Loneliness has increased as a result of a very strange couple of years where we have been more isolated than ever before. Whilst some people seek and may also even like, solitude, others can experience great sadness when feeling disconnected and alone.
What can we do help our children if they begin to feel lonely?
- Firstly, it’s ok to feel lonely. We all experience times when we feel lonely, where we seek connection and contact but can’t access it. It is important to validate feelings of loneliness and let children know that it is often temporary and very normal.
- Encourage your children to problem solve. If they feel lonely, ask them to think about what might help. As parents, we have a natural instinct to solve our children’s problems. However, when we jump in before they have had an opportunity to experience the emotion and problem solve themselves, we deny them an opportunity to build their resilience and tolerance for uncomfortable emotions. Give your child time to tell you how they feel. Be curious in understanding exactly why and when they feel lonely and then problem solve together.
- Encourage them to find their passion points. The easiest and best way for children to make meaningful connections is through shared interests. Spend time supporting your child in identifying what they are passionate about. Whether it’s sport, art or even a love of comics, identify your child’s passion points with them and then seek opportunities for them to connect with like-minded people.
The most important social skills for children’s development
As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want them to have the necessary skills to enable them to thrive and social skills for kids are increasingly being recognised as hugely valuable to teach in addition to mainstream subjects.
In the early years of parenthood, we are overwhelmed with information to support us. Whether it is help weaning onto food, getting into a routine or even classes to help them interact with other kids, our hands are held through the very early stages of parenting. Once our children start school, their academic education is in the safe hands of the schools we choose. However, when our children lack confidence, need help communicating their feelings or ideas, or need to be more resilient in the face of challenges, where do we go to access help to support them? Where can parents go to have their ‘hands held’ through the next stage of their children’s life?
Good social skills are paramount to helping kids thrive in the modern world.
In a paper on “The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Work Place”, David Deming identified that jobs requiring high levels of social interaction grew between 1980 and 2012.
However, where do we anticipate children learn and develop these social skills? and how do we support children in developing and excelling in life-skills? Here at Role Models we can help children to develop the most important social skills, offering a variety of award-winning online and offline courses to boost confidence, leadership, and communication.
Developing the 6 key social skills
At Role Models, we have identified six of the most important socials skills for children to develop.
These are key areas that are fundamental to enabling children to succeed and thrive in the modern world, enhance friendships and combat loneliness.
Leadership skills will help your child to stand up and be heard. Our leadership offerings focus on developing emotional intelligence and communication skills – allowing your child to build their confidence and showcase their natural personality.
Being able to interact and communicate, having the socials skills necessary to problem solve, being resourceful and resilient are all fundamental to success later in life.
Resilience encourages your child to believe that anything can be achieved when they put their mind to it. Our resilience course focuses on developing your child’s growth mindset – helping them to push outside of their comfort zone, embrace new experiences and thrive in any situation.
3. Creative problem solving
Creative problem solving enables your child to develop their own ideas. Our courses encourage your child to consider, evaluate and find solutions to problems whilst building confidence in their own ideas, and their own path.
A study by Penn State and Duke University found that children who were better at sharing, listening, cooperating, and following the rules at age five were more likely to go to college. They also were more likely to be employed full-time by age 25.
Collaboration skills allow your child to thrive in group situations. Our courses aim to get your child communicating and working effectively with others. We want them to be heard, whilst they support and encourage others to achieve a shared goal; cooperating means working together to achieve a common goal. Kids who cooperate are respectful when others make requests. They also contribute, participate, and help out. Good cooperation skills are essential for successfully getting along within a community.
5. Growth Mindset
Helping your child to develop a growth mindset will positively impact their outlook on life. All of our resources and courses will teach your child the skills and attitude to overcome any obstacle. We focus on the everyday ways in which growth mindset can change your child’s life.
We help children to believe in themselves and feel positive and empowered. All of our courses and sessions focus on different areas of self-confidence, from believing in your own abilities to overcoming setbacks.
My free webinar “Top Tips for Developing Confidence in Early Years” explores ways in which we can help our children develop those all-important confidence skills from an early age so that we can empower every child to feel proud of what they can do and to believe in their potential.
Laura is at the helm of Character Education at Role Models. She has over 12 years teaching experience and has also studied Psychodynamic Therapy, which she has used to enhance her practice working with both children and families. Please visit our Role Models expert page to get in touch with Laura and find out about the resources available.