While we listed this under our “parents” category, remember that if you are an only child who is lonely, you can still apply these tips.
Is your only child lonely? When we talk to parents, they mention this a lot. Kids with brothers and sisters have a built in support system and set of friends. With an only child lonely feelings tend to occur much more frequently. But, you can help your son or daughter stop being lonely. It can be done with a few easy tips.
Help Your Child Be More Outgoing
While being outgoing isn’t a guarantee of social success, it does help. Teens and children who are shy often wait to be approached rather than approaching others to make friends. So, help your lonely only child meet more people by giving him or her the tools to be more outgoing.
This is often a matter of personality, but you can still help a shy child. For example, encourage your son to share his feelings and assert himself. Also, model more outgoing behavior around your kids.
Get Your Child Involved
Kids and teens who aren’t of driving age are pretty much stuck in their environments. They can’t just leave without the help of a parent. That means, for your only child, lonely feelings, especially if he or she wants to be around others, will be real.
Get your kids out and about. Help them join social groups, play sports, or even just go out in crowds (like concerts). If your child resists, don’t force it. But, strongly encourage your child to at least give it a try. For example, only make your son go to one practice or your daughter attend one club meeting. They may find they actually like it if they resist initially.
Teach Social Skills
Make sure your son or daughter knows how to interact with other people in a positive way. Teach manners, rapport building, and how to act appropriately. For teens it’s easier, but even small children can be taught in more age appropriate ways.
And, as mentioned in the first section, model proper social skills. Let them see how it’s done correctly when they watch you!
Practice makes perfect. If your only child has loneliness issues, then have him or her practice being more outgoing and social. The perfect chance is at restaurants and with customer service workers.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard parents order for their kids or talk for them. Don’t do this! Let your children speak, talk to the cashier or waiter, and order their own items. Even if they’re shy, have them do it anyway. This kind of practice will help them become more outgoing and personable.
Remember, our popularity book for teens is coming out soon. We offer over 250 pages of tips just like the ones above, except in more detail. Keep checking back for more information!