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You are here : home > Raising Children > Social Relationships in Children > Lonely Children

Lonely Children

Friendships are a must for healthy development of a child but some children are perpetual lonely. The reasons could vary.  Parents have to find the reasons of loneliness. Here are some tips for parents to help a lonely child.

"Mummy, I am not invited to Saira's party." "Mummy, nobody wants to play with me." "Daddy, nobody wants me on their basketball team." When parents hear such statements from their children, it is heart-rending and all their protective instincts rush to the fore. But most often, parents are at a loss as to how they can help. 

No matter how strongly parents feel the need to play Mr. or Mrs. Fixit, this is one area where playing the heavy could backfire. Friendships are not something that you can go out and buy your children like their favourite toy so there's no point trying to bribe your children's peers with expensive gifts and outings to fancy places. The best that you can do in situations like this is to be supportive, boost their confidence, be a good listener and help your children develop a sense of humour so that they can ride out difficult situations like this without going under. 

Do not assume that your child is lonely. She may be a kind of person that needs more space and does not have a very strong need for companionship. There are many children who are quite happy curled up in a corner reading a book or engaged in other solitary activities. You should diagnose loneliness based on your observations of her interaction with her peers and listening to what she says. You should also keep an eye out for changes in behaviour like fitful sleep, moodiness or loss of appetite. If you are worried about your child's inability to make friends, speak to her teacher or even to a counsellor if you feel the need. You should also keep in mind that some children have a greater need for social approval than others and their idea of no friends may just be that not everyone likes her. 
 

How you can help

  • Invite children over to play especially younger children as playing with younger children can boost your child's confidence. The older child tends to feel more in control and is less likely to be intimidated by a younger child.
  • Give your child advice about how she should go about making friends. Not all children are born with this ability so you may need to teach your child some social skills. Tell her to find friends with common interests and to show interest in other children's hobbies. 
  • If your child is upset about her lack of friends, do not try to gloss over the situation. Be sympathetic and vocalize the way she must be feeling. Try to help her think of ideas to overcome her problem, but don't spoonfeed her.
  • When your child invites other children over, you can help break the ice by organizing a few games or activities initially before leaving them to their own devices. However, do not play the fussy mother hen all the time. Your child will never learn to make friends on her own steam.
  • Observe her interactions with her peers and point out later where she might be going wrong. Maybe she's too bossy or not willing to share or too quick to take offence. Explain this to her in a way that doesn't get her back up so that she feels that you too are against her.
  • Encourage her to be persistent and take the effort. If another child has turned an invitation down, tell your child that there's no harm inviting her over again instead of taking the rebuff to heart and retiring hurt.
  • Do not encourage competition with her peers or engage in constant comparisons. This will foster feelings of insecurity and rivalry rather than friendship.
  • Do fun things with your child so that she gets the message that she is a good fun companion and not a bore as she may secretly think.
  • Enrol your child in hobby classes that will teach her a skill or highlight a talent or encourage her to participate in activities like team sport that will widen her social circle and boost her confidence.
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Recent comments (50 comments)
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Comment: 
Name: chloe
Country: U.S.A.

When I found lord kalifat I was in desperate need of bringing my ex boyfriend back. He left me for another woman and I was left in the dark. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. He just dumped me after 2 years with no explanation. I contact lord kalifat from lordkalifat@gmail.com and he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortly after he did his magic my boyfriend started calling me again and felt horrible for what he just put me through. He said that I was the most important person in his life and he knows that now. I highly recommend lord kalifat if anyone is having a problem in their relationship. He really helped me! I am chloe
 
Name: Misty
Country: USA

my 11 year old daughter is always alone at school. she spends all of her time alone. she eats lunch and no one sits next to her within 6 feet. she plays alone or stands alone. this is breaking my heart.
 
