Loneliness in Children & Young People
What is Loneliness?
“A subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship, which happens when we have a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social relationships that we have, and those that we want.”
Who does Loneliness Affect?
Loneliness is a feeling that can be experienced by anyone. It is common for isolation and loneliness to be seen as a consequence of old age, but in reality this truth is limiting. Children, young people and families can also experience loneliness in a number of different ways.
In the above infographic, you can find some statistics regarding loneliness in children and young people. From these, it is quite clear that a large number of children and young people experience loneliness. According to Action For Children, at least one-in-ten young people have reported suffering from loneliness.
Signs of Loneliness in Children and Young People
Action for Children have come up with some great tips for helping to spot loneliness in a child. Although many parents and carers may worry about a child being lonely, it can be hard to know when to step in and do something.
Signs to look out for:
- Always coming out of school alone
- Never inviting any friends on ‘play dates’
- Not going out with friends and never having them round
- Seeming to have a constant cloud over their head, slumping and sighing a lot
- They say they feel sad
- They spend a lot of time by themselves or in their room – although, remember some children are content to spend a lot of time alone, while others may be part of a large social circle but still feel lonely.
Tips for Dealing with Loneliness
- Remember, loneliness is a feeling. It is not a measure of your number of friends or time spent interacting socially
- Encourage young people who are older to notice how their social media usage affects their mood
- See if there are groups or activities in your local area that your child would be interested in
- Speak to a member of staff at your child’s school, they may be able to help look out for signs
- Encourage your child to watch out for other children who seem lonely and to go and chat to them
- Support your child in building their resilience, such as taking on responsibilities and facing fears
- Talk to your child – show interest in their peer relationships and teach them about healthy friendships
- Everyone feels lonely sometimes, but if your concerns are on-going, you may want to step in and seek help.
You can find lots of extra advice online to support children and young people suffering with loneliness. Action for Children have a whole section on their website dedicated to helping children overcome loneliness. There is also lots of information available on the Mind website, as well as wider information about mental health & wellbeing.
Get in Touch
If you would like to get in touch, you can call, text or WhatsApp Rachael on 07938 575 738; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would prefer us to call you, please submit your details using the form below; and we’ll get back to you soon!