DO YOU AT TIMES FEEL THAT YOUR CHILD IS LONELY???

PEBBLES-PATRICE - posted on 05/08/2010 ( 44 moms have responded )

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MY DAUGHTER IS 3 AND AN ONLY CHILD.... I HAVE NO FRIENDS WITH CHILDREN HER AGE AND SHE GOES TO SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY EVERY OTHER WEEK BUT YET SHE IS STILL THE YOUNGEST....SHE TENDS TO GET ALL THE HOTTEST TOYS AND GAMES TO OCCUPY HER BUT SOMETIMES I THINK SHE IS ACTUALLY LONELY...DOES ANYONE ELSE FEEL THE SAME? OR SHOULD I NOT WORRY

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Gina - posted on 06/25/2012

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No need to worry! all children occassionally feel bored/lonely, sometimes having siblings makes it even worse, because if they don't get along, one child always ends up feeling hurt and rejected and there's nothing parents can do to make their children "like each other" or want to play together. She will catch up with her cousins and she will learn to entertain herself as well, all in due time. Right now she is still a toddler, which means she is just beginning to learn socialization, she still preffers playing with mommy or a trusted adult to playing with other children, that's all normal and the day will come when you'll miss your little girl because all she wants to do is "hang out with her bff's"

User - posted on 06/24/2012

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My son has said this weekend he is lonley and when I dropped him off at a friends before he patted me on the shoulder and said don't be lonely Mum, just pretend me and Dad are there. It took me by surprise, but I used the opportunity to say, " oh I enjoy the time to myself to just potter around". This has never really come up before, saying he is "lonely". I really didn't let myself get emotional becuase I knew if I did I would go right down. Anyway, nice to see other Mums ideas and thoughts.
I think if you have an only, you have to be prepared for these times and get them to socialise as much as possible without it being forced or not a mutual play.

Laura - posted on 10/22/2010

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One thing to keep in mind with only children is to make sure that you are not projecting YOUR feelings onto your child. As an adult we tend to think that an only would be lonely because that is how we think we might feel. There is also a difference between being alone and loneliness--one is a physical condition of being by oneself and the other is an emotional sense of isolation from others. Introverted kids (and adults) often like to be alone and do not consider themselves lonely. Some people may be in a crowd of people, interacting, yet have a profound sense of being lonely.

It is not uncommon for young onlies to want siblings, usually as playmates. One needs to remember that young children don't have a developed sense of "time/age" and often think that a sibling will be a peer, ready and able to play with them. While siblings that are close in age can often play with one another, siblings that are farther apart in age are less likely to be able to play together. My own daughter wanted a sibling when she was 4 -5 years old. She thought that a sibling would be a ready-made playmate! We had to explain that a sibling would have to start out as a baby (unless adoption is a consideration) and would not be able to play with her the way she thought. She would still need her friends to play with. When she started school she made friends who had siblings. A few playdates and sleepovers later, she told her dad and me that she no longer wanted a sibling! She told us that she liked not having to share our attention, her toys or room with anyone else. She also enjoyed her ability to have privacy! She has been involved in outside activities, both in school and out, since she was little (she's 12 now) and has friends to play with when she feels like it. If siblings are not an option or possible, be honest with the child about that fact. We had to tell our daughter that a sibling was not an option for our family which seemed to get her to shift her thinking on the subject.

One other point about onlies that often concern parents: siblings as a means of socialization. A recent study out of Ohio State University showed that only children are just as socialized as kids with siblings by the time they start school. By the time onlies reach middle school there was no difference in their social skills. The key is to have onlies involved in outside activities with other kids. These activities can be pre-school/daycare, reading programs at a local library, sports, Boys & Girls Club (my daughter's favorite place to go!), Scouts, classes at the YMCA, etc. My daughter has been involved in various programs since she was little and still is involved in Little League Softball and our library programs.

So my advice to moms of onlies: Don't feel guilty and certainly don't worry! Get your kids involved in something they are interested should they complain of being alone/lonely and plan on hosting playdates or sleepovers with friends. For older kids, encourage them to become active in school programs or sports. My daughter keeps quite busy and has a diverse group of friends and aquaintences through her school activities and Little League. Relax and good luck everyone!

User - posted on 08/19/2011

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yes my daughter is 8 9 in oct. we just moved to a small town in the country in ill. no friends yet she went from 25 kids in school to 7 . shes bored and seems angry all the time . my family is in peoria and her cousins too. what do i do

[deleted account]

The reality is she probably is lonely sometimes! My daughter is 4, and until 2 months before her fourth birthday she was in day care 50 hours a week... hello friends to play with. Now that she is home she actually comes out and says she is bored and I know she LOVES days when we get together with others. Have you thought about preschool this fall. This way you and she could make some "same age" friends and have some play dates...when I get frustrated with running around to play dates, I just remind myself that I need socialization, so it is only normal that she would too!

