Has your child come home crying or upset because he or she was excluded from a birthday party or sleepover invite? We’ve all been there (even as adults, too)! Here are some strategies to help your child when they are feeling left out.
1. Validate their feelings.
Sometimes all it takes is a willing ear and some empathy to help your child overcome their upset feelings. Encourage them to tell you what happened and how it made them feel. Don’t try to “fix” anything, but help them work through their feelings and how they want to handle that particular situation.
2. Share your own experiences.
Share your own experiences with your child about feeling left. Letting your child know they are not alone may help immensely.
3. Role play.
Encourage role playing with your child if they are struggling to make social connections or are struggling in certain social situations. This will help build their confidence and make them more comfortable to confront certain social scenes.
4. Help pursue other appropriate friendships.
Is your child trying to be friends with the “mean group” or a girl that is known for her bullying ways? Help your child pursue appropriate friendships with kids that have shared interests and who will value all the wonderful qualities your child brings to the table.
5. Discuss what is controllable.
Help your child work through understanding that he or she cannot control what other people say or do. The only thing your child can do is control how they react to a particular situation. This will empower your child to feel confident in those situations.
6. Get involved in activities.
Is your child an artist or an athlete? Get your child involved in activities that showcase their interests and talents. This will help them develop friendships with children with shared interests and boost their confidence at the same time.
Help your child through the rough waters of feeling left out with these strategies!