The FOMO Curse & Tips To Overcome It

The FOMO Curse & Tips To Overcome It

Did you ever feel left out as a teenager? My teen years are long gone but I still vividly remember those days when I was struck by the FOMO curse and agonised silently about not being part of the cool crowd.

I am sure we all know the one.  Invariably always full of those who from the outside in are going to all the parties, dating and having the most fun.  The reality of course is that they are not, but at that moment in time it seems as if they are.

Fast forward several decades and even though the scenario may be the same, it is so much harder for our teens today.  At least back in my day the fear of missing out was all in my head because I didn't actually have any concrete proof - it was all hearsay.  This generation of teens, however, is blighted by none other than the curse of social media.  Despite our best efforts as parents to control what they do online, their free time is invariably consumed by catching up on what everyone else is doing and of course in the glorious world of snapchat, instagram and facebook there is nearly always someone else having a better time than them - or as I say, so it seems.

In my experience the FOMO curse seems to kick in at around 15/16 years old.  The awkward years of puberty are still lurking over their shoulder and adulthood is just out of reach, but of course they feel ready to move on and embrace the next chapter and with it the life experiences that they feel will make them seem more grown-up, more cool.

In my opinion as a parent it is the worst time ever.  The GCSE’s are around the corner and keeping them on the straight and narrow and focusing on getting those grades and not getting distracted by anything else is paramount, particularly a party filled with under age drinking and worse still the distractions of a relationship.

There  are four  years between my teens.  My eldest is at university and home for the summer he managed to summon up the energy to effortlessly combine a hectic work and social life.  This was not free of disagreements of course, after all his lifestyle as a fledgling young adult and ours as middle-aged working parents aren't naturally compatible.  The hardest fall out, however, was our youngest as she observed a lifestyle that is currently out of her reach and of course off limits, all of which simply exacerbated her impatience to shake off the shackles, grow up and be seen as not only as more than the little sister to her brother and his friends but also cool among her own peer group.

What can we do as parents to convince our teens that they are actually not missing out on anything at all and there is a still a long way to go for them to indulge in all things involved with growing up and moving onto the next stage?

  1. Get them to focus on the here and the now and live in the moment.
  2. Limit their time on social media.
  3. Encourage them to focus on what they know makes them happy rather than wishing for something unknown.
  4. Remind them that the grass isn't always greener elsewhere.
  5. Tell them that life is a process, filled with valuable experiences to help them progress to the next stage.

As a parent it is a hard period to observe and navigate but it did remind me of my own teen years, when as the eldest myself I started to spread my wings and left my younger sister behind with her braces and another night in with our parents. The only option really is to sit and wait it out.  After all as I am fond of saying, savour every moment of your adolescence as there is plenty of time in life to be an adult and it isn't always as good as you think.

Editor's Note: Have you any tips or advice to add?  I love to hear your comments.  

Tips For Overcoming The FOMO Curse

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. November 9, 2018 / 7:11 am

    You know what? I wouldn’t go back to my teens if you paid me…Fab post and one which resonates hugely. I tend to put the shoe on the other foot to get my point over sometimes. i it with my kids scrolling through my feed saying stuff like “oh! Look! so and so look like they’re having a great time etc etc” and the kids have actually started saying to me “oh mum, when will you learn? Social media is all about fakeness (Duh!! Really??) I don’t care that I appear to be a half-wit in front of them as long as it gets the message across! Keep writing beautiful lady xx
    Liz Deacle recently posted…Stop Worrying About Your Teenagers. I Dare You.My Profile

    • Jo
      Author
      November 14, 2018 / 5:47 pm

      Oh Liz that is so funny but I have to kind of agree. There are definitely good and bad bits for sure. Funny about your kids and your feed because I am so clandestine mine know nothing and see nothing and long may it continue. Thanks for your continued support my virtual friend and hope life back home is treating you well. Hope you will come and join our linky again. We have gone monthly due to huge life and time pressures so you can link anytime during the month. xx

  2. November 8, 2018 / 3:54 pm

    I must admit that I am scared of the teenage phase. I have two toddlers under the age of four. I couldn’t imagine what the world will be like when they are in their teens. Your advice here is timeless. Discipline and setting limits are really important. My parents were strict when I was a teen. I was the obedient-type. Looking back, I am glad that mom and dad set boundaries. They did the parenting thing right. #GlobalBlogging

