social isolation in teens: What to Do When your Kids don’t Leave Their Rooms

The social isolation of young people is a problem that many parents have to face.

Among the problems that may arise throughout adolescence, isolation is one of the most worrying.

Many parents suffer from not knowing how to cope with the constant confinement in which their children live. In this article, we will review some of the factors involved in this phenomenon that can sometimes cause or worsen this situation, as well as possible solutions.

“My child does not leave the room”: understanding this problem.

When children transform into adolescents, parents’ concerns tend to change as a series of new, previously unknown situations arise. One of those that can be generated is the one that concerns us: “my son does not leave the room.” This is the problem of social isolation that many young people experience throughout this stage.

Also, this isolation has the essential component of voluntariness, that is: the adolescent is the one who is deciding to spend most of the time inside their room instead of going outside and doing other activities or spending more time with his family.

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To better understand the implications of the phenomenon that worries many parents (remember, my son does not leave the room), the first thing we should focus on is the very motivations that lead the adolescent to make this decision.

Reasons why my child does not leave the room

Below we will explore some of the reasons that lead a young man to prefer being locked up in his room over other leisure alternatives.

1. Privacy search

Obviously, as we enter adolescence, people need privacy that they did not have before. Children are becoming adults through a very complex and sometimes bumpy process. One of the new qualities that many of them acquire is precisely the desire for intimacy.

Therefore, they create their safe space in their own room, and that is where they feel safe and therefore prefer to spend time. They will go out to get the resources that they do not have in that space. The most obvious is the food. However, some will even try to eat inside the room.

Read:Why children’s respect for their parents is important

2. Sexual exploration

When parents worry about thinking, my son does not leave the room; they should not forget that adolescence involves one of the fundamental changes in the person’s development, which is sexuality. Although sexuality has already been manifested in a subtle way throughout childhood, it is in adolescence when it fully develops.

This implies the need for exploration in the person who requires privacy, which reinforces the need to isolate himself in his room. The young man will need intimacy to know his sexuality, know his body and discover sexual behaviors as normal as masturbation, which usually begins at this stage.

It is understandable that the young person requires a safe and intimate space to face these new needs for exploration and intimacy.

3. Digital relationships

But there is still a new factor that definitely strengthens the question that my son does not leave the room. It is about the use of new technologies, the flourishing of social networks, and digital entertainment. This phenomenon has also experienced spectacular growth in recent times and has become even more consolidated due to the containment measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read:Peer pressure: help your child deal with it

The point is that, although he is physically isolated in his room, what the adolescent perceives is that he is actually interacting with many people since it usually happens that most of his friends are in a similar situation. Each of them is in their own room, but they are all connected through the internet.

In this way, they can talk through social networks, play the same video game together or even watch the same content at the same time. With platforms such as YouTube or Twitch and their possibilities of interaction, the new communicators have displaced traditional media, such as television, in the face of the new generations.

All of these factors are the perfect breeding ground for promoting isolation. Therefore, when parents wonder why their child does not leave the room, they should be aware that within those few square meters that define the room, they actually have a whole social world, thanks to connectivity.

In short, young people are developing communication forms that their parents did not know during their own adolescence, so it is normal for them to feel concerned about these new scenarios, which are unknown to them.

The attitude of the parents

The fact that generates concern, the thought of “my son does not leave the room,” may or may not be a problem; it is difficult to generalize. What is essential is that the parents’ attitude to this issue is appropriate. For this, we are going to review some tips that could be useful for parents who are in this scenario.

1. Understanding and communication

It is clear that parents, as adults, must work to provide the adolescent with communication channels, although every parent knows that this is not always easy. Therefore, it is important not to forget who the adult is and who should have more understanding and patience.

The adolescent can be overwhelmed by everything he is experiencing at this stage. Therefore, you should know that you will always be able to count on your reference adults (usually your parents) to share your concerns or other issues. Whether you decide to do so is another matter, but that path must exist.

For this reason, the task of parents must be to promote rapprochement and not fall into attitudes that generate greater distancing (constant fights and punishments, non-constructive criticism, etc.). We must always take into account the great sensitivity that is experienced during this stage. The support and guidance of parents will be essential.

2. Limits

Obviously, showing support and understanding does not mean that there are no limits, far from it. But these must be logical, reasonable, and, if possible consensual, as long as the adolescent stands up to it, which is sometimes not easy.

For example, the use of digital devices in an uncontrolled way can be one of the factors that anchor the issue that my child does not leave the room. In that case, limiting the use of the mobile phone, the computer, the tablet, or the internet connection itself, can be totally logical.

It will be possible to try to make the young person see the objective of said limits and propose alternatives when they cannot use these devices, which we will see in greater depth in the next point. In any case, you must perceive that there are a series of rules that everyone must comply with within the home’s coexistence so that the relationships between all are the best possible.

But, do not forget that parents are one of the adolescents’ references. Therefore, the example they transmit is essential. You can hardly ask a child or a young person not to spend all day with the computer or the mobile phone, when the parents do exactly that, in front of them.

3. Social relations

The third and fundamental point, as we anticipated, is to propose alternatives that allow us to turn around the issue that my son does not leave the room. Therefore, it is vital to promote social relationships beyond those they may have through a screen.

The young person can be encouraged to do activities with his friends and even better if they are of a sporting nature. You can suggest that you invite some of your colleagues to your home. Of course, parents can also try to organize family leisure activities, but be aware that the adolescent is not always going to show too much interest since his references are young people his age.

In any case, the fact that he can count on these alternatives can be very positive, especially if he is given the option of deciding the activity himself, even if it is within a closed list if the parents prefer to narrow down the activities. Alternatives. All of these things will help make my child not leaving the room less of a concern.



    • Cohen Imach, S., Caballero Silvina, V., Mejail, S., Hormigo, K. (2012). Social skills, isolation, and antisocial behavior in adolescents in poverty contexts. Colombian Act of Psychology.
    • Contini, EN, Lacunza, AB, Medina, SE, Alvarez M, González M, Coria V. (2012). A problem to be solved: Loneliness and adolescent isolation. Iztacala Electronic Journal of Psychology.
    • Orleans, M., Laney, MC (2000). Children’s computer use in the home: Isolation or sociation? Social science computer review.
    • Tapia, ML, Fiorentino, MT, Correché, MS (2003). Loneliness and tendency to isolation in adolescent students. Its relationship with self-concept. Fundamentals in humanities.
    • Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay

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