Thursday, August 30, 2018
Adults are not the only ones who can experience deep human conditions such as loneliness. Children, who may or may not be attending an international school in Manila, may also feel lonely from time to time.
As parents, validating this emotion is one of the first steps you can do to help them go through it. But it should not stop there because overcoming it could be a long journey. For now, it would be best to understand why they could be feeling this way.
There are many factors that result in loneliness in children. A few examples of them are relocation, shyness, losing a friend, rejection from peers, and inability to make friends easily. To help guide your child through this feeling, it is vital that you learn about the 2 main types:
Let’s explore some of the key ways as to how you can assist her overcome loneliness.
Lack of self-confidence is one of the major reasons as to why a child can feel lonely. As a parent, you can help her build a sense of self-confidence by recognizing her capabilities. Praise your child in her efforts and contributions in various activities.
You could also encourage her to participate in different school activities including sports, music, and other extracurricular hobbies. Open avenues for your child and let her choose activities to excel in. This will gradually develop the confidence that is lacking in her.
If your child just moved to a new school, then it is a possibility that she misses her old friends, resulting in her feeling lonely. In this scenario, you can arrange a simple snack party and invite all her classmates. Introduce her to them but let her be the one to start the conversations.
Another common root of loneliness in children is shyness. Your child may wish to make new friends or simply express herself, but due to shyness, she is unable to.
With this, you can give her a gentle push by enrolling her in different after-school activities. This will provide her with open chances of communication and will encourage her to overcome her shyness.
Your hectic schedule could be another reason why your child may feel lonely. She may believe that you are not spending enough time together.
Understandably, you still have to go to work. But you can still have some quality time with her. For instance, you can make it a point for you to eat your breakfast and dinner together. During these times, you can take the opportunity to converse about each other’s day. You may also plan ahead on what you can do on the weekends (e.g. watch a movie, go to the mall, or visit a museum).
Whether your child studies in an international school in Manila or not, unacknowledged and neglected loneliness can have a serious impact on her life. If she appears sad and depressed, simply being there and supporting her by helping her build resilience and celebrating her achievements can play a significant role in overcoming it.