adolescent girls development: a resource guide

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Basic Skills: Adolescent Girls

Adolescent Girls Development: A Resource GuideWafa Hozien, Ph.D.whozien@vsu.eduDefining AdolescenceMerriam Webster Online Dictionary: the state or process of growing up from childhood to adulthood. Our emphasis on adolescence as a time of change and growth, as a passingDevelopmental Phenomenon introducing adulthood, reveals more about our hopes and fears than about the actual content and opportunities of adolescent development. Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Adolescent to MaturityThe adolescent is regarded as aChild who has left the safe harbor of childhood butHas not yet reached the shores of maturity.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Adolescent StruggleIs about the forces which shape the self and direct the search for identity. It examines the factors which incline young people towardSelf-centeredness, Irrationality andFaulty Decision-Making.Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Maturity InvolvesBeing Honest and True to oneself,Making decisions based on a conscious internal process,Assuming responsibility for ones decisions, having healthy relationships with others andDeveloping ones own true gifts.Thinking about ones environment andDeciding what one will and wont accept.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Adolescent Girl Basic Skills Adolescent Girls Should have are:Ability to Separate Thinking from FeelingMaking Conscious ChoicesMaking and Holding BoundariesDefining RelationshipsManaging Pain

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Ability to Separate Thinking from FeelingIt is particularly difficult for teenagers because their feelings are so intense.They are given to emotional reasoning, which is the belief that if something feels so, it must be so.Help the teenager process events by asking:

Adolescent Aid:How do you feel about this?What do you think about this?Over time, girls learn that these areTwo different processes andBoth should be respected when making a decision.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D There are adults who are not able to do this.7Making Conscious ChoicesIs a part of defining a selfEncourage girls to take responsibility for their own livesDecisions need to be made slowly and carefullyParents, boyfriends, and peers may influence their decisions, but the final decisions are their own.This is important because they need toOwn their lives and make their own decisions: Whether they are influenced by others or not.Wafa Hozien, Ph.D

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D

Help Teenager Process Events and Ask:Does this decision keep you on the course you want to be on?In the beginning: the choices are small.Who shall I go out with this weekend?Shall I forgive a friend who hurt my feelings?Later the choices include decisions about family, schools, careers, sexuality and intimate relationships

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Making Conscious Choices: Adolescent Aid: Is this decision in my best interest? Does it interfere with my values or life principles? Will this decision conflict me being who I am?10Making and Holding BoundariesGirls learn to make and enforce boundariesAt the most basic level, this means They decide who touches their bodies.It means they set limits aboutTheir time, Their activities, Their companionsThey can say, No I will not do that.They need to make position statements that are firm statements of whatThey Will and Will Not Do.Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Defining RelationshipsMany girls are empathy sickKnow more about others feelings than their own.Girls need to think about:What kinds of relationships are: In their Best Interest andTo structure their relationships in accord with their ideas.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Adolescent Aid: Ask: Why do I have this person as a friend? Should this friend be allowed to hurt my feelings?12Defining Girls SpaceThis is difficult because girls are socialized to let others do the defining.Girls are uncomfortable identifying and stating their needs, especially with boys and adults.They worry about not being nice or appearing selfish.Success in this area is exhilarating.With this skill they become the object of their own lives again.Once they have experienced the satisfaction ofDefining relationships, they are eager to continue to develop this skill.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Managing PainAll the craziness in the world comes fromPeople trying to escape suffering.All mixed up behavior comes fromUnprocessed pain.People drink, hit their mates, and children, gamble, cut themselves with razors and even kill themselvesTo escape pain.Teach girls to sit with their pain,To listen to it for messages about their lives,To acknowledge and describe it rather than to run from itTeach them to write about pain

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Adolescent Aid: Teach girls to write about their pain, give them a diary and encourage them to write if not daily then weekly in the diary. 14Teach Girls ToTalk about painExpress it through art (Draw, paint, color let it out on paper or canvas or whatever)Express it through Dance and MusicGirls need predictable ways to calm themselves.If they do not have positive ways like:Exercise, reading, hobbies or meditationThey will have negative ways, likeEating, Drinking, drugs or self-mutilation.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Adolescent Aid: Girls can talk about pain even in video format or even a voice recording. Girls can create a video diary or a picture diary, like an Instagram account.15Model Proper Channeling of EmotionsGirls need help regulating their emotional reactions.Encourage them to rate their stressChallenge Extreme Statements like: This is the worst day ever. He is the worst teacher in the world.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Adolescent Aid: I cannot overemphasize the importance of exercise here. Also, regimented exercise like taking a Yoga/Dance class or Martial Arts, which has children actually looking forward to the next level, therefore keeping them looking forward to the next challenge and level in Martial Arts.16Reframe Adolescent PerspectiveTo be inclusive, not exclusive.Teach them to reframe their statements.Rate their stress on a scale from one to ten.Rate the teacher on a scale from one to ten.Reframe by asking:What did you learn from your experience?

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Adolescent Aid: Here actually talk about your day, tell your girl what you did throughout your day, what your challenges were today. What the most interesting question you had to face today, then she will be eager to talk about her day.17Adolescent Girls Need ValidationGirls are socialized to look for praise and rewards and this keeps them other oriented and reactive.They are vulnerable to Depression as a result.If they happen to be in an environment where they are not validated.Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Help Girls Reach SelfhoodAsk them to record victories and bring these in to share with youVictories are actions that are in keeping with their long term goals.Once a girl learns to validate herself, she is less vulnerable to the worlds opinion.She can orient toward true Selfhood.Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Victories are small steps one has taken. It could be a word or phrase that a girl has said to someone at lunch, or a quiz/homework grade. It could be saying No to going out with someone. One step at a time is a victory, acknowledge them and celebrate them.19Adolescence is a Developmental StageAccept the concept that it is a developmental stage instead of aTransitory phase would foster social guarantees (societal sanctions) for appropriateCustoms, programs, associations, and, especially, ample time to assure adolescent development. Then vocational training centers, youth centers, extracurricular activities, social centers for loafing, bowling, or dancing, andYouth counseling or employment services with access to work opportunities would gain further relevance as basic social institutions for normal adolescent development.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Redefining Adolescence These are valuable resources through which adolescents can have aChance to define their behavior for themselves withinThe context of their community.

Wafa Hozien, Ph.D ReferencesK. Borman & B. Schneider (Eds.), The adolescent years: Social influences and educational challenges. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Brown, B. B. (2004). Adolescents relationships with peers. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (2nd ed., pp. 363-394). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.Buchmann, M. (1989). The script of life in modern society: Entry into adulthood in a changing world. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Byrnes, J. P. (2002). The development of decision-making. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31(Suppl. 1), 208-215.Cicourel, A. V., and Kitsuse, J. I. (1963). The educational decision-makers. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.Coleman, J., Hendry, L. B., and Kloep, M. (2007). Adolescence and health. London: Wiley.Erikson, Erik H. (1962 ).''Youth: Fidelity and Diversity," Daedalus, Vol. XCI, Winter, pp. 5-27.Friedan, Betty. (1963). The Feminine Mystique. NY: WW Norton.Gilligan, Carol. (1982). In a Different Voice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Mead, Margaret. (1971). Coming of Age in Samoa. NY: Morrow.Orbach, Susie. (1986) Fat is a Feminist Issue II. NY: Berkley Books.Pipher, Mary. (1994) Reviving Ophelia. NY: Riverhead Books.Wafa Hozien, Ph.D Questions or Comments?Via Email:Wafa Hozien, Ph.D.whozien@vsu.eduWafa Hozien, Ph.D


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