Everyone experiences loneliness from time to time. It’s an inevitable part of life. However, when loneliness drags on, it is harmful for both children and adults.
«Prolonged periods of loneliness can lead to social isolation, anxiety, despair and even depression,» says psychologist and school counselor, Dr. Chinwe Williams. The expert named 7 signs that the child suffers from loneliness.
1. Changes in the family
If you have recently moved to a new neighborhood, city, and even more so a country, your child will probably experience some sense of loneliness at first. In addition, the feeling of isolation in the family may arise due to the birth of a child, divorce, and even because of the new work of parents, in which you have to spend less time with children.
2. The child behaves aloof, more often sad
If your child is more calm or introverted, he may spend a lot of time alone. However, when he spends more time alone than usual, it can be a wake-up call. Perhaps he has quarreled with a neighbor boy or a friend at school and now feels lonely.
Loneliness is often accompanied by sadness. It’s hard to be happy when you feel deprived and have no one to talk to. Pay attention to your child’s mood. If he has become increasingly sad and crying, it may mean that he is suffering from loneliness.
3. The child says that he feels deprived
Your child may not have the exact words or vocabulary to express loneliness, but he can describe it in other words. For example, that yesterday he felt abandoned, deprived at school. If such complaints occur repeatedly, it means that the child feels lonely.
4. The child has become too intrusive
A lonely child can be so desperate for attention that it turns into a clingy, «mom’s tail». For infants and younger children, this is a normal phenomenon. However, then children begin to move away from their parents, which is considered a normal sign of growing up.
5. Does not talk about friends and events at school
If your child never tells you how he spent time with friends on the playground, with whom he talked during recess or after school, this may indicate that he simply has no one to spend time with and that he is really alone.
6. Tries to attract attention
Some single children try very hard to attract the attention of both their parents and other children. Some people change their behavior for this, try to be the center of attention. Others begin to engage in sabotage at home and at school. Still others make imaginary friends who didn’t exist before.
7. The child is not interested in anything
Single children and teenagers may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. It may happen that your child’s friend left the sports section or the circle where they went together. And now he does not have a close person with whom he can share his impressions after classes.
When a person is lonely, it seems that he is alone on an inhabited island. Nobody needs him, and nobody cares about him. So that loneliness does not turn into depression and does not lead to more terrible consequences, you need to be more attentive to your child and try to notice alarm bells in his behavior in time.