It can be tough to figure out whether or not your child is getting enough social interaction. On one hand, some children prefer having plenty of time to themselves. While they have no problem playing and getting along with other kids, they also truly enjoy using their imagination to play by themselves in their room or your backyard. On the other hand, if a child starts exhibiting certain behaviors, it can be an indication that they’re actually lonely.
Since kids don’t always fully understand exactly what they’re feeling, it can be useful to know what signs may mean that it’s time for you to place some additional focus on ensuring your child is involved in plenty of social situations and activities:
Always Trying to Get Attention: Is your child constantly interrupting you, even when it’s clear that you’re busy with something important? When guests come over, does your child try to jump in the middle of whatever’s going on? If one or both of those scenarios sounds all too familiar, it’s a sign that your child feels like they have to fight for attention instead of receiving it naturally in normal social situations. While having your child act this way can be frustrating, you can reduce or eliminate it by finding ways for your child to spend more time around peers.
Constantly Talks: At first, this sign may seem a little counter-intuitive. If a child is talkative, it’s easy to assume it’s because they’re comfortable being around people. However, if you’ve ever been around a child who talks so much that people actually shy away, you know what this sign looks like. The reason children get this way is because they do have an outgoing personality, but due to their circumstances, aren’t able to exercise it as often as they should. If you notice your child reaching this point, it’s time to start adding more dates to their social calendar.
Bored, Bored, Bored: There’s no child who isn’t going to be bored from time to time. This can even happen when a kid’s around other people. What can raise a red flag is if you notice that your child always seems bored when they’re supposed to be playing on their own. If a child actually wants this time to themselves, you’ll notice that they’re deeply interested in whatever they’re doing. But if a child seems almost lethargic when they’re in their room or the backyard, it’s probably a sign that they wish they could be sharing that time with someone else. If your child is in this position and you haven’t had a chance to do so, it’s worth seeing if there are any other kids around your child’s age in your neighborhood. Having a nearby play companion can be a great way to end your child’s lonely blues.