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Top tips for parents and young people to fight youth isolation

Parents walking with child
Lonely parent walking with children (Babyradio.gr)

Speaking about own isolation is probably one of the most difficult tasks for everyone, but especially for young people and their parents. In fact, many young people refuse the idea of chatting directly with them. Instead, they prefer to talk with friends about this.

Some parents might know the problem and ignore it. However, many of them don’t speak about isolation because they simply don’t know this problem exists at home.

Not speaking openly and ignore the problem could have very damaging effects for both, young people and parents.

Just image the situation: a young person who feels lonely without any support at home and a parent who is not able to help her/his children because she/he doesn’t know what happens.

Scale of loneliness

Lonely child sitting in a park (MyAspergerchild)

In this contxt, loneliness and youth isolation have become very serious issues during the last years for parents and young people.

In England, more than 20% of young people between 16 and 24 years old reported feeling lonely sometimes. Furthermore, almost 10% of them said that they always feel lonely, according to the last report about circumstances associated with loneliness of the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Many parents also face problems with isolation. According to the same report, 25% of adults between 35 and 44 years old in England reported feeling sometimes lonely. Additionally, over 10% of the same age group said that they always feel alone.

Knowing how dangerous and damaging isolation is for parents and children, how can they fight against this problem?

Tips for parents

Many parents believe that asking directly to their children if they feel alone is very simple. It could be a very good start, but it is also very important to know what they should and shouldn’t do when dealing with children or young people who are affected by isolation:

Dos:

  1. Ask questions and listen carefully to young people
  2. Offer comfort and support to young people and suggest possible solutions
  3. Create a friendly environment at home
  4. Encourage young people to suggest solutions

Don’ts:

  1. Assume the other children are bullies
  2. Become very protective with children could be helpless
  3. Complaint to the teacher immediately
  4. Tell the child that he/she shouldn’t feel that way

How can parents know if their children feel lonely?

According to Action for Children, there are some signs that could suggest that a child is feeling lonely:

  • Always comes out of school alone.
  • He or she isn’t invited on play dates
  • Doesn’t go out with mates or have them around
  • Seems to have a cloud over their head and sighs to themselves a lot
  • Says that they feel sad or depressed
  • The child also spend a lot of time by him/herself in their room.  

Nevertheless, alone doesn’t mean lonely. Many young people enjoy spending time by themselves in different activities. This doesn’t mean that they are lonely.

Tips for young people

Ending isolation is not only the parents’ task. Young people also need to speak openly and take part too. In conclusion, working together is the best way to find the right solution and tackle this problem.

The following video shows useful and interesting tips for young people when speaking with their parents about their own loneliness.

This article has been written based on the information of Action for Children, The Wall Street Journal, ONS, Scanva.org

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