A message from Dr. Lisa Damour, author of Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood (Ballantine Books, February 2016).
I’m often stunned by what people say to me when they learn that I’m a psychologist who specializes in working with teenage girls:
“You work with teen girls? There should be a medal for that!” or they shake their heads and say, “Teenage girls … I’m so glad I only have sons.”
When talking about adolescent girls, adults are quick to fall back on stereotypes. Too often, we describe girls as being mean or marginalized, wild or mild, stressed or buoyant. But anyone who spends time with teenagers, anyone who really knows and cares about them, can tell you that most teenage girls could fit all of these descriptions, and more, on any single day. It’s time to address how dynamic and intricate girls really are.
It’s time to shed light on their inner lives and do so in a way that honors girls and the intelligence of the adults who care about them. As the mother of two girls and a psychologist who consults to schools and treats girls in my private practice, I wrote Untangled to replace our two-dimensional stereotypes with a sophisticated framework for understanding adolescent development. (more…)