Ways to Help Lonely Children Build Connections

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Ways to Help Lonely Children Build Connections

Having lonely children has been a concern for many parents. If your child feels constantly excluded from his peers and the environment of his international school in Manila, it can lead to long-term negative consequences. He may grow up to be a teenager with self-esteem issues.

Due to feelings of alienation, he may become more hesitant to volunteer for different school activities that he may be interested in. Isolation can make your child more overwhelmed by negative emotions like anger and sadness because of the possibility that he feels unsure of himself.

Fortunately, social isolation can be overcome. These are the different ways you can help your lonely child establish more meaningful connections:


Teach cognitive reframing

Just like adults, children can be prone to thinking negative thoughts. Kids who feel isolated usually have harmful beliefs that keep them anxious around groups. These include:

  • Worst-case scenario assumptions.
  • Believing people will only see their flaws.
  • Getting easily angry or sad over words of strangers.

Most kids dealing with loneliness tend to feel excluded because they are paralyzed by fear. As a parent, your goal is to reframe your child’s thinking to be more positive.

This can be done by helping him be less concerned with potential problems and more focused on solution-finding. You can encourage him to be a problem solver by telling him stories of your school years when you decided to resolve a concern right away, instead of sitting around and avoiding problems.

You can also teach your child the value of building relationships. For example, you can share with him the importance of being open-minded, gracious, and communicative.


Listen to his concerns

As your child chooses to approach his schoolmates, he may stumble once in a while. A classmate may reject his friendship, or a playmate may choose to hang out with someone else. These instances may seem insignificant and minuscule but can be damaging to your child’s budding self-esteem.

You can help him overcome these difficult emotions by being open to listening to his concerns. Let him cry, then try to introduce different methods of handling disappointment. Remind him to keep on trying.


Give your child opportunities to socialize

Nowadays, technology can arguably be seen as one of the biggest factors that affect children’s social interactions. There are many instances when kids would rather use their phones than talk to classmates after the bell rings. If this is the case, then you can help your child develop more meaningful friendships by letting him pursue new extra-curricular activities.

Opportunities that can help him engage with his peers include enrolling him in classes that interest him or encouraging him to play with kids in your nearby park.


Key Takeaway

No parent wants a child who feels like an outcast in places like their international school in Manila. While social isolation seems devastating, it is an issue that can be overcome with a little bit of effort and practice. With the right parental guidance, these simple tips can help your lonely child form strong connections with others.


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