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How to read signs of stress in your teenage girl

Life is not simple for your teenage daughter, living in a world where intense competition, heightened social media use, and fast changing values are the norm. You probably often find yourself out of sync with her problems and at a loss to find solutions for them. Even tougher is recognising those signs of anxiety that result from the challenges she’s facing at home and school or college.

Here’s how you can train your eyes to read signs of distress in your troubled teenager –

1. Changes in sleep patterns – If she is staying awake till the wee hours and waking up late, taking uncommonly frequent naps through the day, appears listless or spends inordinately long hours in bed on weekends, it could be because she is unable to handle stress. Academic performance, career choices, relationship with peers, self-realisation could are common causes of worry for youngsters.

2. Disinterest in communicating – Has she not been participating in dinner conversations? Does she avoid you when you try to engage her in small talk? Has she stopped confiding in you the way she did when she was younger? It could well be a pointer to low self-esteem or fear of being reprimanded.

3. Verbal or physical aggression – Your sweet adolescent has metamorphosed into a hysterical youngster who flares up at the slightest provocation. She may have taken to slamming doors or banging books or worse and you wonder why. It could be her way of telling you that she’s troubled, unable to handle the pains of growing up, or worried about the coming exams.

4. Loss of appetite / binge eating – The pressure of having to look good at all times, particularly for social media, can be immense. Your daughter could be starving herself for a more “desirable look”. Conversely, stress about studies can lead to binge eating at odd hours to combat exam pressures.

5. Changes in social behaviour – Is she being extra friendly or isolating herself, spending more time with her books and mobile phone? Has her close circle of friends changed in the last few months? Habits like drugs and alcohol are easy to fall into in school and college and lead to the formation of new friends who share similar interests.

These concerns aren’t exclusive to you. Wonder how other parents deal with the same worries? Join Hamam’s Mother Safety Force to help every child go safe outside.