What to Do When Your Adolescent Locks Themself in Their Room

Sometimes we find it difficult to understand why your adolescent locks themself in their room. Here's how to face this stage.
What to Do When Your Adolescent Locks Themself in Their Room

Last update: 13 January, 2022

Many mothers find it difficult to understand the reasons why their adolescent locks themself in their room for so long. In this post, we’ll help you understand and face this difficult stage.

Adolescence is the stage that transforms the child into an adult. With this stage come reserve, rebellion, and our child’s need for privacy for the first time.

During childhood, mothers and fathers are indispensable for tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, homework, and even entertainment. We must remember that childhood is a stage where personal learning is vital.

But with the arrival of adolescence, things change dramatically. Those kids who used to be our little ones now know how to carry out more and more tasks. They bathe and dress themselves, learn to handle technological devices, create social environments outside the family, and much more.

They start chatting, have friends, dress how they want, and explore a new world of experiences and sensations. The reality is that all this is very normal, but as parents, we worry and suspect that something’s wrong. It’s then that we have to begin a totally unpleasant police dynamic.

Why your adolescent locks themself in their room

A mother and her teen daughter sitting on the couch drinking coffee and talking.

Am adolescent’s room is the enclosure of their personality, thoughts, crises, and joys.

It’s normal for adolescents to need their space, to build their identity, and express themselves freely within their own enclosure, but many times, we don’t understand why they want to lock themselves in their room with such suspicion.

  • The first reason is that, at this stage, greater reserve and the need for privacy appear.
  • During adolescence, teenagers move away from their childhood and create an entire network of individual behaviors. You don’t need to worry as long as they keep up with all their activities.
  • Intimacy and the search for one’s own identity aren’t the only things that occur; sexual awakening also begins and the discovery of totally new feelings related to their growth. Here, they discover what their body is like, they observe themselves, they undress, and this is perfectly understandable.
  • There are many things that a young man can do locked up in their room. For example, with growth, our children create their own methodologies and rituals for study.
  • It’s a mistake to believe there’s a problem just because your teen locks themself in their room. There are other indicators that are more appropriate to draw such conclusions, such as poor school performance.

Manage your worry

During this new stage, not only the adolescent is affected, as parents are sometimes unable to assimilate the change. We forget that our kids are growing and that’s why we despair in certain situations.

So, the first thing you should do is an exercise in introspection and try to handle the situation in a calm manner. To do this, the first thing you need to do is to accept the new realities and think about your responses. Remember that you’re the adult and you have to show emotional intelligence. When this doesn’t happen, things get out of control.

Avoid becoming upset, as this could trigger an argument and widen the gap between you and your child. The more volatile you are, the more they’ll move away and the more they’ll begin to keep secrets.

Setting limits for your adolescent

Teens leaning against the wall looking at their cell phones.

As a mother, you must express your authority and make the young person take it into account. For this, it’s good to set certain limits. Set the times for studying and entertainment and tell your child you expect them to work hard for good grades.

The same should happen with their social activities. At first, try to bring them and pick them up every time they go out with their friends from school or from the neighborhood.  You can meet their friends and try to build relationships with their friends’ parents.

A problem occurs when children start to have mobile phones and social networks from a young age. The thing is that if you don’t put some limits on the use of these devices, then it will be very difficult to do so later on.

Other solutions

  • Invite their classmates over to the house, organize a sleepover or an afternoon of games. Take advantage of the group work assigned to them at school and tell them to invite their classmates to your house.
  • Another practice is to encourage dialogue. The idea is to find ways for adolescents to communicate. Haven’t you noticed that when you go to buy them clothes or give them permission for something, they become more communicative? This is what this technique is all about. Create and take advantage of moments where they let their guard down and listen carefully.
  • The most important thing is to find ways to encourage communication between you and your adolescent. If you get exasperated and upset, they’ll choose to hide things from you and withdraw into themselves.

If, on the contrary, you show a compassionate and intelligent attitude, you’ll be able to have the information you need to be able to support them in their new challenges during adolescence.

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  • Espinar Ruiz, E., & López Fernández, C. (2009). Jóvenes y adolescentes ante las nuevas tecnologías: percepción de riesgos. Athenea digital: revista de pensamiento e investigación social, (16), 001-020. https://ddd.uab.cat/record/51280
  • Herrero, Ó., Ordóñez, F., Salas, A., & Colom, R. (2002). Adolescencia y comportamiento antisocial. Psicothema, 14(2), 340-343. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/727/72714223.pdf
  • Vieito Fernández, M. B. (2021). Lugares de encuentro y adolescencia. Infraestructuras de socialización y participación juvenil en O Porriño (Doctoral dissertation, Socioloxía, ciencia política e da administración e filosofía). http://www.investigo.biblioteca.uvigo.es/xmlui/handle/11093/2615