My only child (daughter, age 9) seems to be very lonely, I can't have anymore children, What should

Lisa - posted on 10/12/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My daughter has expressed several times to me that she is a very lonely child. I can't have anymore children and my husband is very skeptical about adoption. My daughter sometimes seems depressed, I want her to be happy but how can I help her? I always encourage her to play with other children hoping that this will help, but she still seems to be lonely. Any advice will be very appreciated.

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Jennifer - posted on 10/18/2009

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I guess I'm surprised that girls are complaining about being bored and lonely when, by design, they are much more suited for "independent" play unlike boys who are "pack" players... Being an only girl with 2 brothers growing up, I was frequently alone - but I was also outgoing and had lots of friends... I suppose if she were shy, and tentative, that could feed into her "lonliness"... Lots of posts have suggested activities to "keep her busy" and "so tired when she gets home that she won't think about being lonely" - but even kids WITH siblings can be lonely. There's a difference between being ALONE and being lonely. Part of the challenge is helping your daughter to be happy with herself - alone with her own thoughts and feelings and imagination. Otherwise, you'll just be raising a lonely kid who is kept busy until she becomes a lonely adult. Just my two cents...

Shannon - posted on 10/17/2009

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I have the same problem with my 9 year old. She does have a couple of friends who are "lONLY's" also and we moms try to get them together each weekend at one of our houses and we also try to keep them in the same activities. Like the same ball team, same dance class etc. It is tough when we are at home and on weekends we can't get together but I try to keep her schedule full (one of the perks of having only one you can afford to let them do more things.) and the grandparents will help out and take her shopping or to the movies.

Teresa - posted on 10/15/2009

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I have the same problem, my daughter will 9 this month and she has always complained of being lonely also. There a few kids in our neighborhood close to her age, which dosen't help. We put her in the brownies and she has made lots of friends her age, has got to particpate in lots of activities, that may be an option for you. Also our public library has a story time for her age group one day a week, she gets to hang out with kids there. Maybe they have something like that where you are. My heart goes out to you and your daughter Lisa.

Heather - posted on 10/13/2009

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Maybe you could start her with some play dates or something.. You know like so many times a week invite 1 or 2 friends over and maybe you can find another mother you trust to do the same..Also maybe let her have a sleep over on weekends every now and then. Also if you live in a community with lots of kids you can do little get togethers like a couple neighbor kids come over for a picnic or something like that.

Christella - posted on 11/13/2009

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Have lots of play dates, socialize with other mothers, hopefully that will work.

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Angela - posted on 07/25/2014

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How about a win-win situation? Have her begin volunteering with animals and/or the elderly. Helping to walk dogs at the Humane Society or similar provides assistance, exercise, and companionship, as well as builds character. Same applies to visiting the elderly and playing a game of cards or simply serving lunch to them. Or if she has a talent, she can sing for them or play the piano. In the evenings, perhaps she can pick up a hobby like sewing with a machine. She can then make clothes for dolls, pets, and eventually even herself! Or even just sewing the edges of a fabric to make her own blanket! Another idea is to get her some blank notebooks and a bunch of random stickers, then have her draw pictures around the stickers - this is how my daughters became very interested in drawing, and my 12-year-old spends tons of time drawing now on her own. And none of these ideas involves a lot of money or any electronics, can be done during almost any weather, etc. Good luck!!!

Angela - posted on 07/25/2014

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How about a win-win situation? Have her begin volunteering with animals and/or the elderly. Helping to walk dogs at the Humane Society or similar provides assistance, exercise, and companionship, as well as builds character. Same applies to visiting the elderly and playing a game of cards or simply serving lunch to them. Or if she has a talent, she can sing for them or play the piano. In the evenings, perhaps she can pick up a hobby like sewing with a machine. She can then make clothes for dolls, pets, and eventually even herself! Or even just sewing the edges of a fabric to make her own blanket! Another idea is to get her some blank notebooks and a bunch of random stickers, then have her draw pictures around the stickers - this is how my daughters became very interested in drawing, and my 12-year-old spends tons of time drawing now on her own. And none of these ideas involves a lot of money or any electronics, can be done during almost any weather, etc. Good luck!!!

Gloria Fenton - posted on 07/25/2014

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But my daughter already has two dogs and three cats.I don't do play dates and I live in jamaica.

