Teens are usually very happy about the arrival of summertime and vacation away from school But how does this impact the teen who struggles with social isolation?
A teen who does not have many social connections may escape into a virtual world of friendship in his computer. Although this may help the teen not feel alone (which is important), this type of relating to others does not help social skills and can in fact lead to more social isolation. A concerned parent should not take away all computer gaming, etc., but should limit the amount.
Summer provides a time to help your teen learn different ways to relate to others. Volunteering helps your teen develop social skills while helping him to develop increased self-esteem because he is helping others. Many forums for volunteering exist for teens in the summer. Camps, child-care facilitiies, nursing homes, hospitals, missions, and churches are agencies that are usually looking for volunteers. And your teen will meet others who are volunteering and may develop some positive relationships.
Look at agencies in your areas that offer summer enrichment programs for teens also - your teen could benefit from taking a class himself. He might not only learn something new or improve his skills, but he might meet some new positive friends as well.
As a parent, motivate and encourage your teen to look at summer enrichment and volunteering. And be sure to get him to talk about what he might be interested in doing - that involves others in the real, not virtual, world.