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Reema - posted on 06/03/2014

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Hi, I have Six year old son. I left his father when he was three. I try a lot for our both mother-son relationship. And make my Best not to make him feel lonely. However some day he came up saying " every friend of mine has a sister,mummy please get me a sister too". He really takes care of other samll children.I don't know how this idea of having a sibling came to his mind . though I too wanted a daughter. Now I can't afford to have a biological daughter.. all I can do is think of adopting a girl child in a year or two.

Goldie - posted on 06/26/2012

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yes!!! my child too!!!! and im so running out of ideas to make him happy! i just had a baby girl last year end and she is turning one this oct but she is too young to be able to play or run ard with her brother so my son is still lonely......

Melinda - posted on 08/22/2011

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I worry about this every day with my 6year old daughter. I grew up with a sister who was fairly close to my age and fear my daughter is not going to have the same. Unfortunately, I have not been able to convceive another child. I do my best to keep her invloved with other children as well as keeping her busy. As a mother you always want what is best for your child and you don't want them to feel lonely, hurt or confused. I would suggest getting her involved in some extracurricular activity to alow her to interact with other children. Also, plan family time or Mommy and daughter time to try to help fill that possible void. I hope this helps and good luck to you and your beautiful daughter.

Lori - posted on 08/08/2011

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I've also felt sad that we couldn't give my daughter a sister, which she has really wanted. It's been challenging, because she still has her lonely moments, especially during those times when no one is available to play and we can't find a playdate. Fortunately, as she's growing older, she's finding things she likes to do on her own, so it's getting easier. I've also enrolled her in lots of activities to keep her as busy as possible, and we've joined the Y so we have a place to go swimming. But I would love to know how other parents of "onlys" are solving this problem. Fortunately, my daughter is good at making friends, so she has several friends at school, and we also have our China travel group (my daughter is adopted from China), which is like family.

Lori

Megan - posted on 06/09/2011

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I think most parents of only children feel this way from time to time. As long as you go places where kids can meet other kids I think they adjust just fine. Luckily its summer and it makes it easier for a parent to do just that :)

Savitha - posted on 06/07/2011

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i tooo agree, even i have a daughter who will be 4yrs by july....she feels very lonely @ home.... she sometimes says that she has seen a baby boy who is far away and wants to come home... no idea how she is getting this ideas.....
and am lucky to stay near my parents house and while am @ work she stays in my parents place and both my daughter and my nephew who is of same age as hers plays together .... am so happy that she has some companion to play with but no idea for how long it will be like this......

Holli - posted on 06/07/2011

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I have a 7 year old daughter. The other day when I told her to pick up her toys she started crying and told me that she didn't want to. After talking through this fit, she told me that when her room was clean it made her feel lonely. This totally floored me! I had no idea. But, now I don't know how to help her. She can't have her room a mess just because it makes her feel better. She has a cat and loves him. But, I have noticed that sometimes she is rather rough with him. I don't feel guilty for not having any other children, but I don't know how to help her with her feelings of lonliness.

Sarah - posted on 02/26/2011

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hi i know how you feel, i have an 8 yr son and he tells me hes lonely,, and for that i feel guilty,, and i should spend more time doing things with him,, but i dont for whatever reason,, but dont worry too much i just look at i can give and afford to give him what he wants this way x

[deleted account]

I'm in exactly th same situation as yu; my son has just turned 3 & is the youngest of his cousins. There's only one that is younger than him - she's only a few months old, so he can't exactly play with her like he could a toddler !

I sometimes feel like he's lonely; especially at my house.

His dad has 3 younger brothers; 18, 13 & 11.. So they make it really fun for him to be there.

