I Like My Alone Time, by Dr. Robert Wallace | Creators Syndicate

2022-03-12 03:07:43 By : Mr. Jianyong Hu

DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and genuinely prefer to spend most of my time alone. I'm not social at school. When I get home, I spend most of my time doing homework and then take about a half hour to unwind from school and homework by playing video games.

I look forward to the weekends because I don't have to worry about socializing at all and can stay in my room all day and do whatever I please. And I have more free time on weekends, so I use it differently than I do during weekdays. I'm fairly creative, so I often write short stories, poems and even some song lyrics here and there. I've also recently taken up sketching and drawing scenery, and soon I'd like to learn to paint. I've been researching how to paint online and I'm pretty sure I can do it to at least a fairly respectable level to begin with.

I do get a bit of mild socialization by babysitting our next-door neighbor's kids once or twice a week. They are cool kids who are easy to handle, and I'm saving the money I make to buy paint, an easel and some brushes.

My parents say hanging out in my room so much is not normal or healthy, and I think they're growing more and more concerned about me. Is it bad that I'd rather be by myself more often than I prefer to spend time with other people?

My dad says I'm too young to date anyway, and his "magic age" to allow me to date will be at the age of 16 and a half, so that's over a year away anyhow.

Would you consider me to be a normal kid or am I some sort of weird person? — I do my own thing, via email

I DO MY OWN THING: I receive quite a few letters loosely around the very same topic you've mentioned here, so the way you feel is much more normal than you realize. You might also be surprised that roughly 40% of these types of letters come from boys as well. Most people think that those who prefer to hang out alone at home are almost all girls, but that apparently is not the case based on the feedback I receive.

I think it's great that you have several great outlets for your time and creativity. It's also admirable that during the week you get your homework done first and then you unwind with 30 minutes of playing video games afterward. Maintaining that sequence of events will help you greatly throughout the rest of your life. Get your work done first, then take time to unwind with a fun activity afterward.

I trust you'll elect to socialize a bit more as you age and mature naturally, just as young people around the world do. Every adult today was 15 at some point in their lives, and I bet many of them were spending their time a lot more recklessly back then than you are with your writing and drawing/painting interests.

Keep doing what you're doing as you are indeed very normal. If you wish to see if you can change your parents' focus a bit, ask them what type of object or scene they would like to have you attempt to paint. Also, consider writing a poem or two about them, their habits, their best traits or things they are interested in. This might then get them more focused on what you are doing and just how talented you are rather than solely focusing on the fact you're doing these things alone for now.

If you'd like to have a point to make with your parents, you can tell them that I've read many studies over the years about the timing of teen socialization and I can state that it varies for each individual for a multitude of reasons. You are definitely well within the normal range, and the fact that you are using your time so well on your own will only help prepare you even more for the coming months and years when you'll start discussing your interests with others around you.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at rwallace@thegreatestgift.com. To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: StockSnap at Pixabay

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