Why I No Longer Run and Hide From Teen Girls

Although my daughters are still quite young, being the anxiety-driven person I am, I can’t help but prematurely worry about the dreaded teen years.

According to reports that continually scream at me from magazines, investigative reports and Twitter, my children are going to end up as a) bullies, b) violent soda drinkers, or c) initiators of a series of flash robs.

Not only that, shows like Suburgatory and the upcoming Fox show I Hate My Teenage Daughter prove my sweet little balls of suburban sunshine will morph into vapid teens who are glued to their smartphones and OMG! Like totally hate me! Furthermore, a recent report examined how reality TV is creating a generation of narcissistic, aggressive teen girls, which totally explains two-year-old KT flipping over a table and five-year-old MJ attempting to pull out my nonexistent weave after a marathon of Real Housewives of New Jersey.

T.V. has taught me that if I see a horde of teen girls coming our way, I’m to cower behind the stroller so I don’t get called fat and throw a handful of condoms at them to distract them from making fun of my cheap shoes. Yet, because both of my daughters look up to older girls so much, I knew I needed to find them some good teen mentors. You know, from 1956.

The reality is there are a whole heck of a lot of teen girls who totally have their crap together. Much more than I did when I was teen-ing it up in the grunge years. Almost all I’ve come into contact with lately has been self-assured without the ego, generous with their time, and incredibly intelligent.

Our babysitter, after noticing we were out of bubbles the first time she watched the girls, brought a 12-pack of bubbles on her next visit to our house. During a skate night at our local Y, the counselors were so helpful and kind, we moms pretty much tripped each other with our skates to call dibs on a new batch of babysitters. MJ looks up to a friend’s daughter, who is the lead singer of a band and performs in high school plays – which get this, sell out in just minutes because our community recognizes talent lies in all areas, not just on the sports field.

For more convincing, check out the new book Please Read (if at all possible): The Girl Project by Kate Engelbrecht. Four years ago, Engelbrecht held much of the same view of teen girls as I’ve been harboring. Determined to get into the heart and soul of these young ladies, Engelbrecht launched The Girl Project, in which she sent out disposable cameras to teens across the U.S. The photos, along with their notes and letters, paint a surprising look at teens today reported MSNBC.

Although Hollywood might tell us differently, the majority of teen girls aren’t sleeping with the football team. They love their parents. They’re uncomfortable with their bodies. They want that boy in art class to like them. They face an incredible amount of peer pressure. They have ambitions to change the world. It’s a mirror of us 20 years ago. Only without the Zack Morris phone and all the flannel.

There are so many incredible teens I’m excited my girls can look up to. So, I ask – who are the teen girls in your life that are shining examples for their younger counterparts?

By Nicole Plegge, Lifestyle Blogger for SmartParenting

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Metro East mom Nicole Plegge has written for STL Parent for more than 12 years. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL 

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