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Women’s Adolescent Health

Understanding physical & emotional development during adolescence

Adolescence can be a challenging time for parents and children alike. This is one of the most dramatic and rapid periods of growth for a child, and changes in personality and emotional development can be hard to keep up with.

Some of the changes you may notice in your child during adolescence include:

  • Independence – As children grow older, they being relying less and less on their parents for help with emotional issues, decision-making and ideas. With increasing reasoning and intuitive abilities, adolescents begin to face new responsibilities and to enjoy independent thoughts and actions.
  • Identity – Adolescence is a time where many children start thinking about who they are now, and the kind of person they want to be. This can also be very challenging as teens struggle with the disparity of their “ideal” personhood and perceived shortcomings in their physical appearance, intelligence, or personality.
  • Self-esteem – At puberty, many teens start asking themselves “do I like myself?” As their relationships with others develop and they move away from the unconditional support and love in family life, serious questions about who they are and their place in society begin to manifest. Reactions to these drastically vary. While some teens thrive in high self-steam, others begin to doubt themselves. In most cases, self-esteem improves during the later years of adolescence as teens develop a better sense of who they are.

No one can provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to expect during your child’s adolescence, but there are few things you can keep in mind that will may make it easier to understand and empathize with what they’re going through. Our compassionate adolescent health specialists are available to answer your questions and adjust to this change in your family dynamic.

Understanding teenage depression

Adolescence is when young minds really advance in emotional development. This can be a very difficult time for many young people. Symptoms of depression start manifesting in the teenage years. This is a normal part of adolescence, and while there is no perfect way to help your child during this time, compassion, patience and understanding go a long way in letting them know you are there for them.

Counseling with an experienced adolescent mental health professional can also be helpful if your child is having a particularly difficult time. Our capable behavioral health team is ready to help when you need us.

Relationship development

Young women typically begin developing new kinds of relationships with friends and family during adolescence. This is a period where young period start seeking more independence, and find new, deeper relationships with people outside of their comfort zone. This does not mean, however, that your familial relationships are weakening. Keep in mind that puberty often prompts teenagers to see the world in a whole new light as they take their first real steps in exploring it.

Female teen athletes

While sports activities are often stereotyped as a “boys” activity, many young women show an interest in athletics before men due to their earlier growth spurt. This is a great activity to encourage as it promotes a healthy lifestyle, but it is important to keep risk of injury in mind.

Estrogen relaxes ligaments, which increases the risk of injury for teen female athletes. Knee injuries are common injuries for young women, as are ankle sprains and shoulder pains. There are several ways teen athletes can reduce their risk of injury:

  • Strengthen leg muscles, particularly the hamstrings.
  • Learn how to land properly after jumping, with knees bent and hips flexed forward.
  • Strengthen core muscles in the trunk, hips, pelvis, abdomen and back.
  • Warm up before beginning any activity, take rest breaks,and cool down and stretch after play.

For more female adolescent health services, contact us today.

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