A Note From The L.A. Teen Therapist
Technology, in the form of texting, video games and social media, is becoming another form of addiction for teens and young adults. – Sandra
Adolescents often turn to the distraction of technology while looking for an escape from unpleasant feelings. Unfortunately, these distractions are replacing the opportunity for them to learn from their discomfort, and mature emotionally. I often meet teens with the emotional maturity of a younger child, and young adults in their early 20’s still behaving like adolescents. Growing up has become something to put off as long as possible for some young people.
Young people seem to want to avoid growing up because they are afraid the fun will stop. They fear they will become like their parents. They are concerned about getting trapped in a boring existence. This is where developing maturity is key. For a truly mature person is flexible, resourceful, generous, hardworking, patient and strong, able to connect well with other people, set healthy boundaries, ask for what they want and need, and ultimately able to figure out how to get around obstacles that life presents, recover from setbacks, and create a life that they find fulfilling.
I propose that teenagers can grow up and still have fun. They can earn a living and manage their responsibilities while still having time to explore the world. They can feel all the feelings that come with living and not get buried underneath them. They can build an extended family of emotionally healthy friends who share this journey with them. They can decide to have children, or not. They can live in an environment that feeds their soul. They can create a life where they wake up when they want, eat what they want, work when they want, and play when they want, if they prepare well. Now is the time for your teen to be developing into the kind of person that can make good choices to create and sustain the type of lifestyle that they dream of.
Technology is merely a luxury designed for our convenience. Like a toaster, or radio, we were never meant to get lost in the use of them. If technology has taken over your teen’s life, you might want to set some rules for them and put technology back in it’s place. Perhaps they can learn to leave their phone outside their room when sleep. Perhaps they can learn to turn the sounds and vibrations off, and only check their phone once an hour for updates. Perhaps they can start this new mindset by taking a break altogether — resetting their relationship with technology by willingly giving their phone up for a week and finding other things to occupy their time.
To read about young people refuse to let smart-phones rule their lives CLICK HERE
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