I'd love for him to have a sibling, but I'm single atm, so it wont happen for a while! :(

Greer - posted on 02/23/2011

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the world can be a lonely place and the sooner they can adapt the better off they will be. I have 2 sisters and I hear from them more now that i'm 13 hours away from them then when we were just round the corner we are all 4 years apart, my older sister aways left me behind when she was going out but i always had to take my little sister when the tables were turned.Sure it was probably eaier to have them when my mum died but nearly 3 years later haven't forfiled her wishes due to differances of opinion My husband has a sister 12 years and he ended up being nothing more then extra pocket money and someone to spoil her when he started working. I am not having anymore children, the world is too small My parents couldn't help me succed but they did the best they could divided by 3. I'm sure our children will be the world leaders like these people you may know a few.
•Kareem Abdul-Jabbar•Ansel Adams
•Steve Allen
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•Jeff Bagwell
•John the Baptist
•Candice Bergen
•Frank Borman•Bill Bradley
•Carol Burnett
•Mark Burnett
•Laura Bush
•Ada Byron
•Roy Cohn
•Chelsea Clinton
•David Copperfield
•Walter Cronkite
•Leonardo da Vinci•Sammy Davis Jr.
•Robert De Niro
•Nick Faldo
•Gerald Ford
•E.M. Forster
•Indira Gandhi
•Mahatma Gandhi
•Sarah Michelle Gellar
•Rudolph Giuliani
•Tipper Gore
•Cary Grant
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•Lillian Hellman
•Anthony Hopkins
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•Ted Koppel
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•Daniel Radcliffe•Nancy Reagan
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Michelle - posted on 02/21/2011

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I worried about that with my 3 yr old too. So, I got her active in ballet and children's sunday school/bible study. I also got myself active in Mother's of Preschoolers (MOPS-a nation-wide Chirstian org. for Moms). It allows time for her to play with kids her age and fellowship with other Moms. We are also blessed with a Moms Day Out where she get to play with other kids for 5 hrs once a week. Have you looked in to what your local churches offer for Moms? For most of the programs, you do not have to be a church member. I worry about her being an only child a lot, but I am learning not too. She will be blessed regardless. : )

Azza Jamila - posted on 01/26/2011

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Yes I always feel that. Since my son is already 6, I can simply ask him.

When he was 3, I enrolled him in a play-summer-school near our house. He developed self-confidence and social skills.

Maybe you can look for a toddler class or something, if you're worried that your child feels lonely.

[deleted account]

My son is 6yrs and he can get lonely when he doesn't have friends his age around him. As parents of only children, I feel we have to be more vigilant about insuring social interaction and friendships for our children than parents of siblings, because our children do not have siblings to always be around. It is just important to make sure they have a good peer group as it is to insure they have the best toys and games to occupy them when they are on their own--in fact, I'd almost say "more important." My son plays well on his own, but he will get lonely if he doesn't get to see a friend or two every couple of days or so.

Is she in any classes where she can meet other 3 yr olds and you can meet their parents and form friendships? Try a dance, yoga, art or music class. Many schools start at age 3 and some offer "mommy and me" classes for you to do together.

Emily - posted on 10/26/2010

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Yes my daughter seems desperately lonely. She asks for friends to come over. She demands I play Barbies with her all day everyday. She is starting to get real snotty when she plays with other kids now too. I am having to be very diligent with her as far as sharing and being nice is concerned. When she was three she was such a good playmate and now at four she seems to be slipping into the dreaded only child stereotype and I don't know where I went wrong. I can't wait for school to start so she can make friends and such. It will be so good for her to have someone to play with on a more regular basis.

Eugenie - posted on 10/21/2010

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Hi Pebbles, absolutely! Not only do I feel he is lonely - he is very vocal about it! My son is seven years old and ever since he was like three years old he has been asking about his brothers and sisters. I thought that he would be asking less and less but he is now asking more and more. I feel completely horrible for putting him through this, to the point where I wish I could put him back wherever he was. It doesn't matter how much fun he has outside with kids his age group, as soon as we walk through the door at home he gets very sad and often cries. I have done everything I think I am capable of doing: church, field games, kids clubs, and playing with him very often which is strenuous, as he always wants to play. I would have given him a brother or sister in a heartbeat, but the main ingredients are just not available....

If your daughter is not asking for siblings, you probably should not worry about it as some children are okay with being an only child. At three years old I think she would have already been asking. All the best Pebbles!

Hailey - posted on 10/20/2010

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yep my daughter 2 feel sorry for her somtimes i got no friendswith bbys are months old i have considerd havin another 1 to give her a playmate but i now that just givin me more time away from her cos id be concentrating on the new baby i take her baby clubs but she tends to play on her own i feel bad but she will be school soon makin friends

Deureka - posted on 05/17/2010

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MY SON IS 2 AND LOVES TO HAVE ALL THE ATENTION GIVEN... HE IS THE ONLY GRANDSON OUT HERE WITH HIS GRANDMA AND UNCLES, AND AUNTS LOVE HIM SO THEY SPOIL HIM... I TAKE HIM OUTSIDE HE ALL THE TOYS YOU CAN THINK OF
AND YET I FEEL MY CHILD IS LONELY... HE IS A LONELY 2 YEAR OLD

Kimberly - posted on 05/17/2010

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MY SON IS THE ONLY CHILD AND I THINK SOMETIMES HE GETS LONLEY BUT FOR THE MOST PART HE'S USUALLY HAPPY. ALTHOUGH HE'S TEN AND LOVE TO PLAY BASKETBALL AND VIDEO GAMES.

