Recent research of more than 2000 individuals between the ages of 13 and 18 indicated that 12-year-olds who experience social isolation and loneliness are likelier than those who don’t graduate high school with poorer grades. According to the research, loneliness may put people at a higher risk of having other problems, such as mental health issues.
According to the Children’s Charity, children and teens increasingly utilize Childline’s services to express their loneliness and isolation. Between 2020 and 2021, they conducted approximately 6,000 sessions of loneliness counseling. There were several causes for this emotion, including despair, anxiety, and poor mood. Early Childline reports indicated that social media and bullying were additional causes of loneliness.
1. Do teens who use social media experience loneliness?
Children and teenagers are developing in a world that is distinct from the one in which their parents were raised. Particularly, screen-based activities are prevalent in the lives of our kids. It could be playing video games, watching TV, or interacting with friends on social media.
Young people’s daily screen use may range from 2 to 8 hours, according to estimates. The internet significantly impacts how our kids connect and see the world. Online connections can be beneficial, but there are concerns about the potential effects on people’s mental health as well. Young people comparing themselves to others is one of the main problems, which can result in feelings of social isolation and loneliness in teens.
2. What else results in teen loneliness?
Social isolation and loneliness in teenscan result from a variety of situations, reasons, and circumstances, including:
- Notwithstanding the presence of family and friends, feeling misunderstood, or a lack of “fitting in”
- They are evaluating their skills in comparison to others, such as when they don’t get chosen for a sports team or perform poorly on tests.
- They are managing a mental health problem or experiencing a change in their mental health or wellbeing.
- Enduring bullying
- Live with a long-term illness or impairment
- Situations of change: pupils move between elementary and secondary schools or from a college to a university
3. How can you tell whether your teen is lonely?
Everyone has a varied level of sociability and preferred frequency of social interaction. And it’s not always simple to recognize the telltale indications of social isolation and loneliness in teens.
Some potential indicators to watch for include:
- Low self-esteem and a loss of faith in one’s talents
- being depressed
- withdrawing from others
- being agitated or angry
- showing an obvious shift in behavior
- not wanting to participate in hobbies or social activities
- smoking or drinking
Bringing up a sensitive topic with your teen
It may be time to start talking to your adolescent if you’re worried about how they’re acting and being reluctant to open up. Using these suggestions, you may create a secure and encouraging environment to chat.
1 – Take the lead
While some kids and teenagers will talk to you about their issues, others might not. So, if you sense that anything is off, encourage them to open up. It is your responsibility as the parent to demonstrate to your child that they can confide in you and rely on you for assistance.
2 – Maintain composure
Hearing that your child is having trouble or is unhappy can be upsetting. Despite what they tell you, you must make an effort to maintain your composure.
3 – Create a secure zone
Consider a time and location where you can talk to each other without interruptions and where your adolescent will feel at ease. It might take place at home or on a stroll, whichever location works best for you. Also, remember that if you and your child are sleepy, the evening may not be the greatest time of day.
4 – Go on a break
It’s not always simple to predict the course of a conversation. Your adolescent may approach you once they’ve had time to think and feel ready to communicate. If your child becomes resistant, unresponsive, or silent, leave the situation alone for the time being and try it again in a few days.
5 – Approaches to connect
Keep in mind that communication involves both parties. It’s crucial to listen to your teen. Allow them time to respond since they can be apprehensive or find it difficult to express their feelings. Try to find a question you can ask them that demands more information than a simple yes or no response.
Encourage your adolescent to ask questions and share some of their experiences so they know you are listening and can relate. It can be beneficial to clarify that having friends has nothing to do with how lonely you feel. Help them realize that feeling lonely is a sensation, not a sign of popularity. You may take steps to lessen your children’s feelings of loneliness.
6 – Show your backing
There might not be a simple solution or means to assist your child, but even simply letting them know you value and care about them can go a long way. Tell them you’re someone they can trust and count on. You can inquire with them to see if there is anything you can do to be of assistance.
How can I support my isolated teen?
Telling your teen they aren’t alone in feeling lonely may be helpful if you suspect it or if they’ve expressed it to you.
The following advice can help your adolescent deal with and cope with loneliness.
- Use your favorite hobbies and pastimes to divert your attention
- Try to come up with a good idea for your life
- Consider what is causing you to feel lonely and see if there is anything you can do to make things better
- If you feel up to it, join a social club, a music or theatre organization, or a sports team
- Allow yourself some grace and wait for the emotion to pass
- Always remember that not everything you read or see on social media is accurate. It can appear that others are having more fun than you are
- Do not be reluctant to inform friends or relatives if you are experiencing loneliness and isolation. Speak with a reliable person or dial a helpline
You need to locate a reliable support system that recognizes the value of your adolescent. You can rest assured that you and your loved ones have access to appropriate care and assistance when you need it with True Health Center for Emotional Wellness.