First of all, the title of this blog is a misnomer… you don’t need to “fit it” when you were born to stand out!
That said though, fitting in is something that I talk with teens a lot about in adolescent counseling. They are transforming in their bodies and brains and at different speeds than their peers. If the adolescent does not have a strong adult support system, a respected older sibling(s), or someone to look up to for guidance, they can start by working on fitting in, yet end up falling with the crowd.
How can parents of girls help their daughters with fitting in?
Astoundingly, it involves not fitting in at all! Yes, at Peek Counseling, we advocate for parents to support and encourage their daughters’ unique tastes and talents. For pre-teens and teens, this could be anything from their attempts at learning an instrument, their fashion style, no matter how outside from you own it may be, their music choices, and their hobbies.
When adolescents are saying that they’re not “fitting in” what does that look like?
Girls might try to act like their friends, dressing like them, masking their identities by laughing at jokes they might not normally, or changing their behavior to match the crowd’s. For girls who are trying so hard and being rejected, they could use support to really feel their own worth.
Adolescent counseling can provide a supportive role model.
Many teens and pre-teens stop sharing as much as they used to with their parents. They also might back away from teachers and other authority figures. But having a counselor that is required to keep their words confidential can give them the peace of mind to share what’s going on. Counseling for adolescents is a really good place to start if your child has been withdrawn, moody, depressed, quiet, or engaging in destructive behaviors. And, finding a counselor who works with teens and youths can help make sure there’s a good match for your daughter.
How to frame “going to a counselor” to your daughter.
Your daughter might not want to see a counselor. They may even get in a big fight with you about it. But, the way you frame it can really make a big difference. Here’s an idea. Why not tell your daughter that she is going to go see a counselor because she needs someone to complain about her parents confidentially. Maybe tell them they can cuss, talk about you behind your back, and maybe even reward them too if they go. It could be a non-material thing like extra game time or screen time. Just an idea, because if you can get them through the door, sometimes it can make all the difference. And, my door is always open. ~ Katie
About Peek Counseling
Katie Bisbee-Peek is a licensed professional counselor who works with adolescents and teens in her private counseling practice in Denver, Colorado. She enjoys being a kid herself and using humor and lightheartedness in her therapy sessions. Counseling is a passion that began as a teen, for Katie, too.
She has worked with families, young adults, and youths to help find a common bond and come back together. She seeks to empower adolescents to shine and be the best version of themselves. Katie also runs a teen girls group for high school students, contact Katie for more details. To schedule an appointment or consultation, just click here.