A child who is rejected by his peers is cast outside of the group usually in a social and very open way. A rejected child is usually, via peer pressure, not allowed to be friends with anyone in the group and if they are they are refrained socially from spending too much time with them.
Essentially it sucks but there are ways to avoid it and ways to mitigate the effects. Before we go into our child rejected by peers checklist, let’s first explore the research behind rejected children:
Child Excluded By Peers
Studies show that most children that are rejected go down 2 paths: those that are very aggressive and disruptive and those that are much more withdrawn and shy.
Both can be classed as socially awkward and do not conform to the common norms and values of the rest of the peer group.
The fundamental truth about rejection is that it doesn’t have any positive effects on the child and usually leads them down a path of more disruption and aggression.
Child Rejected By Peers: 3 Main Reasons
1. Trying too hard to be funny!
Being funny is essential to any relationship and friendship is no different. Everyone likes to make people laugh but sometimes these missions to make others laugh can cross an unspoken boundary of loyalty and trust.
If this happens your child could be rejected for something they have said or done to another in order to make everyone else laugh.
There are even more unspoken rules in the school and peer group setting. These socially accepted signals are there to bond people that have similar interest and keep out those that don’t. I
f your child is unable to recognise the social cues or struggles to notice other peoples reactions to their behaviour this could be a natural reason why they will be shunned by their peers.
3. Bragging too much!
Children who are marginalised tend to excessively brag to impress others.
Bragging inherently shows the other child that you are better then they are and you know it. Even if your child thinks this is true no one likes when someone else looks down their nose at them.
Not only will this type of behaviour alienate a child but it will also stop them from ake friends in the future as many children socialise with people who they can see traits of themselves in.
If your child is always trying to outdo other children then eventually they will get to a point where there are no more people to outshine. This is a major factor for child rejected by peers.
How To Help Child Deal With Rejection
Now you understand the reasons behind a rejected child and some traits that these types of children have let’s now investigate smart and effective ways to stop it from happening.
1. Figure out the cause
As mentioned above you need to figure out why your child has been rejected in the first place.
Was it something they said or done?
Was it in reaction to an event or a occasion?
Has it been happening for a long time or has it just started?
Figure out the primary cause behind the marginalisation and work progressively from there. This is a good way to combat a Child Rejected By Peers issue.
Re-enforce what socially positive behaviour looks like and help your child understand what they have done that was social suicide.
This can take some time and could take even longer to formulate a change, but this is the key to opening a line of dialogue that should get them back on track.
2. Use Their Strengths
Collaborate with your child to bring out the things that they are good at, what their strengths are in and see if you can intertwine these skills at school. For example, if your child is a social joker, but loves to play football get him more involved in the school team and less involved in playground comedy.
3. Encourage fewer Friends That Are Closer
Lead your child by example and explain the importance of close friends and why they should have them as positive measuring sticks. Your child’s social life is just as important as other areas of his life and although they may not see it now it’s important to find a connection outside of the family home.
This will give them a greater sense of individuality as they are growing up and build their characters as adults.
4. Praise & Affection
Remind your child of how much you love them and will always be there for them with arms open wide. It’s important that you offer your unconditional love when times get tough.
When a child gets rejected by his peers it can happen very suddenly and they can go from on top of the pyramid to the bottom almost instantaneously.
Knowing that your care and assistance is always around is extremely important for foundational support. Never underestimate the power of a good hug!