We all remember how difficult those teenage years can be - from teen pressures to bodily changes, it’s not easy. Most teens cope with these constant changes by distancing themselves from family and friends, which can be hard for parents to deal with. But you can still help your teen through these difficult times by discovering the causes behind their antisocial behaviour.
While some teens are social butterflies, others simply dread social gatherings. Most parents would like their children to actively engage in meeting other people, but your teen’s antisocial behaviour might be simply part of their personality. If they have been antisocial for many years, or most of their life, their behaviour may be an example of their personality. If this is the case, it’s important that you respect this, and don’t force your teen to be in situations that might make them uncomfortable. Allowing them to miss certain gatherings, and enabling them to do things that they enjoy, will be more successful than pushing them to socialise more often.
If your teen chooses to withdraw from people in order to escape from difficult scenarios - this could be a sign of depression. Teens with depression or low self-esteem may speak negatively of themselves and their abilities. If these symptoms last for more than a week, your teen may be suffering from depression. In some cases it might be a good idea to contact your GP about this.
Talk to your teen
Whether it’s a personality trait or a symptom of depression, it’s still important that you still talk to your teen about their antisocial behaviour. Make sure to create a safe, non-judgemental environment where they can feel comfortable talking about their problems. If they don’t want to talk, accept it and ask them if you can talk again later; give them space if they need it. Showing your support, like offering to take your teen to see a doctor if they feel depressed, it may help for them to learn that it is safe to reach out to others for help.