Anna - posted on 07/13/2014

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When I used to be the only child,I felt lonely and upset a lot but you know what,I thought about why I'm lonely a and that I couldn't force my mum to have anymore children.so i took it up to the next step and asked for a dog! my mum was already worried about my health so gladly said yes the dog has helps me to be happy and I love him

Lori - posted on 11/15/2009

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I'm a single mom of 13 year old Brandon - my only child. On half days from school, Brandon has friends from school over to the house to play till like 4 or 5 pm. We start out with lunch, then I give the kids choices of what they can do. Plus, my son is also on a Junior's Bowling league once a week, and does Karate 3 to 5 days a week.

User - posted on 11/03/2009

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Try becoming a host mother to a foreign exchange student. The approval process is very easy, your child will gain a new sibling and be enriched by someone from a different culture.

I have a lovely young lady from Kyrgyzstan that has added to me and my 4 year old so life.

The organization I went through was PIE intercultural Exchange. www.pieusa.org

You can select your own student for a full school term or half a semester. The student also receives their own monthly stipend to help with school supplies and personal. The host parent does not receive any money to host. The host parent only needs to provide is love and support.

Nastasha - posted on 10/31/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

I guess I'm surprised that girls are complaining about being bored and lonely when, by design, they are much more suited for "independent" play unlike boys who are "pack" players... Being an only girl with 2 brothers growing up, I was frequently alone - but I was also outgoing and had lots of friends... I suppose if she were shy, and tentative, that could feed into her "lonliness"... Lots of posts have suggested activities to "keep her busy" and "so tired when she gets home that she won't think about being lonely" - but even kids WITH siblings can be lonely. There's a difference between being ALONE and being lonely. Part of the challenge is helping your daughter to be happy with herself - alone with her own thoughts and feelings and imagination. Otherwise, you'll just be raising a lonely kid who is kept busy until she becomes a lonely adult. Just my two cents...


I like.

Nastasha - posted on 10/31/2009

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Your not alone, my 7 year old daughter feels the same way I cant have any more kids because im not married and don't know if im ever going to be. I always reassure her that Jesus is around and so is her guardian angel, that helps ease her loneliness a little for she really does not understand sometime. but she will one day. I'll say a prayer for y'all. bye.

Diane - posted on 10/31/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

My only child (daughter, age 9) seems to be very lonely, I can't have anymore children, What should

My daughter has expressed several times to me that she is a very lonely child. I can't have anymore children and my husband is very skeptical about adoption. My daughter sometimes seems depressed, I want her to be happy but how can I help her? I always encourage her to play with other children hoping that this will help, but she still seems to be lonely. Any advice will be very appreciated.




Try some parrots.  I have a senegal. He loves to cuddle under the blankets with me.  Wants to be held all the time.  Conures learn to build a good vocabulary, if you have the money, buy two conures.



Get larger parrots as well.  Let her build a school of them.  Kids like to play school and house, get her a large playhouse where she can place the birds in, tell her she's the queen and the parrots are the soldiers and servants.



But most of all, you have to get Cockatiels, they are wonderful for when someone is sad and depressed and lonely.  When my husband was ill and I was very lonely.  My birds made me so so happy.  I'm serious, sometimes they (cockatiels) are looking up to the roof, and you would bet that they were talking to 'Angels'. 



Take advantage of the nature that is here before us.  Start with the cocka tiels.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/31/2009

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I hope I do not experience this but I try to keep my son very actice. Right now he is in karate 5 days a week so he gets a lot of exposure with other kids. Maybe you can consider gymnastics for your daughter where she can build her own circle of friends over a lengthy time as that "sport" is year round. Or you can take her to do simple things like the park or a small "family entertainment center" where she can play with other kids. I'm sorry she feels this way and I know it is hear-wrenching to see our children sad. I hope you are able to ease her pain soon.

Carol - posted on 10/30/2009

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my son (turning 10 today) stopped asking for brothers or sisters after we moved closer to my sister (who has 2 boys). somehow my son realized there's alot of responsibilities when playing with younger children and decided not to ask for sibling anymore. but he gets bored quite easy. I try to talk to him about "how to be a only child, deal with lonelyness" even tho i am not. we disguss what's the benefit of being only child and what and how should/can he do when he's bored. we purposely educate him to be strictly responsible of his action, his decisions at younger age. we do not stop him from trying new things because he's the ONLY and we don't want him to miss any oppurtunities that others could learn from siblings. i do believe there's nothing much we can do for the only child but try to teach him be well self-control, responsible and make good/right decisions. and yes, it is heart breaking when see his "lonely looking face".

