How Can Parents Prevent Social Isolation and Shyness of Adolescents

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Updated: Mar 27, 2023
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Adolescents is a difficult and tricky time in one’s life. It has lots of twists and turns. It can be difficult to navigate at times. There are lots of things going on in life. There is school, friendships, family, relationships, sports and other activities, and puberty. You are growing up and finding out whom you want to be in life. Adolescents is a time of growth and finding out what you want out of life and yourself.

Adolescents are the time when you develop from a child into an adult. There are lots of things going on in this stage of life. Two major things are identity and parental struggles. I chose two different songs to describe my themes in adolescents. I chose “I don’t want to be” by Gavin Degraw to describe the struggle with identity young adolescents face. It is a time when you have so many people telling you what you should do with your life and who you should be. There are friends and family pushing each and every way. It becomes difficult to process it. The lyrics I chose were the chorus of the song “I don’t want to be anything. Other than what I’ve been trying to be lately. All I have to do is think of myself, and I have peace of mind. I’m tired of looking around rooms, wondering what I gotta do. Or whom I’m supposed to be. I don’t want to be anything other than me” (Degraw, 2009). It is about only being what you want to be and doing things how you want. It helps make you happier because you worry less about what other people are doing and how they want you to do things.

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The other song I chose was “Perfect” by Simple Plan. It is all about parental struggle. I chose two different lyrics for this song. The first is, “Hey, Dad, look at me. Think back and talk to me. Did I grow up according to Plan? And do you think I’m wasting my time? Doing things I want to do? But it hurts when you disapproved all along. And now I am trying hard to make it. I just want to make you proud. I’m never gonna be good enough for. You can’t pretend that I’m all right. And you can’t change me” (Simple Plan, 2009). This demonstrates how they just wanted to make their dad proud, but they didn’t approve and how it hurt the child knowing this. They just wanted to do everything right for them. The other lyric I chose was, “Nothing’s gonna change the things that you said. And nothing’s gonna make this right again. Please don’t turn your back. I can’t believe it’s hard just to talk to you. But you don’t understand” (Simple Plan, 2009). This one shows how sometimes it is difficult for adolescents to talk with their parents because they don’t think they understand. This was a great song to show the difficulties of parental struggles.

It is important for adolescence to talk with their parents. According to Carl E. Pickhardt (2018), “I believe that through talking to parents, a teenager practices speaking up skills that will socially enable the young person in the more challenging years ahead” (Pickhardt, 2018). When adolescents regularly talk with their parents, it helps them with speaking up, which can help with speaking up in the future. They may be less likely to let someone bully them or talk about them or another person. The shutting up habit of communication can lead to social awkwardness, shyness, and isolation which can lead to depression or anxiety (Pickhardt, 2018). These can negatively affect the psychosocial development of adolescents.

Often times adolescents have a difficult relationship with their parents. Pickhardt states, “The adolescent looks down on parents and their unfair authority and criticizes who they are” (Pickhart, 2012). They think their parents are being unfair when it comes to discipline. Parents are just trying to do what they think is best for their children, but adolescents see it as being unfair or treating them poorly. In the eyes of an adolescent, a parent can’t do anything right (Pickhardt, 2012). They think parents do everything wrong. When they try to do something of meaning for them or talk to them, it is never right. Adolescents often have difficult relationships with their parents.

Identity is a huge aspect of growing older. Adolescents are in the stage of Identity vs. Role Confusion, as laid out by Erik Erickson. They are searching for themselves and finding whom they want to be. McLeod says, “During this stage, adolescents search for a sense of self and personal identity through an intense exploration of personal values, beliefs, and goals” (McLeod, 2018). They are exploring everything they want to be in life. They are weighing all of the options. It can be heavily influenced by their surroundings and the people they associate with. They are growing into the adult they will one day be. It is a very important part of growing up.

There are four different types of identity status according to Marcia’s theory of development. There is identity achievement which is a commitment to decisions made after a crisis. Then there is Foreclosure which is a person who has not thought about other alternative decisions about their lives. A moratorium is a person who is thinking about other choices and may make a commitment later down the line. And lastly, there is identity diffusion which is no commitment and a person who is not at all serious about looking into other options for life (Papalia et all, 2018, pg. 358-360). Each of these is important when it comes to making decisions about who you are and whom you want to be. If you just chose to be a teacher but did not look at any other option, then you may be unhappy with the choice you made.

There are many developmental milestones in one’s life. A physical milestone in the life of an adolescent is puberty. Sex characteristics begin to form. Girls begin to form breasts. Boys often develop deeper voices and hit a growth spurt. Psychosocial milestones can be developing friendships and relationships. Cognitive development includes thinking more critically, focusing on making good grades, graduating high school, and picking a career path to focus on.

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I definitely agree with the professionals when it comes to the development of identity and parental struggles. I agree that they need to talk with their parents. They should form an identity as well. I have always struggled with my parents, especially my dad. He never understood anything I did. He always favored my other siblings over me. He often looked down on me, and I’ve found that throughout my life, I’ve only ever wanted to make him proud. It was always hard to have a conversation with him without feeling judged. I have also dealt with identity issues. There will always be people telling you that you should be different or should have done something else. I’m a licensed practical nurse, and some people don’t think that it is good enough, but I am fine with it. I have no problem with who I am and what I am doing with my life.

Adolescence is a time of growth and finding out who you are. There are many struggles that develop and haunt young people. Struggling with identity and parents is a big thing affecting adolescents. We have to help nurture them and allow them to grow so they can become whom they are supposed to be. It is a critical time in one’s life and can change their whole future with one wrong move.

Reference List

  1. [Atlantic Records]. (2009, October 26). Simple Plan – Perfect (Official Video) [Video File]. Retrieved from
  2. Degraw, Gavin. [Gavin Degraw]. (2009, October 25). Gavin DeGraw – I Don’t Want To Be [Video File]. Retrived from
  3. Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development. Retrieved November 23, 2018, from
  4. Papalia, D. E., Feldman, R. D., & Martorell, G. (2015). Experience human development (13th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education.
  5. Pickhardt, C. E. (2012, February, 06). Parental Put Downs and Power Struggles with Adolescents. Retrieved November 23, 2018, from adolescence/201202/parental-put-downs-and-power-struggles-adolescents
  6. Pickhardt, C. E. (2018, November 12). Adolescence and the Importance of Talking to Parents . Retrieved November 23, 2018, from adolescence/201811/adolescence-and-the-importance-talking-parents 

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How Can Parents Prevent Social Isolation and Shyness of Adolescents. (2023, Mar 23). Retrieved from