Much of the focus on loneliness is aimed at the elderly. Not before time, but they’re not the only group of people who feel lonely much of the time. Too many people begin their lonely lives when they are still children.
Lots of people hide their emotions, disguise how they feel and pretend that everything’s just fine. Truth is that we never know what’s really going on behind the disguise, let alone behind other people’s front doors. Loneliness can lurk behind the smartest doors and the busiest schedules.
Look again at the children around you. They may not say they feel lonely. You may not guess from their behaviour. But more children than you’d think feel lonely most of the time, and it has nothing to do with being alone. Loneliness feels lonelier if you’re around other people.
Chronic feelings of loneliness and isolation are high within these groups, for example:
Bullied children and their bullies; children who look after a sick parent; children of alcoholics; children with disabilities; children who have been scarred or disfigured; children with a parent in prison; children whose parents are focused on an ill or injured sibling; children who are expats or immigrants; children in a bereaved family…
Know kids who behave badly? Some of them maybe yearning for attention and don’t know any other way to get it; ‘attention-seeking” may be another way of saying “lonely”.