Jessica - posted on 10/30/2009

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i'm glad i checked the postings tonight. i'm having trouble with my 10 yo having the same request - a sibling. i don't want to have anymore children. i was mortified last week when her teacher asked me how my other daughter and son were. i had to tell her i didn't have any other children. needless to say we were both shocked! i'm glad i joined this community. i got some good ideas!

Vandy - posted on 10/30/2009

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have you thought about getting her an aminmal that she can take care of and talk to? I did that with my little girl. I can not have anymore children and she started getting lonely so me and my husband bought our child a dog and she hasn't been any happier.

Julia - posted on 10/22/2009

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I really think that having a second child would not solve the loneliness problem at all! Children think that siblings make their lives full of joy and happiness and there`s no more loneliness but you know that`s not true. If child is 9 years old, the second child will propably never be that what she needs not to be lonely. So I think you don`t have to worry about not having another child but to concentrate on other things you can do about her not beeing so lonely.



My daughter actially hasn`t asked siblings very much and I have told her that having a sister/brother is not an option and would not become her playmate. It has helped a lot to go to visit families with many children. My daughter has seen and experienced little babys who interrupt bigger childrens plays and she finds them really annoying.



So, what to do when you can`t have another child? We are living in an area where there`s a lot of same aged children. We decided that if our daughter won`t get enough friends in this area we will move to an area where are much children. Mette has 5-10 friends here so there`s basicly always someone to see her. When there`s not, we go to movie with her or something. We also play boardgames. It`s my dearest hobby and we have over 100 boardgames, so there`s a lot to play. Mette also has 2 hobbies.



We have 15 animals (critters: guineapigs, hamsters, mouse, rats, then bunnies, dog and a cat). Of course Mette takes care of them and treats them every day and plays wiht them. If your family don`t have allergies maybe little animal for your daughter would be nice? Of course you don`t need to have many animals, one or two is good too and makes child many times really glad. It also teaches responsibility!

Rachel - posted on 10/21/2009

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Is she involved with any activities? A consistant activity like gymnastics for example allows a child to be in a social network. Encouraging her to play with other kids may not be enough. You may have to put her in a position where she doesnt really have a choice but to interact. Once she breaks out of her shell she will become more involved with friends and most likely focus less on the loneliness.

Monique - posted on 10/17/2009

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My 9 year old son is always saying he's bored. So my husband and I put him in Boy Scouts, he goes every Monday, hes also in Soccer, he goes every Tuesday, Thurday and have games every Satuday, and then he have Karate every Friday. So we just keep him busy. Then we have some of his soccer friend come over after the game on Satuday. And we also take our son somewhere every Sat. That is our Family day and then we rest on Sunday. So I say just keep her busy.

Laura - posted on 10/16/2009

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My only child (just turned 10) was in the Big SIsters program but it was through school. She got an hour or so at school to spend playing games, drawing, being on the computer, etc with an older girl (college). She so looked forward to Tuesdays knowing her "big sister" would be there in the afternoon. Perhaps you could ask your scool board to look into adopting this program at their schools? I'm sure that there are dozens of only children at the school that could benefit from it.

Lisa - posted on 10/15/2009

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Thanks to all for your suggestions, I am going to let her have more sleepovers. She does get out a lot , the problems start when she is at home. She gets bored very easily.

Rose - posted on 10/15/2009

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Same boat here, 9 year old son and we're in our 50s ourselves. I've got him into all sorts of sports etc. so by the time he gets home he's too tired to think about being lonely!! I'm an only child myself born to older parents and I can remember being too sheltered and protected so I never got to stand on my own two feet when I should have done. I'm determined not to have the same thing happen to my lad so I let him go here there and everywhere (having vetted the situation first of course!) I really think the answer is to get her out and get her active. Good luck!

Derya - posted on 10/14/2009

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I know what you mean. I'm in the same boat. I have a 7 yo and she keeps asking me for a sister or brother and it's just sooo heart breaking...

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