Your teen is home from school. Before you have time to call out a hello, he’s stomping up the stairs. Bang! He slams the door to his room, where he will stay for hours.

This is very difficult for any parent. You’d like to spend some time with your teen, but she doesn’t seem interested. And you worry about what she’s doing in there.

There’s probably no cause for worry. As you know, your teen must separate from you so he can one day go out alone into the adult world. Hiding in his room helps him to do that. He is in there thinking things over, daydreaming, working out feelings.

Forcing your teen to come out will probably not work. Go on with your life, letting her know she can join you when she wants. Eventually this stage will end and she will want her family again.

When should you worry? When you see other signs of trouble. If your teen is keeping up his grades, maintaining his usual interests and eating and sleeping normally, you can probably relax. But seek help if his grades drop, he suddenly doesn’t care about friends or sports, and he seems to sleep all the time.

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