m worried I’ve become anorexic!
Since about the age of 12 I’ve never liked my body. I spend hours looking in the mirror, obsessing over every tiny detail. Are my thighs fat? Are my arms flabby? Do I look as good as the other girls at school? Are they skinnier than me? I started dieting and recently it’s become more extreme. My calorie-counting has really got intense. I’ve been living on salad and fizzy drinks for several weeks now and I’m really scared I might be anorexic. I don’t know where to go for help.
Eating disorders like anorexia are very serious conditions. Your salad and fizzy drink diet is not providing you with the nutrients you need to fuel your body and you are in serious danger of becoming ill. You must confide in someone you trust, immediately. An appointment with your GP will get you a referral to a specialist who is trained to deal with eating disorders. The good news is that eating disorders are all treatable and people can recover from them and go on to live healthy lives. But the first step for you is to be honest with your family – and take action now!
Problem – I make myself sick after meals because I can’t stand to feel full.
I used to be overweight and was really self-conscious about it. Then I discovered that if I made myself sick after eating, the problem went away. I still got to enjoy the taste of the food but I didn’t put on any weight, and in fact I started to lose weight. The problem is I can’t stand to feel full anymore and have to make myself sick. I’ve started having really bad stomach pains and have even fainted a few times. Please help!
It’s very brave of you to open up about this and I urge you to be as honest with your parents now. The condition you describe is called bulimia nervosa (or bulimia for short) and it is a recognised eating disorder. It can start as an extreme way to control your weight, but as you’ve discovered it ends up being addictive and is bad for your health. You are risking lifelong stomach disorders, gastric reflux and tooth decay from it. Like other eating problems, bulimia can occur due to deep-rooted issues and part of beating it can be to tackle the issue itself. The first step is to visit your GP who will refer you to a specialist who deals with eating disorders. Good luck and be brave. You have made an enormous step by admitting you have a problem already – don’t stop now.