3 Ways to Help Your Teen Feel Less Alone
Updated: Oct 6, 2021
Often teens feel alone when it comes to their thoughts and feelings. They scroll through their social media seeing how every other teen posts happy smiling pictures and status updates indicating everyone must have it all together…except ME.
Due to development, teens are often moody, hormonal, and have difficulty regulating their highs and lows. Most teens are aware of the rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts; however, they don’t know that at times it’s normal for a teen to experience a rollercoaster of emotions.
In addition, teens have difficulty assessing whether other teens are going through the same thing. It might be due to teens having a hard time communicating their vulnerability and seeking emotional support. Therefore, teens often feel alone due to feeling embarrassed and/or ashamed of their intense emotions and their inability to evaluate whether what they are going through is normal.
As a parent, it is hard to talk with your teen especially if your teen is not quite understanding why they feel the way they do.
Here are three ways you can help your teen feel less alone.
1. Take a Walk with Them
Sometimes just going on a walk with your teen helps them get out of the house and process their thoughts and feelings while moving their body. Walking side by side is less intrusive and intimate than sitting across from your teen, making eye contact, asking them what’s wrong, and waiting for an answer. Taking a walk with your teen gives them the opportunity to open up on their terms and sends the message they are not alone; they have someone who is walking alongside them.
2. Verbally say, “You are not alone, I am here if you need to talk.”
At times, teens want to discuss their thoughts and feelings with you however, they don’t know where to start nor how to communicate the cluster of emotions and thoughts. They crave independence wanting to figure things out on their own, however, still want to be able to go to a parent when they want to. Verbally saying to your teen that they are not alone lets your teen know that you see them in their struggle however, you are giving them space to come to you. Also, you are validating their experience by subtly letting them know you remember how tough it was to be an adolescent.
3. Write them a small note
Your teen might not acknowledge your small note of appreciation or encouragement but believe me, a couple of positive words go a long way. When you are thinking of your teen at work, send them a short text message saying how special they are to you. Or, you can write them a small note to put in their lunch reminding them of how proud you are of them. Lastly, you can put a sticky note on their bathroom mirror letting them know the beautiful things you see in them. A small note will remind your teen that you are thinking of them, and they are not alone.
Clinical Psychologist Madeline Levine said it best, “Make sure your teen knows that if given a choice of all the children in the world, he or she is the one you would choose.”
Sometimes loneliness can become problematic or you might be experiencing more symptoms than warranted. I help teens and young adults navigate through depression, anxiety, grief/loss, and life transitions in a safe and therapeutic space.
Please feel free to contact me to schedule a free consultation.