To know whether the child is a loner or alone, one needs to first understand the difference between these two words. “Loners” are basically those who enjoy their own company. They like being on their own and do not need outside stimuli to make them happy. In other words, they are self-sufficient.
On the other hand, “alone” describes those who are lonely because they cannot get into groups or mix with people. These kids are not lonely by choice. They just can’t seem to find a way out of it.So, if the child seems perfectly happy in doing their own thing then they are the loners. Whereas if the child seems unhappy and depressed on being on their own then they are craving for the company but are not getting any; in other words, they are alone.
One can tell this difference by observing the child from their childhood days. Some children are naturally sociable and readily go to other people, or crawl towards other babies nearby. On the other hand, some are introverted and shy and look at people from far. These are the children who find it difficult to mix with people and often end up being loners or alone. Needless to say, being alone is not their choice and they often become sad and depressed due to it. Also, loners might enjoy their time alone. And socializing is an important part of growing up as a complete individual. So it is important for the parents to help their child socialize.
What to do if the child is loner/alone-
There are a number of things parents can do in order to relieve their child of their loneliness.
The first step is thoroughly observing the child. Often, shyness is not the only reason for not being able to get along with others. Try to find out if there are any other problems bothering the child.
Children typically spend the major part of their day in school. Hence, parents may try to get together with the teachers and communicate to them the problems faced by the child. The teachers may include the child in school activities thereby helping them to interact with others.
A good friends circle often brings out the biggest loners out of their cocoon. Try to get in touch with the child’s classmates and make the child be friends with them. It is also very effective to get the company of an extroverted child as they often contribute towards opening up of the loner/alone child.
Parents can also enroll the child in some extracurricular activities. This gives them a lot of exposure and helps them to meet new people and make friends.
At times the introvert nature may be very strong and it may need professional counseling. Child counselors can provide effective ways of helping the child.Parents should be patient with their introverted child. It is not possible to change one’s nature overnight. The child will take time to open up and discover the happiness that comes with having good friends and companions. Till then, parents need to be supportive and understanding.