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|Ratting vs. Reporting|
|Staying Safe On The Way Home|
|Respect and Kindness|
|The New School Year|
Many children experience times when they are lonely. As a parent you need to assess what is causing this feeling. Feeling lonely is a normal part of growing up, but prolonged feelings of loneliness can be detrimental to your child. Ask yourself the following questions and try some of the activity suggestions:
|QUESTION – Is my child lonely or is he/she frequently alone by choice?
Some children are more solitary and serious, preferring to spend time by themselves and only occasionally with one or two friends.*****
QUESTION – Is my child complaining of loneliness/showing symptoms of loneliness or do I just assume they are lonely because they are alone?
Sometimes our personalities do not match our children’s personalities. What we may consider loneliness they may consider a chance to sit and think. Talk to your child to determine if feelings of sadness and loneliness exist before you intervene.
QUESTION – Has there been some change in my child’s life that would account for the loneliness? Have you recently moved? Did a best friend move away? Has there been a school or class change or the addition of a new student at school?
ACTIVITY – Read the story called Ashley Who? with your child. You can find this story in the Student Section of our website, under “Stories” (coming soon).
QUESTION – Is my child’s loneliness the result of bullying?
ACTIVITY – Play “What if” games to assist and encourage problem solving. Ask your child “what would you do if this happened?” Then make up possible scenarios that could lead to isolation and loneliness. Here are some examples:
ACTIVITY – Plan a small party together. Invite a couple friends to spend some time with your child. Joining a new activity or sport will also provide new opportunities to meet new people.
ACTIVITY – Read books together or suggest books for your child to read. Talk about the emotions and feelings in the story. Help your child name and describe the various emotions experienced by the characters. The main focus in many books and novels is on emotions and how the characters are dealing with them. Three chapter book suggestions are: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis and Looking for X by Deborah Ellis. Picture books such as Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus and Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss are great books about many emotions and feelings, as well as overcoming those feelings and triumphing in the end. Your school or public librarian will have many more suggestions.
If the issue is bullying, it is very important that you adequately and safely address it. Your child may be nervous about involving you in the problem for fear it might make things worse. Talk to your son or daughter about finding a friend in whom they can trust. Talk to the school. Make a plan together that safely addresses the problem. Solicit the help of the classroom teacher. They often have a different perspective on what is happening. Through changes in seating and encouragement to join extra curricular activities, the teacher can support your child as they develop friendships. With issues of bullying they can ensure your child is safe and deal immediately with any problems that occur.
Set goals with your child. If there is an obvious reason for the loneliness, suggest taking small steps to change the situation. Support efforts to make new friends at school or leave behind a friendship that is no longer working.
Teach your child that action towards a goal will help to establish new friendships and eliminate much of the feelings of loneliness.