Helping kids deal with rejection

Rejection hurts. Whether you’re eight or 80, in the school yard or on a date, feeling like you’re not quite right for whoever or whatever is in front of you cuts to the core. For kids, rejection by their peers can significantly shape their sense of self and their mental health. So how do you help them to navigate it?

Make sure you get the full picture of what happened

Without a full blown interrogation, work out what might have happened. Sensitive kids might feel like they’ve been left out, but really they were waiting on the edges because they were unsure of what was happening in the game. Their friends might’ve wolfed down their lunches and headed off to play, while they found their favourite spot and carefully worked their way through each item in their lunchbox. If they explain it to you, you can explain to them why other people might be behaving this way.

Ask your child - “Can you explain what happened today?”

Encourage the use of self-talk

Have a few phrases up your sleeve, or work with your little one to come up with some, so that when those thoughts of rejection come creeping in, they can counter them with the truth. They could be things like, “They just need to get to know me better, or “There’s no reason I wouldn’t be welcome here - I might be imagining it.”. They could even give you a list of the things that make them a great person to be around.

Ask your child - “What are some things that you like about yourself?”

Advice & guidance provided by our friends at the Parenting Place

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