Signs that your child is lonely and how to help.

It isn’t nice for a parent to see their child struggling but you can help them

Loneliness can be common amongst youngsters and though it may not cause any long term effects it isn’t nice for a parent to see their child struggling to fit in or when they find it hard to make real friends. There are some signs that your child is lonely and there are a few things that you can do to help which we have listed here in the hope that your nipper won’t be lonesome for very long.
The signs of loneliness.
  • Seeks attention from you- If your child needs constant attention from you yet doesn’t seem to seek others attention it may be that they are unable to connect with others and therefore use you for everything that they need like playing, socialising or even arguing! Of course as a parent you are happy to fill these roles but you also need your child to have other people to turn to as you are not going to be with them 24/7 unfortunately that is the way of life.
  • Never talks about school friends and plays alone- If your tot is coming home from school and isn’t talking about friends or the things that they played in the yard you have to ask why? If your child constantly plays alone outside you need to consider that your child is retreating into themselves and isn’t mixing well with others.
  • Takes comfort in other things- Some children that are lonely seek comfort from material things like their teddies, their blankets or their toys and they talk to them instead of actual live people which for most kids is fine but if your nipper is lonely this will only allow them to withdraw more as they become accustomed to their own company.
  • Doesn’t want to go anywhere or do anything- Your child may refuse to go to parties or play dates even if they get invited and he/she may dismiss the notion of going out and trying new things out of fear of mixing and their inability to socialise.
How to help…
  • Encourage playdates/parties and days out- You should ask your child is there anyone they would like to come over after school or is there a place they would like to go? If your child is resisting use something they love to gain their attention and encourage them that doing this will be so much more fun if they had a friend join them. It may take time and you may find it a struggle to engage your child with your ideas but don’t give up!
  • Help them overcome their shyness- In a lot of cases children that are lonely are incredibly shy and unable to get past their self-confidence issues to actually seek out a friend and talk to them. It almost becomes easier to stay safe in their own little head without any chance of being rejected. Help your child with this, let them have a friend over and be there to guide your child as being the host filling the day with fun things and conversation between you all. It may not be today but at some stage your child will come out of their shell and start speaking up for themselves and build friendships through socialising.
  • Look for the reasons why- Has your child gone through anything recently that could have set of this chain of events when they are happier in their own company? Did school go ok? Is there any bullying going on? Did you move house or school? Did your child lose a good friend? There are lots of reasons why but figuring this out will go a long way in sorting out your child’s loneliness.
  • Support your child- Be there for them when they are struggling and constantly be the crutch that they need to begin socialising with class mates more. Don’t settle and expect it all to blow over as your child does need your help whether they admit it or not they truly do.
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