When your child is being excluded by friends: tips for parents

What to do when your child is excluded

What do you do when your child comes to you and tells you they were excluded from their group of friends? Do you panic, or comfort them? The right answer is a bit more complicated. As a parent, it is important to first understand how the exclusion happened. This way, we can better help our children cope with the situation.

When your child changes friend groups or is excluded from a group of friends, it can feel like the end of the world. It’s never easy to watch them go through these difficult times and try their best to understand what they are feeling. As hard as this time may be for you as a parent, there are things that you can do to help make sure your child feels loved and supported during these periods in their life. 

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What to do when your child comes to you and tells you they were excluded from their group of friends

  • We should let our children know that it’s not their fault and reassure them they are loved even if this happens.
  • It is important to listen. Let them know you hear what they are saying and validate their feelings. It can be frustrating when someone doesn’t want to include us, or we don’t understand why exclusion has happened.
  • Let your child talk about it and process what happened. They may feel angry and need to vent about the person who ghosted them.
  • Replay the situation with your child and to figure out if your child has a behaviour that they may need to shift or tweak.
  • Encourage your child to build other friendships with the kids at school. If your child is younger, you can reach out to the teacher and explain the situation and ask if your child can be partnered with new potential friends during class activities.
  • Talk to the teacher and explain the situation and ask if your child can be partnered with new potential friends during class activities.

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As kids get older friendships naturally change

When kids are little, they’re friends with everyone. But as they get older, their friendships can change a lot. I think a lot of that has to do with the natural changes we go through as we grow up, for young kids many friendships are interest-based. And sometimes people don’t have as much in common as they get older and kids naturally grow apart.

A friendship ending can be a blessing in disguise

We always look at it as a loss when a friendship ends, but sometimes it’s for the better. The universe may have a better plan for your child where friendship is concerned.

Nate was friends with a group of kids, and one of the boys ganged up on him and ousted him from the group. It was a tough situation for about a month where he had to go and find new friends to hang out with.

Luckily over the years, he had been nice to other kids outside of his core group of friends.

A few months later, he started hanging out with another boy in a different class. They have now been best friends for five years and transitioned to high school together. They always have each other’s back. They have a truly beautiful friendship and it wouldn’t have happened if he had stayed with his old friend group.

Sometimes when things seem terrible, life is actually moving you in a better direction.

Friendships end. It’s a sad fact of life that people grow apart and, at times, friendships have to come to a natural end. But when they do it is not the end of the world. Your child can take this opportunity to start to build new wonderful friendships with other children.

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Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with your child being excluded by friends? Share them in the comments below.

My child is being excluded at school

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Bryn Todd

I created this site to help parents bully-proof their children and turn bullying situations around… Read more

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