Why Kids Who Learn and Think Differently Might Feel Lonely
But research shows that kids who learn and think differently are more likely than their peers to struggle with loneliness. And they often have a harder time dealing with those feelings when they have them.
Why Kids Who Are Different Might Feel Lonely
There are lots reasons of kids who learn and think differently might feel lonely. For starters, they’re more likely to be bullied or left out. They can have a hard time making friends or connecting with people. And struggling in school and socially can make kids feel bad about themselves.
They may feel like nobody understands them or their challenges. And they might even withdraw.
Kids with certain challenges are most likely to feel left out and isolated. Things like trouble with:
- Making conversation
- Social skills
The Difference Between Being Lonely and Being Alone
Some people like spending time alone. That goes for kids and adults. As long as they have the ability to make friends and connect with other people when they want to, being alone is a preference, not a problem.
Just because kids are unhappy being alone, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lonely. They may just have a hard time entertaining themselves and are bored.
Also, loneliness isn’t always about being alone. Some kids feel isolated even when they’re with others. They feel like nobody around them shares or understands their challenges.
How Loneliness Can Impact Kids
When kids go through the occasional lonely spell, it usually doesn’t have a lasting impact. Feeling lonely all the time is different, though. It can affect kids in lots of ways. And it can lead to other difficulties.
Kids who feel lonely might be:
More likely to have low self-esteem. They might feel like others are rejecting them. Kids might lose confidence in themselves and eventually believe they have nothing valuable to offer.
Less likely to take positive risks. Trying new things can build confidence and lead to new interests and skills. But kids who are already feeling rejected and vulnerable may not want to take this leap.
More likely to be sad, disconnected, and worried. Kids deal with loneliness in different ways. They may keep their sadness inside and pull away from others.
More likely to engage in risky behaviors. Teens may drink, smoke or vape, use drugs, vandalize property, or do other risky things if they think it will help them feel accepted.
There are many ways to help your child handle feelings of loneliness. First, don’t try to force your child to become more social or make lots of friends. Instead, work on building self-esteem. Help your child find interests that lead to meeting new kids who like similar things.
Excerpted from “Why Kids Who Learn and Think Differently Might Feel Lonely” from Understood. For more details, read the full article online.
Source: Understood | Why Kids Who Learn and Think Differently Might Feel Lonely, https://www.understood.org/en/articles/how-loneliness-can-impact-kids-who-learn-and-think-differently | Copyright © 2014–2022 Understood for All Inc.
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