Shana - posted on 05/16/2010

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Oh goodness, that breaks my heart! I have a feeling that's exactly what's going to happen w/ my son when summer vacation starts. Sometimes I wish he had siblings too. I feel like I'm depriving him! But then I look at the world, global warming and food/water shortages, the recession and job scarcity, and the fact that I'm not ready for another child (despite what anyone thinks, nobody KNOWS until after they've had their first whether/when they'll be ready for a second), and it makes me happy to only have one! Maybe I'll have another someday, but for now I feel it's a better idea to try what I can (playgroups, parks, activities, maybe a pet, etc.) and let him be lonely until i find something! You're not failing or letting your child down if you try (which all of you are)!

Jo - posted on 05/16/2010

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I often think that with my daughter - especially as its coming up for summer, I do wish she had brothers or sisters to play with. I hate it when she comes in with a really sad look on her face and tells me that nobody is playing - I mean how many cakes can we bake? I also think because she spends so much time with adults - me and family - that she is way to old for her age, which is a pity because the grow up too fast as it is..:p

Tammy - posted on 05/16/2010

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My son is 12 and we are moving into a new neighborhood and I am very worried about him making new friends. So far, I have not seen any children his age.

Lynn - posted on 05/15/2010

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You should not worry. But I have felt that my son has felt lonely at times and have gotten him into groups and then he complains that he doesn't like the group he's in because it's not interesting enough or to many new kids. I feel that what ever you do let them figure out how to be more social. Maybe put her in daycare for awhile to see where she's at with making friends. My son can entertain himself for hours if I let him. He enjoys playing games with the family but knows that each of us need our own time also. He is less stressed this way.

[deleted account]

Not lonely as such, but I've noticed that him and other only children are more demanding of their parents time and stimulation. Sometimes it would be nice if there was another child in the family so they could entertain each other and give me a rest. I think there is a risk that parents of only children can end up becomming their child's slave because they're scared they'll get bored. I'm trying to resist this temptation. I think things will get better when he's in school full-time.

Shana - posted on 05/15/2010

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My son didn't have any other kids around his first two years. I'd take him to the store or the park and he'd just watch the other children in awe. I felt so bad, but as soon as I'd go home I'd shrug it off. At two, our pediatrician said he had a speech disorder. He started going to a center that offered playgroup (which we went to because it was highly suggested). It took him a while to adjust, but it has been SO good for him! I regret having ever shrugged off his apparent loneliness (because in retrospect, I think he really was). My advice is to research playgroups (or preschools) and find one that sounds good for your daughter, and just TRY it! I always dreaded the idea of conversing w/ other parents (especially ones I didn't know), but it's not so bad. And you'll love watching your daughter learn to interact w/ others!! :D

Vicky - posted on 05/14/2010

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I have an only child and I worry about him being lonely as well. He is nine now so has friends from school but we live in a rural community so there is no one near for him to play with after school. I have put him in different sports and programs to occupy his time which helps but there are still times when I know he longs for a sibling. We do as much as we can together but as I work full-time it is not always easy to drop everything and do what he wants. I will say it is getting easier the older he gets but there are times he looks so sad. Hang in there and maybe try some mommy and me programs you will meet other moms and your daughter will get to meet some new friends as well.

Serena - posted on 05/14/2010

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My son is eight and he definitely is lonely a lot of times and I find myself allowing my nephews to spend the night a lot in order to fill that void for him, because he does not like to be at home alone. Then there are times that he doesn't want any of them around. So, he has his moments.

Melissa (Missy) - posted on 05/14/2010

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my daughter is 5, and is always telling me she is lonely. she asks for a sibling a lot but I think all she really needs is a pet.

