Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Parent to Parent: Pressure To Be Perfect
Teen girls know what it's like to be stressed out. The pressure to be smarter, thinner and prettier is intense, and the consequences can be severe, but there are things parents can do to keep their girls sane. As Lynn Martinez tells us in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Teen: "Make sure I do the best I can to get good grades and have a good GPA."
Teen: "After school activties my parents pressure me to do soccer or softball or something."
Teen: "I think in the past week, I was asked what I want to do and what college I want to go to at least five times."
The pressures young girls face are mounting.
Dr. Hinshaw: "It's the best time in history to be a girl, but the flip side is the pressures are relentless."
Psychologist Stephen Hinsaw says girls are in a triple bind. They want to be brainy, beautiful, thin and athletic too. It's a list of expectations that's leading to a mental health crisis.
Dr. Hinshaw: "One girl in four by the age of 19 will have developed a major depression, made a suicide attempt, been involved in cutting or self mutilation or been involved in binge eating or other eating disorders."
Even young girls are affected for some competition begins when they're toddlers.
Teen "When I don't win I feel guilty."
Dr. Hinshaw: "National surveys of thered grade girls, eight-year-old girls in the United States, 60 percent are worried about their weight and over a third are dieting."
Hinshaw says parents should teach girls to be critical of the constant "thin and pretty." Media barrage eating dinner together helps reduce the risk of eating disorders. Parents should also encourage girls to get involved in the community to give them a greater sense of purpose.
Dr. Henshaw: "Getting that sense of commitment in the community may be the ultimate solution to the triple bind."
Simple steps to help pave the way for the women of tomorrow.
Lynn Martinez: "Here's another shocking statistic. Plastic surgery among teens more than tripled between 1997 and 2007."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Stephen Hinshaw
You Don't Have to be Perfect