Children of divorced or imprisoned parents go through untold misery. To make it even worse, when one of the parents dies, children are usually confused and have no idea what to do next. Unfortunately, some of these innocent children end up blaming themselves. What are some of the reasons behind a child’s loneliness? If your child is lonely or depressed, what do you need to do to help him or her cope with the situation?
Why do they feel lonely or depressed?
There are many reasons that could be behind a child’s loneliness. Some of the reasons arise from the most obvious factors in the life of a child. Unfortunately when a child looks lonely, it is most likely that such a child may already be depressed. Some of the reasons behind feelings of loneliness and depression may include the following;
- When Prevented from doing some activities: When a child is prevented from engaging in certain activities due to age, the child easily becomes lonely. If not handled properly, this can easily depress and frustrate the child.
- Being bullied: The child could be going through a tough time with bullies either at school, in the neighborhood or even at home.
- Losing something precious: This could be a friend, parent, favorite pet or toy which the child is fond of.
- Moving to a new place or school: In this new place the child has to adjust to new people and friends. Before he can make new friends, he will be on his own.
- Child abuse: This can come either physically or psychologically.
- Domestic violence: This could be due to parental conflicts. In some cases, this results from acts of violence directed at the child.
- Parents undergoing divorce: In the mind of a child, the two parents must stay together. When they separate, it becomes a source of sadness, frustration and depression.
What should you do to help the child?
There are a number of things you can do to help the child. First you can help your child to find friends. Even though the child can have many friends, you are the closest of them all. Be helpful. When the child makes new friends, it is easy for him to forget about some things and move on.
If you are dealing with a child being stopped from doing certain things, you need to take your time and pay attention. Lovingly explain to the child why it is important to wait till he is of age to do those things. In addition, encourage and help your child to learn a new skill. This will help the child to get his mind off the things he is unable to do. He will develop the needed self-confidence when the new skill sets in. Below are some more steps you can take to help the child;
- Help him join a club: This can be a team or group that captures the child’s interests.
- Help him write letters: Sit with him and help him write a letter or a series of letters to his friends, family or team members if he already belongs to a club.
- Encourage him to volunteer: Help him join a group that volunteers for a cause. As long as he qualifies, let him enjoy doing something for his family, community or school.
- Help him improve on his weaknesses: Whenever he makes any slight improvement, commend him. Guide him through the process of overcoming his weaknesses.
- Help him call, or Skype a friend: In some cases, you have to start by getting a guardian or parent’s consent if you are not one. Let him enjoy the conversation and know that this should only be done with proper guidance from trusted seniors.
- He is not to blame: Children usually have a habit of blaming themselves when something goes wrong. Help him understand that it is not his fault and some things are beyond his control.
Children learn by observing elders. But they also listen when lessons are delivered in a less formal environment. Be a friend your child can trust. If you are his biological parent, let him know that you have always loved him even long before he was born. Spend time with him and let him feel that he can rely on you when he feels lonely.