No one likes to be excluded — especially kids.
But parents need to know how to respond when this happens. They need guidance on how to help their child wade through the difficult waters of bullying.
excluding others is a classic form of bullying, and the victim of exclusion experiences just as much trauma as a child who would be classically bullied.
If the problem is within your own family, it is much easier to solve.
We have six kids and there are times when certain ones tend to be left out.
Their age and overall personality tends to contribute to the “exclusion factor.”
As the parent, I try to watch out for this and encourage the siblings to always play together.
If kids are purposely leaving out another child, their attitudes should be dealt with immediately.
No exceptions. Excluding others is a dangerous practice to allow in your home. You have to stop it immediately.
God says to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
How much more should we love our very own brother or sister? Shunning a child from participating in a game or fun activity is going against Ephesians 4:32:
“And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted…”
The exclusion problem becomes more complicated if it is initiated by someone outside of your family.
When should you step in and say something?
When should you talk to their parents?
The answers are not always crystal clear.
Even in unpleasant circumstances these parenting tips are a great way to get started. Think of it as your emergency guide book to dealing with this situation. I truly hope it helps your family overcome this sensitive issue!
How to Cope When Your Child is Being Excluded
- Talk it out. First, take time to sit down with your child and find out why he or she thinks other kids are shunning them.
Is your child being bossy? Is your child demanding they play what he or she wants every single time? Does your child pout when he or she loses?
Putting all the pieces together will help you make a wiser, more informed decision.
- Give comfort. If your child is not typically bossy, demanding or whiney, take time to be the listening ear that everyone needs.
Sometimes a completely innocent child is shunned and excluded for no apparent reason.
Your child needs a friend to vent to.
Just listen and comfort in times like these. Offer advice later, but for now just listen as she vents pent-up emotions.
- Plan something special. I like to ask my child to go out on a date with me or stay up past bedtime for popcorn and a movie.
Adding in some extra fun time will help your child heal his or her wounds and also give you time to come up with a solution.
- Pray. Only God knows all the details. You are only hearing one side of the story, and maybe later on you will hear two. But in the end, only God knows exactly what is going on in the hearts and minds of the kids.
Ask God to lead you to a solution and be sensitive to his leading.
- Don’t let your emotions rule. We women are highly emotional. Even more so if you mess with one of our munchkins! Keep your emotions and mouth in check so you will not cause greater harm to the situation.
Sometimes these problems work out themselves, other times we need to intervene.
But, don’t have outbursts of rage or anger because you need to “defend you child.”
Nothing is worse than a parent that thinks his or her child is always right!
- Talk to the parents one on one. If things continue to escalate, it may be time to confront the parents of the child that is excluding yours. If you choose to do so, make sure you are open to their comments and observations as well.
Avoid throwing insults about their child. Instead, let them know what is going on without making accusations.
Let the parents know you are only wanting what is best for both kids. Be willing to work things out as well as admit that your child may have done something wrong as well.
If you and the other parents work together as a team you will accomplish much more!
Have you ever dealt with kids pushing your child away? How did you handle it? Do you regret what you did or do you think the outcome was a success? Need some more inspiration on this topic? Check out this great read on Yes, your child being excluded is a difficult season indeed!