Sad and Lonely

Đán’s English teacher reached out to us because she was concerned about his expression of feeling sad and lonely. He drew sad faces on the back of his assignment sheets and often placed a sad face on his online profile. He made passing comments that he had never felt real happiness. He thought that no one liked him.

After reading his teacher’s note, my wife and I had a talk with him. He told us that he felt lonely during recess at school. When he played football with his friends, no one passed the ball to him. He sat at the “buddy bench,” but no one wanted to be his buddy. We didn’t even know about the buddy bench until he explained it to us. The bench was intended for any students who didn’t have anyone to play with and would like someone to play together. It seemed like an interesting concept, perhaps.

We asked Đán if he felt lonely at home and he said no because he had his older brother Đạo to play with. He also shared that he felt sad sometimes when we rushed him and raised our voices in the morning trying to get him to school on time. We promised him that we will make that change. Later on, when we were driving home from their ice hockey practice, Đán told Đạo that things had changed after Đao left for Robinson. He said that kids sweared a lot more. We had the impression that he missed having his brother around at school.

Now that we are aware of his emotions, we check on him more often. We should also give him space to hang out with his friends outside of school. We usually have family activities like scouting, learning ice hockey, going to the skateparks, and eating out.

We appreciate his teacher for sharing her concerns with us. It shows that she cares about his well being as well as his happiness.