    • Jo
      Author
      November 14, 2018 / 5:50 pm

      Hi Carmela, I am sure everyone with teenagers says this but it really isn’t that bad just different. It will be interesting to see what the teenage world will be like for your children. The world is evolving at such a pace and social media particularly – I am sure it will leave us parents all floundering in its wake wondering what next? I am glad you enjoyed the piece and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  3. November 7, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    I definitely like the idea of limiting social media. Even as an adult, I find the more I use social media, the less I focus on what’s around me. Instead of enjoying my life, I’m checking to see what others are up to. My biggest nightmare is Instagram. I have carefully crafted a time limit on there because it’s easy to wonder how everyone is always having so much fun. Once I limited that network, I lost that ‘photograph everything’ mentality I was developing. Sadly, kids are so much more susceptible. #GlobalBlogging

    • Jo
      Author
      November 14, 2018 / 5:57 pm

      Heather that is funny I am exactly the same with instagram. I am only on it as another platform to promote the blog and engage with interesting people but hadn’t appreciated how much of an influencer medium it is. I just can’t crack it for at least the last year I have been up and down around the same number but was spending every minute over thinking photos to post and looking at everyone’e gorgeous feed. Now I look and comment but in terms of posting it is haphazard – if I have a great photo I love then on it goes otherwise I don’t worry. I feel so much better for it. X

  4. November 6, 2018 / 8:41 am

    I guess it’s hard for us to understand how difficult it really must be for our teens as we didn’t have the same pressure of social media at that vulnerable stage of life. I love your points to help them not feel so left out. I’d also add to encourage them to be involved in sports and other clubs so they are busy and don’t have time to feel left out because they’re actually not being left out! Also to have friends over for informal hang out sessions at home. #globalblogging
    Liberty Henwick recently posted…FragileMy Profile

    • Jo
      Author
      November 14, 2018 / 6:06 pm

      Liberty those are great points to add. I have one teen who loves sport and one who hates it. The latter (my daughter) now loves it, however, for exactly the reason you have described – she feels involved. As for the informal hang out sessions – well with only two teens I can safely say there are more than I would like – so good luck with the vast quantity that will no doubt be happening in your house!

  5. October 24, 2018 / 4:08 am

    So far Aspen, being 14.5 hasn’t worried about this, in fact when she is added in group chats she gets annoyed, but I know her time will come. She is quite young at heart, maybe having two younger siblings has kept her young. I notice her friends who have older sisters are much more into having a crush or wearing makeup and short tops than Aspen is. I am glad she is still quite naive, I had a 3 older siblings and my closest in age was my sister who is 4 years older than me. She always had her boyfriend over and groups of friends so when she was 16 and I was 12 I was exposed to a lot, by Aspens age I was kissing boys, so I am grateful for her being happy to hang out at home with us and play board games and play with our dogs. I think it will be different for my now 11 year old, I think she may grow up faster, she has a very different personality. For now I will enjoy what I have and I will keep your tips close by for when she starts to develop FOMO. Thank you again for your support lately and lovely comments xx #AbloggingGoodTime

    • Jo
      Author
      October 25, 2018 / 12:31 am

      Oh Mac it is so different with every child/teen and there are new challenges for us to face at every step they take. I am not sure there is any right or wrong answer but by sharing our experiences and learning we can only make that journey easier. Sending you lots of love. X

  6. October 18, 2018 / 2:39 pm

    Oh so true. I have a youngest to eldest gap of five years, which is huge at the tween/teen stage. I think you are right about limiting social media time and reminding them to enjoy the moment. The number of times recently, I’ve told my youngest he’s only 11 years old for a year, so enjoy it. There is a temptation to compare their own lives with those online, but they forget that they are not comparing one to one, but one to many. The many becomes blurred into one exciting time. No wonder they feel like they are missing out.

    • Jo
      Author
      October 25, 2018 / 12:27 am

      It’s so hard Cheryl and I never did social media before blogging and I now know how addictive it is too, but there is also just that normal pressure that exudes from being around people doing stuff they think they should be doing which of course is the stuff they can’t do and you don’t want them to. They feel so trapped and it’s a big challenge reigning them in. X

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