Junior high is a difficult time for most teens. Adolescents experience changes in their bodies, personalities, interests, coping skills and friend groups. It is a vital time to help our kids through these trying times.
For many, these are fun and creative years. But many are bullied for looking different, and many girls are being objectified by boys. I’ve heard many stories of boys commenting on girls’ bodies, telling girls they’re fat or hot because they’re anorexic. These are the budding eating disorder years. Girls begin thinking they are better if they are thinner.
Please talk with your teens, both girls and boys about this issue. Boys are asking girls for nudes repeatedly and then starting files online to share all the pics they’ve received from girls with other boys.
We need to have open conversations with our teens about this — how to deal with it and what the effects are for both girls and boys as they grow into high school years, where this continues to occur. Many teens are struggling. Stay open and keep talking with them even when they push you away.
Alisa Piette, San Luis Obispo