Children get to a point where they get bored and lonely. You will notice them becoming moody and grumpy even if they are not able to identify the reason behind their mood or even label their emotions. Children can sometimes ask directly for your company and some play time or even do random things just to get your attention. A lack of stimulus is a dangerous thing for anyone, at any age and in any environment. People need constant stimulus from the environment and the people around them and theories have shown that a negative stimulus is better than none at all. So make sure you provide your child constantly with positive stimulus and even teach them to do it themselves.
Loneliness and boredom are not easy to handle but the good part is that there are some ways you can understand your child’s mood, help him deal with his emotions and overcome them:
Help your child identify his emotions and their cause. When your child is in distress, help him identify what he is feeling and why he is feeling that way. It’s important to see if he is bored and lonely or there is another important issue you should attend to.
Look beyond the behavior he is displaying. If your child is being naughty and throwing tantrums don’t start yelling at him automatically. He might be just craving some attention and doing anything he can to get it. You should try to see what his real needs are at that moment. Excess eating is also a sign of boredom and lack of stimulus.
Deal with your alone time in a healthy way. You should try to be a positive example for your child by dealing with all aspects of life in a constructive and positive way. Nobody is perfect but you should be able to model some healthy behaviors for him to copy in each area of your life. Amongst many other things, he should also know that nothing is wrong with being alone sometimes. Show him that you are able to enjoy your alone time and have some hobbies and activities you enjoy doing by yourself.
Provide him with options. He should be able to choose from a variety of activities that he can enjoy in his free time. Don’t just leave your kid in front of the TV all day long and expect him to grow happy and emotionally balanced. Put some books in his room, some crafting and painting tools, buy him a pet. It’s also important to make him enjoy art, nature and everything around him. Show him that being in the garden in silence can fill you with joy and that listening to good music can be a wonderful experience. If he understands the beauty around him, he can never get bored.
Provide connection and a secure attachment. If you develop a secure attachment, your child won’t get anxious when he is being left alone. He should know you are always there for him when he needs you and he is never truly alone in order to be relaxed and explore the world on his own. A safe base will give him the confidence he needs to be able to detach himself from other people without getting anxious about it.
Find balance. Don’t leave him alone for too long. It’s healthy to be able to be alone but he should also spend time with others, develop his social skills and value and enjoy the company of those around him.