Name: Ann
Country: usa

i don't understand it because i think my 11 year old daughter is a very nice well balanced child yet she doesn't have many friends. in fact the ones she did have don't call or come over now that middle school is underway. in the last year she's gained 20 pounds. i am heartsick for her. she's pretty, smart and nice and i just don't get it. i am shy myself - it's painful at times. did she learn this from me or is it inherited?
 
Name: Manoj
Country: india

in my house only 3 persons live. myself, my wife and my small son. he goes to a play school and after that to a creache. he is very introvert. so, he never tell to his teacher in play school even for urine. i do not know how to solve his problem. india even though second in totla population, still many childs are lonely in india.
 
Name: Zoe
Country: new caledonia

i'm very lovely bacause i haven't friends and i want died
 
Name: donna
Country: united kingdom

tmaree,your child that you described sounds like my 9 year old son,he used to have lots of friends but he falls out with people a lot latley especially if they have cheated at a game he bears a grudge for long time,and is too stubborn to continue playing.now he stands alone at playtimes and watched otyher children play.he took his football to school and becuase no one wanted to play he took the knockback really to heart and assumes no1 likes himbut would not join in playing tig saying t was a baby game.he is so stubborn and wont admit that he wants friends to play with at school.it really breaks my heart to think of him at school all alone so i know how you feel.its a pity we dont live closer to each other they would make a right pair.
 
Name: Spicer
Country: united kingdom

my grandaughter,12, has been home educated for 3 years, due to bullying at school.girls of her age where we live, have stopped being friendly and she only has young children to play with. the nearest home ed. groups are 20 miles away. she's such a caring and loving child, trusting everyone and continually getting hurt and therefore is becoming very lonely. she joins clubs to make friends but so far nothing has helped. just writing this has made me feel i'm in touch with others in the same position. children to play with.
 
Name: Kerensa Huber
Country: Canada

i'm very lonely and have few friends all the friends i have don't care what i say. this makes me feel sad and when i worry about things like this i don't wan't to do any thing and can't concentrate
 
Name: stephanie
Country: England

lonely children need to try and join in with other people
 
Name: T Bon
Country: U.S.A.

being lonely is a very difficult thing to deal with for me, i'm 16 and just this past year i've realized that i am very lonely all the time. yes i have family but you know people want to have other people to depend on outside of the family. i actually have a very good boyfriend, but my mom is kind of strict and i not allowed seeing him much. i know what it is like to be lonely all through out childhood and being a teenager now, i still know how it feels. i'm sad most of the time and depressed, i have no idea how i'm going to make it out in the real world after high school. dying is a solution, but i'm trying to survive as long as i can (for you) because suicide attempts also becomes a problem when being to lonely as well.
 
Name: Susan
Country: United Kingdom

i am thirteen years old and i constantly feel lonely, i'm in high school and all my friends are changing into sexually-obsessed, alcoholic horrors. i can't deal with it sometimes and i moan about it all the time, but i can't help the way i feel.
 
Name: angel
Country: Brazil

i have a son who is 11 years old and always played only with girls. now he wants to play with the boys, as all the friends who were girls had left the school. unfortunately the boys don't give him a chance to join them in their games and he feels very sad as a result. he never gets invited to any birthday parties and once i sneaked a peek at him during lunch hour, just to see him wondering around the school yard alone with no one to play with him. as a mother it was the saddest moment in my life...as my heart went out to him...recollecting a memory i had of myself in that situation as a teenager. i think there is nothing worse than seeing your child alienated by other kids because you feel helpless...what would be the advice that someone could share with me in order to help him in his social skills???
 
Name: marie england
Country: United Kingdom

my child is nearly 9 and still has no friends shes been left out of birhtday parties there was 1 insident when all the girls in her glass were invited to a b day party and she was the only 1 left out shes always on her own please help any advice anyone thankyou
 
Name: alpana
Country: India

it is often noticed that a child imitates rather reflects the parents image. making friends is a skill which mainly depends on communication. this too parents teach the children right from their infancy the time spent with them. the heart to heart conversations discussing habits schedules etc. the inherited genes play an imp part in being lonely and the father mother relationships too affect the childs ability to express. parents often do not have friends so what does a child learn from that? children should be left in play groups where there is supervision yet little interference in their chats and games.
 
