Adolescents are growing up in the age of social media. Much like fast food, social media is quick and easy, but hardly satisfying. The human brain needs more than likes on an online post. The human brain craves genuine connections with real people. A fulfilling life is often full of rich relationships. Teenagers need genuine connection like everyone else. Navigating adolescence is stressful enough as it is and traversing that journey alone is even worse. Boys can often be overlooked as they rarely open up and people find it difficult to help them. Boys will often externalize or lash out if they are hurting inside. Words may not be the trick to help those boys open up. Instead, finding a sense of belonging and support may be the best medicine. Have you noticed that your teen boy is struggling to connect with his peers?
Here are three male teenagers lacking in social skills:
Teen A: He does not play well with others. Teen A often acts defiantly towards authority, and he tends to push others away before they can push him away. He tries to look like the tough one that does not care. Quick to pull out the phone and shut out the world.
Teen B: He is the shy, quiet type. He has been bullied because his interests may not fit in the mainstream. Teen B may come across awkward to others. He may have tried to join a club or sport but gave up after no success. Perhaps Teen B locks himself away in his room and escapes to a world in a video game that makes more sense.
Teen C: He is all over the place. Teen C has high energy and moves at his own pace. He may struggle to connect with his peers as they find it difficult to keep up with him. Perhaps he has found it easy to gain the attention of his peers by assuming the role of the class clown. Teen C latches on to any person or group that tolerates his antics. He probably misinterprets that tolerance as friendship.
Our group is designed perfectly for Teen B. Our social skills group offers a fun and safe environment for teen boys to learn and connect. We cover topics that include basic communication, self-monitoring and coping basics, critical thinking, assertiveness, and conflict management.
Do not fear if your teen is more like A and C. Here are a few ideal outlets for Teens A & C: Wilderness Awareness School, Aspiring Youth, Sports (i.e., Basketball, Baseball, Football, Lacrosse, Tennis, Swimming, Fencing, etc.), Martial Arts, and Drama/Theater. Parents should also check out the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.