Violent outbursts among young women are becoming a more serious problem!
Officers flooded a London suburb last week after an argument between two girls from rival schools developed into an almost-riot. Very disturbing online footage shows groups of teenage girls beating each other senseless outside the Walthamstow Central tube station. Patrick Regan, CEO of charity XLP, an organization that works with young people to prevent anti-social behaviour, explains to the Telegraph “It feels to me we live in a culture where there’s a lot of fear and intimidation. People fly off the handle very quickly and things seem to escalate quickly now. We saw that with the 2011 London riots where people had a ‘we’ve got nothing to lose’ mentality.”
As a mother of two teenage girls, this mentality scares me. Most of the literature about teen violence is from the “dating” perspective. Protection from boys – we’ve all read the data… but protection from violent girls? A very sad and (unfortunately) real threat that seems to be occurring more and more often. All the safety rules about dating can actually be transferred to how to keep themselves safe in ANY situation. Talking openly to your teenage daughter about social safety is a great way to show that you are available to listen and answer questions – so make sure to check in often with your teen. Together, you can agree on clear rules about social situations to help keep your teen safe.
The Child Development Institute has some great articles on keeping your teen safe. Remember that as a parent, you’re the most influential person in your teen’s life.