Social Problems


Social Problems

Friendships are important for a child’s development. They provide children with a sense of belonging and a feeling of being valued, both of which contribute to the development of healthy self-esteem.

All children are different. Some children will be happy sharing close friendships with a small number of peers, while others will be socially outgoing and want a large group of friends. If your child is happy with their friendships then there’s no real cause for concern, but if your child has trouble making and keeping friends and is distressed by this it may be necessary to seek outside help. While some children have a natural and innate ability to develop the social skills necessary for building friendships, others require additional support and intervention.

Children with lagging social skills are also at higher risk for bullying. Bullying can be physical (hitting, spitting, pinching), verbal (name calling, teasing), or social (social exclusion, rumours, misrepresenting someone on Facebook), and can occur face to face or via technology (Facebook, mobile phones). Whatever the form, bullying can:

– Make a child feel lonely and helpless
– Negatively affect a child’s self-esteem
– Make a child feel anxious and unsafe at school
– Increase a child’s risk for depression
– Make a child feel rejected, confused, and ashamed

Unfortunately, children often feel embarrassed that they’re being bullied and keep the bullying a secret. Warning signs that might indicate your child is being bullied include:

– School refusal or anxiety about school
– A sudden increase in dirty or torn clothing
– Withdrawn behaviour at home and not wanting to talk about it
– Sleep problems
– A loss of interest in activities
– Changes in behaviour, including unusual aggressive behaviour
– Noticeable changes in appetite