How to Respond When Your Child Is Being Excluded

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.

Kids Being Excluded

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…”

How to Cope with Your Child Being Excluded

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!

17 thoughts on “How to Respond When Your Child Is Being Excluded”

  1. Thank you for this post! My child talked to me recently about feeling left out. Thanks for the tips. I will know more how to handle the situation next time.

    1. So sad when it happens, but that’s a great start that your child talked to you and you listened. Shows a close-knit bond! Thankful for the opportunity to help!

  2. I appreciate your article and agree. As a child, I as excluded (I’m a bossy pouter). I reflect “what do I wish someone had told me? As a mom, I ask “what strategies do I want to teach my kids to deal with these situations .” Fact: you’ll be excluded. Jesus was. What did he do? I’d love to hear your thoughts and the strategies you empower your children with to use in these sitations. We won’t always be there for them, and they need the tools and verses to use to combat these situations.

  3. thanks for the tips. dealing with grandparents that do more for other grandkids than my daughter. Like taking 3 to LEGOLAND whats 1 more really. they went and didn’t take my daughter she cried for hours. called and turned into a huge fight. we live in the same town the kids go to school together and they talk about they do.

  4. Melissa @ A Virtuous Woman

    The fact is, kids are drawn to kids with “bubbly” personalities that seem “cool.” I have prayed and prayed – for my 17 year old girl who is often ignored in social settings despite the fact that she will try and start conversations. It’s getting harder for her to step out and try. She smart, a gifted artist/ musician, really funny, not shy, but just quiet, thoughtful, and reserved. I have a thirteen year old and ten year old that is the same way. My other two don’t have that problem. Advice?

    1. Wish you lived near us, Melissa! These quiet types are real treasures. She needs a good friend of the same temperament. Prayers that she will find a bosom friend. Has she considered going to Youth for Jesus (SDA and ASI sponsored youth evangelism training.) Will be held in Michigan this coming summer. One or two of mine will be there. My girls have gone for 4 or 5 sessions. So many new wonderful friendships were formed. Email me if you want more information. My girls have been so blessed!!

    2. When I think back to these types of people in high school, I think of where they are now. Those are usually the late bloomers. The ones who finally find their crowd in college and come into their own. :)

  5. I am so glad I found your article as we are dealing with this issue right now with our 10 year old daughter. My husband and I are older than most of the parents of the children her age, he is 69 and I am 58, so we don’t “socialize” with any of the parents. She never gets invited to birthday parties or sleepovers and when we have tried to have sleepovers everyone seems to be busy. She doesn’t seem to have a “best” friend either. I pray for her daily. Any other advice?

    1. Thanks for writing Sandy!

      Do you home-school? If you do, co-ops are great places for your daughter to make friends. Are you active in church? My kid’s love going to Sunday school and being involved with kids activities at church. They have made a lot of friends this way. For now, I would continue to pray and seek to be her friend as well as her mom. Since my kids were very young we stayed on the road traveling to churches, so my kids had little time to spend with friends. However, they found a friend in their siblings and parents. We have six now, so it is easy for them to find a playmate. However, in your situation, I would seek out some co-ops and and try to encourage your daughter to be friendly. A couple of my girls are naturally more introverted, and I encourage them to go up and introduce themselves and be willing to go outside their comfort zone to make friends. A friend must make himself friendly.:) Hope this helps!

  6. This is happening to our daughter at church (1 girl in particular ) Examples include things like turning her back on our daughter when she walks up to talk to the girls, blocking her from being able to talk to the girls, ignoring her but talking to all the other girls around her, being bossy to our daughter when she does speak to her, taking girls away from our daughter to go join the play but leaving our daughter standing there alone)… We are praying how to handle this appropriately.

    1. I am so sorry you are dealing with this! It really hurts when you see your child treated so badly. Do you know the girls’ parents? It is a very touchy issue, but sometimes it does help to talk to teh parents if they have open minds and hearts. At the same time, we have to be willing to hear their side of the story as well. This is never an easy thing to do. One time, my son confronted some boys that were treating him like that and I think his kind and brave courage shocked them and they were shamed of their attitudes, and quickly stopped leaving him out. There are other times when I tell my kids to focus on other people and make themselves friendly so they can have friends. Each situation is different, and you are doing the right thing with asking God for direction in this situation. Praying for your situation!

  7. My daughter was having a problem with bring excluded and felt lonely at school. We talked about who she would like to try to be friends with and started inviting them to do things with us on weekends. We started out with small things, like a school carnival and a movie, and as I got to know the parents better we started doing play dates at our house. This really helped to build friendships and my daughter felt like she was part of the group.

  8. I used it as a teachable moment on dealing with rejection, on true forgiveness, and on how to handle awkward situations with grace and godliness.

  9. Hi everyone. We have a few experiences like these this past year and we received some really helpful advice which I’d love to share especially with ‘concerned mum’. Last year our daughter was having problems with exclusion at school, some of the girls had even told others not to play with her as she was ugly (our daughter is beautiful and kind), I approached the school the very next day and the matter was dealt with kindly but firmly. My daughter also had problems with girls turning their back on her during group conversations. The best advice we got was that when this happens, don’t run away and get upset, instead assertively and calmly walk around the person and face them as if to keep the conversation going without saying anything. If they do it, again, walk around them and face them again. This was really effective as the other girls didn’t know what to do and it stopped! This year we had problems with the girls saying my daughter had broken something of theirs, they spread the rumour too across the grade. She isn’t even in the same class and she was absolutely devastated that they thought that. I contacted the ‘ring leaders’ mum to let her know what was going on and that our daughter was very upset and wanted to let her know that she would never break anything of others. The mother was horrified and the very next day she apologised to our daughter and had to tell all the other girls it was made up. My daughter is only 8, so a lot to go through for her age but we continue to have faith in God. We have a wonderful sensitive little girl who cares so greatly for others, we know she will find her way.

  10. Pingback: Manage sibling rivalry to have peace at home - Handling Home

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