Teens & CommuniciationAug 07, 2020 07:40AM ● By Melanie VanderPol-Bailey, LCSW-PIP, River Counseling Services at Sioux Falls Psychological Services
By: Melanie VanderPol-Bailey, LCSW-PIP, River Counseling Services at Sioux Falls Psychological Services
Many of us have sent a text message to someone that is physically in the same home. Maybe their bedroom is on another level, or maybe your teenager’s cell phone has assumed more authority than you. Whatever the case may be, it has become normal to avoid talking face-to-face with others.
Do you ever wonder if this marvelous way of connecting with others has made us more disconnected? These devices have created an easy place to isolate ourselves while having the illusion that we are still connected. We enjoy knowing about our friends who live far away, and we feel connected through social media. But what about the people who live with and around us? How are we connecting with them? Looking closely at our patterns of communication can be the first step in re-connecting with those that we love.
Loneliness and isolation are two of several risk factors for depression and suicidal thoughts in young adults. Teenagers often report feeling very lonely in a room full of people. The pressures of social media and “fitting in” can create huge anxieties for children. Before your teenagers prepare to return to school and/or go off to college, I invite you to create time to truly connect with them. Letting them talk versus talking to them can be a passageway to understanding where they are at emotionally. Let them know that they are loved, that they can come to you and that you will be with them through the hard stuff.