Social camouflage is when a person tries to blend in unnoticed. He or she might find themselves too inhibited to speak up, ask for help, to state their position. It’s even more of a problem in recent history because social camouflage grows more and more like a ‘lifestyle’ with the anonymity achieved in the digital world. For tweens and teens it is even more complicated. Pressures at home, at school, friends, lack of downtime, less time in nature, less time talking one on one without digital interference, loneliness ....
Hiding behind a static photo, typing.
It can be a real challenge for parents to stay ahead of social-emotional development. This phenomenon is nothing parents have ever experienced in history. It’s not as if a parent can call their parents and ask what they did when you opened your first Instagram account. And, many parents are also just as involved in the digital world as their children.
But there are ways to help.
Having kids, tweens and teens enrolled in interactive activities is one way to guide them. However, team sports and mainstream programs are no longer enough for some and not an option for many. Sometimes our Kids/Teens need help blooming, not blending into the background trying not to be seen. Those kids require more specialized clubs and classes facilitated by strong leaders who can help mitigate social camouflage.
For example, the ‘Confidence + Coping Skills-based After-school Clubs’ at the Mindful Resource Center (MRC) in Corte Madera is run by strong mentors at the helm promoting and modeling methods for setting aside social camouflage and practicing authenticity, assertiveness, healthy communication and self-expression, kids/teens gain more choices for the social lifestyles they find fulfilling. It’s not ‘therapy’ per se… but an enrichment program designed to strategically scaffold the social-emotional skills needed in this day and age for combatting the pressure to excessively ‘fit in’ and instead to develop the coping skills to navigate any challenge with grace and resiliency.
Corte Madera “Confidence & Coping Clubs” (ages 6 - 18) include Crafts, Science, Games and ‘fill your tool kit’ activities for a happy life. Our staff are psychotherapists who specialize in empowering youth with skills in a supportive group environment. While this is not considered ‘therapy’ per se, to the parents, the Club has curriculum with high therapeutic value that improves communication, self-esteem and resilience! To the kids, this feels like an art class meets camp mixed with a small group of nice kids and a cool mentor who cares deeply about their well-being. Mindful Resource Center (MRC) welcomes your family! For more information and to register, go to www.mindfulresourcecenter.com/youthgroups
Julie Hartman, PhD runs the Mindful Resounce Center in Corte Madera. Visit her online or on Facebook to see if our offerings are in line with the suppport you want for your teen’s social-emotional development.