A lot of my counseling work is with teenage girls and their families. Parents want the best for their girls; they want them to be safe and successful in life. Many family therapy sessions are spent discussing healthy boundaries, choices and disciplines. Our culture is scary. There is a lot out there screaming at teen girls to look a certain way, behave a certain way and try certain things or else they won't be loved, accepted or belong. A teen girl's heart is desperate to feel loved, accepted and to belong. Often, she'll look for those needs to be met somewhere in the world that surrounds her. She'll look to guys to tell her what she's worth. Or perhaps to social media to tell her how to dress, what music to like and how to treat others (yikes...have you seen the comments section on teenagers' social media accounts!). When this happens, she'll come up unfulfilled and hurt. Many parents reaction to all the hurt their girls end up experiencing (and the bad choices that led to the hurt) is to pull them from the world...deactivate all social media for good! When bad choices have been made through social media or as a result of the influence of social media, a discipline is absolutely needed. Part of a parent's role is to correct bad behavior and guide towards healthy choices. Discipline is needed and healthy as long as it is set for a definitive time period. We can't keep our kids from culture's influence. We are in the world and hiding or retreating is not the best answer. Teenagers need guidance on how to maneuver through the world. They need to know how to be in, but not of, the world. How do I know when I'm being influenced? How do I respond when I'm feeling pressured? Where does my value and worth come from? How do I find the acceptance I'm desperately needing? What do I do with a mean comment said to me? Start with a dialogue. Ask to look at social media with your teen. Ask them what they think about what they are seeing. Get their take on things. And then open a dialogue with them. Let's equip our teens for navigating through the world. Yes, at times they need protecting, sheltering...but more so, they need us to show them how to journey through it maturely.