our everyday life

How to Solve Teen Isolation

by Candice Coleman

Some teenagers retreat from a party to read quietly in their bedrooms, while others spend so much time away from people that it affects their friendships and school work. Isolation can be a symptom of an underlying problem, though it can also be part of the child's personality. Uncovering the reasons behind your child's withdrawn behavior can help end your teenager's isolation.

Consider when your teenager's isolation began. Has your child always been eager to hide from social gatherings for a little time alone? It may be that your teenager is introverted by nature. Give him the opportunity to spend time alone, and avoid forcing him into long social gatherings. Find ways to spend time with him one-on-one.

Talk to your teenager if you suspect that her isolation may be due to other problems. Is she struggling in school, dealing with a bully or facing problems in her friendships? Talking to school administrators or suggesting ways to talk out problems with her friends may help your teenager cope with her problems. A school counselor may also be able to help parents address a teenager's problems.

Find ways to boost your son's mood. An afternoon playing video games or playing a board game can help open the lines of communication. Trying new activities together, like playing a card game or ordering dinner from a new restaurant, may also break a teenager's rut and make him more willing to talk with you about his feelings.

Seek professional help from a therapist or counselor if your teenager's mood continues or worsens after more than a few days. Teenagers suffering from depression may experience symptoms such as restlessness, sadness, negativity or a changed appetite. Isolation may also be a symptom of depression.

Tip

  • Teenagers may grow withdrawn from parents because of previous conflicts. Do you tend to get upset easily during conversations? Your child may avoid you for fear of upsetting you. Create a safe environment for your child to talk to you by agreeing to walk away and cool down if you get upset. Emphasize that you want to help your child, and that you will not judge or criticize her feelings.

Warning

  • Know your limits. If you are unsure about how to handle your child's isolation, or if you suspect that your child's isolation may be a sign of depression, call a doctor or counselor immediately for support and advice.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images