Ellen - posted on 05/14/2010

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my only daughter is now almost 10- and there are times I feel she's lonely-or bored as she calls it, so we let her friends sleep over at times and she does the same- only to certain really close families we know at school. When she was 3, we enrolled her to a pre-school so get to interact with kids and I think that's helpful. There are some public preschool,check your area, but if you can afford it, mostly are private preschools

[deleted account]

My son is almost 4. I think that he does seem lonely sometimes but am trying to help out with that. He is very shy and we've moved 3 times (about once every year) so we find it difficult to meet and keep new friends. We have joined sports groups recently and I'm hoping that he will be able to connect with some of the other children there. I'm an older mom (45 years old) and I find so many of the moms are quite young and we don't have much in common. I've heard that the parent's friends are dictated by the child's choices of kids to play with because that throws people together who wouldn't normally talk. We'll see...

Christa - posted on 05/13/2010

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yes, i do. my son is ten and an only child. i know he is spoiled because of this but he does not act it. in fact he is sometimes so lonely he becomes depressed. we live in the city where i cannot trust anyone with his care and he wants to be independent, but i am still afraid to let him do too much too fast.

Tomika - posted on 05/11/2010

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yes i feel the same way my son will b 3 n july and sometimes i feel like not fair to him that hes a only child he dont go to dat care yet so hes home most of the day my friends all have kids that r older and when we go c them he alwayswant to play with the big kids but they dont want him around,he has little cousins on dad side but rarely c them so i do feel the same way i dont think u shouldworry tho she will grow n to her own person an find her own friends soon enough. an she always got mommie to paly with

Tyneisha - posted on 05/11/2010

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Yes. my son is nearly one and its usually me and him all day until dad get home. There aren't any kids around his age and he's the youngest in the fam right now. He gets so excited to see other kids when we go out it breaks my heart sometimes

Alicia - posted on 05/11/2010

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My son hasn't expressed that to me yet, given he's only 3, but to me I don't think he feels lonely at all. Everyday (when weather permits) we go to the park, the beach, downtown for an ice cream, we play tag, hide n seek, soldiers, watch movies...Basically I do any activity he wants to do. I know alot of people don't have that kind of time to dedicate to their child (single and working full time) but I think as long as you show a true interest in what your child wants, or wants to do I don't think they'll feel as lonely if you were to get into the activities. You can't just throw toys at them and expect them to be like, YAY, WOW, especially only children. I dunno thats just my opinion on it, I hope I put some things into perspective :) Toodles

Missy - posted on 05/11/2010

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i always felt sorry for mine,i considered having one more for her..lol shes now 11 and it gets easier as they want to do more with friends and etc

Jessica - posted on 05/11/2010

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Absolutely! My son is 9 and an only child. He has everything you could imagine and still he's always bored. Sometimes I do wish I had 1 more child for him, but I really didn't want anymore children. I did play groups and parks when he was younger and now he's in school but I still notice that he doesn't make a lot of friends and I wonder if it's because he's used to being alone.

Michelle - posted on 05/10/2010

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I've often wondered the same thing about my son.I spend lots of time with him but it is'nt the same as another child his age. There is a little boy up the street that's 1 year older then Nick,but when we went over to his house to introduce them Nick seemed too shy to talk. I had to invite the little boy over to the yard to play w/ him. At home he is'nt shy one little bit, just the oppisite a little class clown( so to speak)

Kellie - posted on 05/09/2010

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My son is almost five and I'm a singel mom. We live on a farm with my parents and my grandpa with absolutly no children around. I do have him in Preschool, Sunday School, and Day Care so that he gets an oppertunity to play with other children. I also got involved with the Head Start program that provided socialazition oppertunites for both my son and for me. Toys are not a substitute for friends but you can be a playmate as well as her mom and when the two of you play you can teach her fun things about her world. She may be lonely but she will overcome and adjust to that if she has attention from you. Be careful you do not spoil her because you feel guilty. It backfires when she gets older.

Kellie - posted on 05/09/2010

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My son is almost five and I'm a singel mom. We live on a farm with my parents and my grandpa with absolutly no children around. I do have him in Preschool, Sunday School, and Day Care so that he gets an oppertunity to play with other children. I also got involved with the Head Start program that provided socialazition oppertunites for both my son and for me. Toys are not a substitute for friends but you can be a playmate as well as her mom and when the two of you play you can teach her fun things about her world. She may be lonely but she will overcome and adjust to that if she has attention from you. Be careful you do not spoil her because you feel guilty. It backfires when she gets older.

Kathie - posted on 05/09/2010

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Yes my daughter is an only child and I feel that she goes through lonely stages- says she has no one to play with or wants someone to play with- she is 5 now and is playing more by herself at home so hopefully she will outgrow the wanting a playmate. We went back and forth on having another but the older they get and you get out of the stroller, diapers diaper bag etc- it's harder to think about having another one- plus the older your daughter gets the chances of them playing together will be slim because they will be too far apart in age.

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