Why does my teen stay in their room all day?

Parents often wonder why their children prefer to spend time in their room alone, rather than out in the common areas with family.

If your teenager stays in their room all day, there could be a wide variety of reasons.

Reasons Why Kids Like Being in Their Rooms Today

In the past, when parents told their children to go to their room it usually meant they were in trouble. Tucked away in the safety and seclusion of their bedrooms, kids knew they were sent there to learn a lesson.

They had very little things to do in their rooms other than perhaps homework, reading, or sleeping.

But now, the concept of “going to your room” may be a useless form of discipline for today’s teens.

Today, when we send our kids to their rooms we do little more than give our kids free passes to their own private arcades. This is especially true when the child has access to digital technology in the form of smartphones, video games, radio, TV, and the Internet in their bedrooms.

While it may be entertaining to your teen, this makes our kids’ bedrooms anything but safe and secluded. They’re left to find solace in places other than their own thoughts. They turn to social media, video games, or even to strangers as an escape from their own lives and problem.

For this reason, it’s important for parents and guardians to be mindful the time their children spend on their own.

Teens Need Privacy, But Also Limitations

As the author of “Now I Know Why Tigers Eat Their Young” and a child psychologist, Dr. Peter Marshall has said, “Privacy is important for teens partly because they need to separate. It’s tempting to think that they’re just goofing off, but they spend a large part of their time just thinking about things, trying to figure out who they are, who they want to become. There’s a lot of work for them to do, and they need some space to do it.”

While this is good advice, it’s important for parents to find a balance between the two main options.

Overbearing, micromanaging parents often see their teenagers pull away and isolate themselves from the family. On the other hand, parents who take too much of a relaxed approach may end up with teens that walk all over them.

While you should respect the fact that your teen needs privacy, that doesn’t mean they should get free rein to do whatever they want in their bedroom.

Instead, you may want to consider a policy in your home that requires all digital technology only to be enjoyed in a common area. That way, your child’s bedroom can be reserved as a place of solace, retreat, and slumber.

As a parent, it’s crucial to set limits on this alone time. In some cases, teens who spend too much of their time secluded in their bedrooms can experience social anxiety or depression.

To combat this, make sure you are spending quality time together as a family doing activities everyone enjoys.

The more you can balance your teen’s alone time and their time with you, the better your relationship will be both now and in the future.