Social interaction in general is necessary for everyone, at all ages. As much of us enjoy our privacy and personal time, we also want to spend time with people whose company we value and our loved ones. Teenagers also feel the same. They might not always or very blatantly express it, but it’s not only something they want, but they also need more in their teenage years. Here are 6 reasons why social interaction is more necessary during adolescence:
Peer pressure is a common thing during the teenage stage and sometimes even in early adulthood. However, there is a group of friends who can also be a positive influence. For example, if your teenager is going out with a group of friends who are involved in social causes, it can be a good learning experience for them.
Or if they have friends who exercise, they might be encouraged to eat healthier and be fitter. Friend checking comes from parents, but overall, a positive social interaction with a good group of friends can have positive effects on your teen’s daily life.
It’s good for your teen’s health
According to a study by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, “Social isolation increased the risk of inflammation to the same extent as physical inactivity in adolescence.” The effect of social isolation has led to clinical risk factors such as diabetes in old age. This not only shows the importance of having social interactions, but also shows how important teenage friendships are.
Help build relationships
When our children enter their teenage phase, it is the first phase of their life where they may feel the need to be more independent and to begin to understand certain things on their own. One of those things is their relationship with others like friends, siblings, and even us parents. Social interactions with their peers and others will not only help them with their communication skills, but also give room for empathy. When interacting with their friends, they may hear stories from their friends about family and relationships, which might instill some form of relationship reflection in their own lives.
gives them a sense of belonging
Although teens don’t explicitly show it, they enjoy spending time with their families. However, they will definitely show it when they have a great time with their friends. Indeed, they are all the same age, which allows them to be more comfortable with each other and gives them a sense of belonging. It’s like their mini-adult space which allows them to test their independent thoughts and share news about each other that may not be very relevant to share with their families. While this kind of friendship is important, it’s just as important to check in with your teenager to make sure they are also sharing all the important information with you.
It’s good for their mental health
According to one study, “supportive relationships in family, school and peer settings for emotional well-being and academic success, especially during adolescence”. As a teenager, your child spends almost 7 hours at school with people his or her age both during class and extracurricular activities. Being able to relate to the people they spend most of their day with is important to them and the only way to do that is to encourage social interaction. In case they are facing difficulties such as shyness or social anxiety, there are ways to deal with it. You can practice conversations with them or take them to therapy to figure out the problem.
Remove online experiences
With social media being a big part of our lives in today’s world, our teens are simply expected to use various social media chats and platforms to connect with their friends. However, it’s important to make sure they understand that online conversations don’t lead to the same level of connection as in-person interactions.
Talking in person with a friend or family member is essential for your teen to understand this. Therefore, if your teen hasn’t met their friends for the day, maybe set aside 15 minutes to half an hour to have a conversation with them, either with the whole family or one-on-one. You can choose from a range of subjects ranging from cinema to philosophy.
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Sources: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, NCBI
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