Being a teenager is hard enough, and a variety of influences can leave some girls feeling that there is no escape from gossip and the pressure to look, think and act a certain type of way. In addition, many of our young women are growing up in single-parent families where resources are limited. According to the 2002 US Census Bureau more than one-fourth of all of the children in the country lived with only their mother or father, including 48% of all African- American children.
The truth is that parents are significantly younger these days. With teenage pregnancies on the rise a majority of children are being raised in households in which parent(s) are unemployed or underemployed with very little education. This often leads to a situation where girls are growing up in an economically disadvantaged area that is often filled with crime, poverty and what can seem like very little positive options for a successful future. Some girls are left feeling like the only places the can turn to for the answers are Twitter, Facebook and Myspace.
The good news is that increased connections with reliable positive role models can make a significant difference in the lives of our youth. You don’t necessarily need money, power or fame to help either. Here are some suggestions on how you can make the difference whether you are a parent or someone who just wants to help: