8 Keys to Taking Action When Your Child Is Excluded

Creating a space for dialogue and listening is one of the keys to taking action when your child is excluded at school. Keep reading.
8 Keys to Taking Action When Your Child Is Excluded

Last update: 19 May, 2022

School is a place where children develop friendships that last a lifetime. However, establishing these relationships isn’t always easy and at certain stages of childhood, it’s common to see that some children exclude others. And it may happen that it happens to be that your child is excluded.

What should parents do in these cases? Intervene? Talk to the school? Let’s see what the possibilities are.

You may be interested in: The Value of Childhood Friendship

Talking and listening: The first two keys

When parents discover that someones hurting their child, they feel really bad about it. We feel helpless and we’re left with that information that burns us, without going out to look for more.

Sometimes, our little ones tell us that they don’t play with anyone, but then we see that in reality, they don’t play with that “special someone” with whom they’d like to or they haven’t played with certain people for a few days.

Although the issue is relevant, it’s not as big a problem as it seems. This isn’t to say that it shouldn’t be taken seriously, as the child is having a hard time because of it. But the way to help them solve their discomfort is different depending on the case.

It’s very important to probe and know what’s wrong with our child. As adults, we should try to listen openly, without prejudices, to understand without underestimating or magnifying.

A child sitting on the ground outside school crying.
If your child is excluded from their peer group, find out more about it. Stay calm and engage in an open dialogue so that they can be honest with you.

What can you do at home when your child is excluded by other children?

Here are some strategies to accompany your child when they feel excluded and help them resolve difficulties with their peers. Take note!

1. Help your child to solve their difficulties

Often, the key is to work on children’s social and emotional skills at home. And the earlier, the better.

For example, if every time they make a mistake or lose at a game, they get angry and fight with their friends, eventually, no one will want to play with them. Therefore, although being excluded isn’t a pleasant situation, it’s best to take the lessons learned from this situation and reflect on them.

It’s important to accompany children in establishing interpersonal relationships and instill in them the necessary skills to bond healthily with others.

Justifying their behavior, looking for someone to blame, or only feeling sorry for them isn’t a solution to the problem. Helping them to resolve difficulties on their own will benefit them for life.

2. Contribute to strengthening their self-esteem

This involves reinforcing their achievements and attributes, helping them to feel confident in themselves and what they do, challenging them to learn, and encouraging them to achieve more. This way, they can also learn to cope with adverse situations.

3. Teach them to respect themselves

In relation to the previous point, it’s crucial to work on the idea that your child doesn’t have to change to please others or to be part of a group.

4. Help them to set limits and to say no

This also has to do with self-respect. That’s to say, it’s not necessary for them to submit to “friendship tests”, to do things that aren’t to their liking, or to tolerate humiliation or teasing just to have friends.

It’s crucial to reinforce the concept that friendship is a relationship that should do good and that the feeling that’s produced between two friends has to be mutual.

5. Encourage them to talk and express their emotions

If your child is very quiet, you can try some open-ended questions that encourage them to tell you more about their day at school. Also, you can share your school experiences from years ago, or how you felt at work during the day.

Children need to know that the family is a safe and trusting environment to express themselves and that talking doesn’t make them “dumb”, “crybabies” or vulnerable.

6. Never underestimate how your child feels

This is crucial, especially if they approach you to tell you what’s happening to them. It’s important to get involved with the situation and, if necessary, involve the school.

First of all, we must assess the seriousness of the matter and help the child with advice and tools so that they can resolve their own school conflict. This way, we reinforce their value and don’t turn them into a passive victim.

However, everything will depend on how things are presented. It’s one thing if one of their classmates does not invite them to play at home after class. But if the whole group insults or bullies him at recess, then the problem is much more serious.

A mother and son walking in the park and looking at one another.
Share your life experiences with your children and offer them advice and tools to help them succeed on their own. Encouraging them to feel useful is much more beneficial than feeling sorry for them.

7. Talk to your child and encourage them to recognize the friendships they already have

You may have one or two friends, but it’s valuable to surround yourself with those who do appreciate you.

8. Sign your child up for a sport or activity outside of school

This strategy can work as a fresh start and an opportunity to meet new people with whom to share interests. Connecting with others can help children build self-esteem and confidence to handle their own attachments.

Find a time of day to share experiences with your children

Once children agree to share with us how they’re feeling, we need to help them strengthen some skills and develop others. Knowing what motivates the problem will allow us to proceed appropriately.

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  • Zayas Pérez, Federico, & Castellanos Pierra, Lidia Isabel (2019). La exclusión entre pares: sus implicaciones en la formación de los y las estudiantes. Diálogos sobre educación. Temas actuales en investigación educativa, 10(19), .[fecha de Consulta 19 de Abril de 2022]. ISSN: . Disponible en: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=553461754003
  • Razeto, Alicia. (2016). El involucramiento de las familias en la educación de los niños: Cuatro reflexiones para fortalecer la relación entre familias y escuelas. Páginas de Educación9(2), 184-201. Recuperado en 19 de abril de 2022, de http://www.scielo.edu.uy/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1688-74682016000200007&lng=es&tlng=es.