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How to be a teenage girl in today's 'me' generation

CHICKS RULE: Teenage expert Dannielle Miller will hold a seminar for parents at Xavier Catholic College later this month.
CHICKS RULE: Teenage expert Dannielle Miller will hold a seminar for parents at Xavier Catholic College later this month.

ONE of Australia's best educators, authors and media commentators on teenagers, Dannielle Miller, is coming to town next month to hold a parent seminar on the issues affecting teenage girls today.

Libby Lund-McDonald, of Grace Events and Grace Deportment School, said she was excited to be able to bring Ms Miller, someone she has looked up to for a long time, to the area.

We caught up with Ms Miller prior to her seminar to talk over some of the tough stuff teenage girls face.

Self-esteem

"Teenage girls in particular say that concern over body image is very pressing for them," Ms Miller said.

"We live in a time when girls are encouraged to compare and despair - they are surrounded by images that encourage beauty."

However what they see is a "one size fits all" airbrushed version of beauty and they compare themselves to something that is impossible to achieve.

She said teenage girls should be exposed to diverse representations of beauty.

"Teenage girls need to understand that they aren't just bodies - they are somebodies. They are whole and diverse," Ms Miller said.

Bullying

"It's something we need to take seriously, because those feelings of being rejected or attacked are so damaging," she said.

Giving your child a strong sense of affirmation at home is important, she said - show them you value them and give them other chances to feel valued, such as through an extracurricular activity.

Most importantly, be a good role model: "They learn from everything we do, the good and the bad. Girls can't be what they can't see."

Social media

"Social media in many ways has been such a wonderful thing for young people because it gives them a chance to connect," she said.

Many teenagers complain of being lonely - they don't fit in at school - but they may find a community online.

"I don't like a lot of the demonising language we use around social media because I think we underestimate how it can be used as a tool," Ms Miller said.

All parents need to do, she said, is educate their teenagers to make better choices.

At a glance

The Parent Seminar with Dannielle Miller will be held on August 11 from 7-8.15pm at Xavier Catholic College, Skennars Head.

For inquiries phone 0427 918 400.

Visit Dannielle Millar's blog at www.enlighteneducation.com



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