Parents play a decisive role in ensuring that their teenage daughters thrive in school. Navigating the corridors and classrooms is not always easy for a teenage girl especially when she arrives in first year, away from the security of primary school.
Peer pressure, bullying and the stress of exams can all take their toll, according to Dr Ger Scanlon, psychologist at the School of Education at Dublin City University.
"The tricky time for girls may come after a few months in first year," says Dr Scanlon. "In the early weeks at secondary school, teachers make great efforts to make sure all the girls are included.
"But after Christmas the trouble can start as they break up into different groups, and girls can find themselves being excluded."
On the whole, teenage girls tend to be much more positive about school than their male counterparts.
Over a third of Irish 13-year-old girls (35pc) report that they like school very much, compared to just 23pc of boys, according to research by the ESRI.
But there is no room for complacency. The recent highly publicised spate of suicides among girls, some of which have been linked to cyberbullying, has spurred many schools into action. Staff may not see themselves as dealing with bullying that happens online, but they cannot ignore it, because it affects their pupils.
Adrienne Katz, an anti-bullying adviser to Irish schools and author of Cyberbullying and E-Safey, says: "Bullying in school by girls tends to be quite complex and insidious. It is less violent and more psychological"
Ms Katz says a girl may pass a remark about one of her classmates in front of a group as she eats her lunch: "No wonder she's so fat!"
She may not repeat the comment on another day as her classmate eats her lunch, but just a glance and a roll of the eyes can have the same wounding effect.
"For a teacher that kind of bullying behaviour can be hard to spot," says Adrienne Katz.
It is not just teachers and parents who are trying to tackle bullying. In some cases, girls themselves are at the forefront in trying to prevent this scourge.
At St Louis Secondary School in Dundalk, three transition-year students – Ciara Quigley, Ciara Lynch, and Sinead Dullaghan – set up a business called Beat the Bully, which raised money for charity.
They put together a website, antibullyingireland.com. Two years later, the students are in sixth year, and their website is being read all over the world.
"We thought that bullying was a big issue for our age group," says one of the site's founders, Ciara Lynch.
"In our school they pay great attention to this. There's a great emphasis on girls being supportive to each other."
Parents have long debated whether girls do best in single sex schools, and there is a tendency to believe that they do better without the distraction of boys. However, a study by the ESRI published in the 1990s found no significant advantage to single-sex schooling.
Parents inevitably worry about peer pressure and that their previously angelic teenage daughter will go off the rails if she falls into the wrong crowd at school.
Betty McLaughlin of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors says: "Girls can at times feel more pressurised by their peers than the boys."
"It is a good idea to get to know you daughter's friends," says Adrienne Katz. "One of the best ways of doing this to keep an open hearth, and have them at your home.
"You get to know them individually, you see how they look out for each other, and when the group is at your home, you know they are safe."
When it comes to a teenage daughter's friendships, it is important not to be over-protective, according to DCU psychologist Dr Ger Scanlon.
"It is not a good idea to try to exclude your daughter from being with a group of friends. You have to remember that they may go through 10 sets of school friends before they find a group that they like."
So, how do parents ensure that their teenage girls stay focused on their school work?
While girls tend to be higher academic achievers than boys in exams, a "too cool to work'' culture can become prevalent in a group and have damaging effects.
According to Adrienne Katz, there is no point in simply telling a teenage girl: "Work hard or you'll never get a job."
"You have to find out their interests and if they have a dream, you can channel that enthusiasm. They may not get exactly what they want, but it could be in a related field."
When a teenage girl is having problems at school, a parent will not always find out what it is by asking a direct question.
"Parents should ask open-ended questions that allow for more than 'yes' or 'no'," says Adrienne Katz. "Sometimes if you ask directly 'Are you being bullied?' they might not tell you." For some girls there is a stigma to the word "bully''. So they may prefer to discuss it in a roundabout way.
Adrienne Katz says: "The most important thing is that they know that they can talk to you when they have a problem at school."
Ms Katz says it would be wrong to give the impression of a blighted over-sexualised generation, whose lives are marred by cyberbullying.
"A lot of teenage girls of this generation are inspiring and resilient. They are coping remarkably well in school.
"Teenage girls have much closer relationships with their mothers than a few generations ago. They can talk about all sorts of issues that they wouldn't have addressed in the 1950s.
"Fathers are also much more engaged with their daughters. Overall, there is a lot to be positive about."