Do you feel lonely?
Do you have fun and feel good when you hang out with your friends?
Humans are social beings. Interacting with others has a big impact on us and when we don’t get enough positive social interaction, it can have a negative effect on our mental health and lives.
As you get older, it is very common for your relationships with friends to become more important. That’s why it’s important to try and develop healthy relationships and surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and help you be a better person.
Only 55% of children in Canada report a high level of life satisfaction and 27% rate feeling sad.
What does social life look like for Kelowna kids?
Our research looked at loneliness and positive social interaction with friends to measure social health.
On average, Kelowna Youth are positive about their social health – most do not feel lonely and most have fun with friends! But social health changes as you get older and tends to be different depending on your gender.
In elementary school, boys find it harder to have positive social relationships. More boys report feeling lonely (13% compared to 9% of girls) and more boys (10%) compared to girls (4%) do not have fun with friends.
This changes in middle school where 20% of girls report feeling lonely, whereas only 9% of middle school boys report similarly.
Difficulty with friends is similar in boys and girls in middle school, with 8% of middle schoolers not having fun with friends.
What does it mean to be lonely?
We often feel lonely when we are physically alone, but sometimes it’s because we feel like people don’t understand us or “get it”.
It can be scary to tell people how we feel or what we are thinking, especially when it’s not good. That’s called being vulnerable and sharing those thoughts and feelings with others can help you feel less lonely. Sometimes, sharing with others is also a really good thing for them because they may have felt the same way and were afraid to tell you!
What does all this mean?
Your friends and classmates are going to have a really big impact on you and your life. While a lot of kids in Kelowna have positive social lives, you can also see that there are a whole bunch that don’t. That means you aren’t alone!