Name: TMaree
Country: Australia

my second son is quite lonely. his older and younger brother (ages 9,8,4) all have friends. my second son has been described as being a "parallel child" by his teacher (he doesn't actually like to participate but likes to be alongside kids doing the activities). my son says nobody likes him and that he doesn't get invited to parties. his father and i have told him how to be a good friend, but he still can be quite selfish (won't share if he doesn't feel like it), throws a tantrum if he doesn't win the game and is very argumentative with other kids and just storms off in a huff when he doesn't get his own way. he doesn't seem to understand that this sort of behaviour deters kids from wanting to be friends, even though we've pointed this out to him. i'm at a loss because i feel sick when he says nobody likes him and yet he wont' take our advice!
 
Name: Rohini
Country: India

i think the first child is the one who feels lonely. the secod one does not face this problem as he has someone to play with and when he is born, the elder one no more feels lonely.
 
Name: Helper
Country: Canada

tell your kids to be creative, be their own person, and most af all, don't shelter them!
 
Name: Hayley
Country: U.S.A.

i am a lonely girl that's mom doesn't like to do anything and i would like soembody to talk to.
 
Name: angela
Country: Other

i am a lonely kid i need help
 
Name: anketha
Country: India

hi i am a lonely child how can i spend time
 
Name: Nan
Country: U.S.A.

my 10 year old son was recently diagnosed with asperger's syndrome. he is a beautiful, gentle, generous child. he wants desperately to be with boys his own age, but they do not want to play with him. they tell him he is boring and do not like the way his imagination works; often times he combines the characters from two different movies, or books, into a single story line. unfortunately, his repetition of the same story-lines does bore the boys his own age. it is heart-breaking to watch. however, every day i ask him to finish this sentence - jj is ___? and the correct answer is always, jj is a gift from god. although he is still lonely, he knows that at home he is loved for who he is. i worry about the level of his lonliness as he gets older, but i hope he knows that he has the strength of character and the support of his family to survive it. my husband and i spend a great deal of time with jj, playing card games, or throwing a football or shooting his bb gun or riding bikes together. although he still spends much time entertaining himself, there is always a couple of hours a day shared with dad and i. i think our committment to spending time with him allows his self-esteem to stay afloat. i so wish the neighbor boys could be kind. they used to come down to our end of the block and play right outside our front yard so jj would know they weren't including him. now, i send them back down to their end of the block. i can't make them be nice to my son, but i won't allow for them to be disrespectful to him either. i send much love to all you parents and children living through this.
 
Name: madison
Country: U.S.A.

i'm 8 in a half now and i am lonely. not at school but at home. i feel like i'm invisible.my step dad doesn't talk to me that much and my mom has to work all night and sleep in the morning so she can go to work at night.i ussally dont care about my stepdad but my mom i am not ok with.
 
Name: Jakie
Country: United Kingdom

my problem is that i am the youngest see, i mean i loads of friends, see when i was younger around 7 (13 year old now) my older sister would play with me,but as she got older she lost interest in me. all my friends have brothers and sisters ( one friend has4 brothers and 4 sisters, and my mum and dad came from large family, and they all ways have stories. say am in my house i get bored. really loney
 
Name: Stephanie
Country: Australia

my heart goes out to your childern.
 
Name: Christina
Country: U.S.A.

am 11 years old am very loney,,at school am populer i have lots of friends who love me,but at home am not so happy of my step dad. i get grounded for no reason like 1 time i left my brush on "my" dresser he yells at me i've talked to his brother (my uncle is a step brother of my step dad) he said that hes been like that scince he was little and my mom habe to agree with him intill she gets her citezen i want to contact my dad but .... i dont i just got yelled at for staring at him...:[


 

 
 
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