If you’re a parent, you can expect to encounter many problems as you guide your teenager through what will turn out to be some of the most difficult years of their life. One key issue might be their excessive need for alone time.
It’s completely normal for teenagers to want some peace in their own company. But if this behavior has intensified quite suddenly, or has been caused by a specific event, then it might be time to re-evaluate the situation and step in.
While it can be worrying, teenagers wanting alone time isn’t an inherently negative thing. Here are some of the benefits.
What Is Healthy Solitude?
This depends entirely on the motivation. If a teenager opts to spend lots of time alone due to social anxiety or to avoid specific people or activities, then it can be a bad sign.
But if they want to be alone to recharge mentally or pursue a hobby, being alone could contribute to their self-acceptance and overall personal growth.
Teenagers should ideally set aside a set time each day to be alone with their thoughts and emotions so they can understand how they feel about a particular situation, and more.
Being alone with just your thoughts can sometimes be difficult and, quite frankly, terrifying – but it could prove to have many amazing benefits.
Immediate red flags for excessive solitude stem from a significant uptick in alone time and an inability to complete daily tasks without feeling overwhelmed or losing motivation.
If this type of behavior sounds familiar to you, it may be time to speak to the teenager in your life about their need for alone time to get to the roots of a deeper issue.
Being An Introvert
Teenagers are generally much more introverted than other people. Introverted teenagers thrive when they can spend time alone.
The most appropriate thing a parent can do in this situation is to understand and support their child in their quest for some alone time.
However, teenagers will still need to have some sort of social interaction whether that’s online or in-person, so parents should do their best to encourage them in this area.
Even the most outgoing child can become a shy teenager. The teenage years are difficult enough to cope with, so it is perfectly acceptable for teens to have a bit of a personality and behavioral transplant during this time.
Teenagers also tend to second-guess everything they do whether that’s saying the wrong thing, not fitting in with their peers, or being rejected by others.
The fear of doing something wrong in public can result in bouts of shyness where a teenager will completely withdraw from society and isolate themselves in the safe grasp of solitude.
Wanting to be alone is a common pattern among many teenagers. To understand teenage woes you must put yourself into their shoes. Factor in a whole lot of messy hormones, changing emotions and being exposed to new situations as young adults, and it’s clear why they may struggle so much.
Teenagers may push a lot of boundaries especially if their parents still treat them like they are much younger than they are. This may result in them excessively seeking alone time away from their family.
To prevent this from becoming an issue, parents must treat their teenagers fairly by respecting their wishes to be left alone.
They might also opt to be alone if they believe nobody else understands what they’re going through. Thankfully, this is a phase that will likely pass with age.
Self-Reflection And Inspiration
Another completely normal reason that teenagers might want to be alone is to self-reflect on things they are doing in their life, and maybe even reconsider the things that they are inspired by.
Having alone time to themselves may encourage artistically inclined teenagers to draw, write poetry, play an instrument, do school work, or just generally be very productive in their way.
This is because they are in a relaxed environment without any expectations or pressure.
They might even blast their favorite music, play a video game, or speak to a friend on the phone. Whatever the activity, alone time can often inspire teenagers in various ways – making it extremely beneficial for their mental health.
Sometimes Alone Time Is Necessary
We all need some alone time, regardless of our age. Socializing with other people in any capacity requires lots of additional time and energy as you have to consider their feelings, opinions, and needs while also moderating how you act and what you say.
This can be extremely draining, even if you aren’t a teenager who is trying to navigate their way through an overcomplicated social network.
Teenagers often need time to not have to worry about anyone besides themselves so that they can mentally recharge while also replenishing their social battery. The majority of the time, wanting to be alone is normal, healthy behavior for a teenager to exhibit, and is generally no cause for concern.
Finding A Perfect Balance
With the rising popularity of social media platforms and streaming services, screen-based activities take up a huge percentage of teenagers’ attention. Overdependence on technology might lead to mental health disorders including anxiety and depression.
But moderating the amount of time a teenager spends on their device is not a parents’ main concern.
As great as it is to have alone time to self-reflect, it’s equally important to ensure a teenager has the tools to build connections with other people. If a teenager is uninterested in joining in family activities, you must reconsider your plans to figure something out that also appeals to them.
This way, they are not isolating themselves to a worrying extent.
Yes, it can often be normal for a teenager to want to be alone. Provided they are still having some sort of social interaction outside of their necessary alone time, there’s nothing wrong with wanting some time to relax and self-reflect!
Remember: communication and trust are extremely valuable in a parent-child relationship, especially in the case of teenagers.