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Lonely Child Psychology: Are Children Who Feel Left Out Less Active?

Medically reviewed by Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS · Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jun 16, 2021

Lonely Child Psychology: Are Children Who Feel Left Out Less Active?

Many doctors believe children who feel left out or are used to being ostracized by friends are less active than the ones who are not. These children usually choose non-active pastimes rather than physical activities. Also, it says that the lack of physical activities and more engagement in sedentary behavior are prospectively related to obesity and other health conditions. Read to know more about lonely child psychology and ways to help your child.

Lonely Child Psychology – Studies and Surveys

Ostracism involves negative feeling experienced by a kid when they are forgotten or excluded from a friend’s group. It might or might not be a form of bullying. It can also be because of the kid being a specially-abled child or a kid who is different from the other kids in a certain way. There are many reasons why a kid might feel left out.

According to some studies conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a link between ostracism or bullying and a decline in physical activities. A kid might be excluded or left out due to his/her obesity. In both cases, the kid is only going to suffer more mental and physical adversities due to ostracism.

lonely child psychology

Lonely Child Psychology: What Parents Should Know 

Instead of playing physical activities such as football, jumping rope or basketball, a left-out kid usually chooses non-active pastime. They are more likely to draw, read books, play crossword puzzles, watch a cartoon, or play a computer game.

However, indulging in non-physical activities could lead to childhood obesity and cause the left-out child various other health troubles. For a long time, the fear of being left out can affect the kid’s emotional strength and stability. It could result in a lack of confidence, self-doubt or difficulty making new friends as they grow up.

Lonely Child Psychology: Ways to Help

Primarily, it is the parents’ responsibility to help their kids overcome ostracism. Parents themselves should participate in physical activities and games with their kids so that they don’t feel completely left out. You need to be aware of your lonely child’s psychology and take necessary steps to help them deal with it. Below are some simple techniques you may use and help your kid feel better. 

Listen to What Your Child Has to Say

If your kid complains about being left out, listen to him/her carefully without acting too quickly on it. Speak to other people – your kid’s friends, their parents or your child’s siblings to understand what’s the exact trouble. You intervening without being harsh might save your child from facing ostracism from his/her social circles.

Teach Your Child Independence

Sometimes, the factors or reasons for your kid to face ostracism is because of their friend circle could be extremely insignificant. It can impact your kid’s mental and emotional state.

Teach them how to be happy in their own company as well when required. This will make them strong and independent individuals as well when they grow up. 

Be Their Friend

Make time for your kid when they ask you to play with him/her. Grab that football, basketball, jumping rope and bring back those childhood days. You also need some exercise after all, don’t you? 

Help your kids make new friends wherever he/she goes. Encourage him/her to participate in physical activities outside of school. This will give your child opportunities to meet and interact with new people and make new friends.

The more your child is physically active and meets new people, the more he/she develops a friendly personality – not making him/her feel left out.  

Nurturing the Socio-Emotional Development of Preschoolers

Key Takeaways

Loneliness is a natural part of life. And so helping a child navigate this emotion early on will prepare them for the years to come, helping them to grow up into independent, well-adjusted, and emotionally healthy adults.

For any concerns, talk to your doctor about lonely child psychology.

Learn more about School Age Growth and Development here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ruben Macapinlac, MD, DPPS

Pediatrics · Philippine Pediatric Society

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jun 16, 2021

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