What Happens to Teens When They Are Bored?


Although you may zip through your days, feeling like you never have enough time, life can be drastically different for your teenager. In fact, some teenagers experience an issue virtually foreign to adults -- known as boredom. A bored teenager may be difficult to manage, warns psychologist Carl Pickhardt, with the Psychology Today website.

Boredom Equals Motivational Issues

  • Some amount of teen boredom may come from a teenager scanning a list of options available to her and deciding she doesn’t want to do any of them, offers the Women’s and Children’s Health Network. Maybe the teen thinks everything is too easy, too hard or just not worth her effort. A teen may claim boredom when choices are uninteresting or when the choices are options undesired or chosen by the teenager. The teen’s lack of control over personal options may lead to a lack of motivation, which can mask as boredom.

The Boredom Habit

  • Boredom can become a habit over time, especially if a teenager observes other people with influence exhibiting this behavior. With a boredom habit entrenched in a teenager’s life, the teenager may show symptoms of anger, depression, fatigue and loneliness. These feelings may occur due to the teenager’s perception of a lack of control over choices.

Making Choices

  • When a teenager feels bored, the adolescent has two choices to resolve the situation, counsels Sergio Diazgranados, parent coach with the Parenting Teenagers Academy website. The teenager might choose a constructive activity to relieve the boredom or the teenager might opt for a negative option that creates trouble. The energy that exists inside the teenager needs some type of outlet, so the choice for the teenager is whether to use the energy constructively or destructively.


  • Parents have an opportunity to teach teenagers coping and personal management skills when they hear the words “I’m bored” or “That’s boring.” Parents may suggest that the teenager help with housework or even try a bonding activity between parent and child, suggests Pickhardt. It’s also helpful to encourage a teenager to step back from electronics for some time every day, engaging in other activities that involve face-to-face interaction with friends and family, creative activities or physical exercise. Encourage a teenager to use feelings of boredom to spark imagination.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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