My daughter has retreated to her room. How can I get her out?



I have a 15-year-old daughter and my heart is broken with her. Since the lockdown she has almost completely retreated to her room. I worry about her mental health up there all day, but she just screams at me to “f**k off” if I try to get her to join the family for anything. What can I do to get her up and out of the room and back talking to us?

The lockdown has been incredibly hard for teenagers. I think teenagers actually need to congregate and hang out, physically. Even with technology, the social isolation was difficult for them. They have all had to find ways to cope with that. Acknowledging that things have been difficult for her may be a starting point.

Your daughter may have developed either a habit of isolation, or has become increasingly involved with her phone, or whatever device has kept her connected to her “world”. That world may have shifted from actual engagement with people, to a virtual engagement.

I think you are right to be worried. I also think you may need to intervene more determinedly. This may be the time to draw in friends or family, to try to lever her back into some in-person connections, reminding her of the world outside her bedroom, that is becoming available to her again. See if any relatives or friends would be willing to call for her and entice her to do something. They may have more success in connecting with her, where she may feel she can just stonewall you.