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Modern Manners Monday – My Child is Being Left Out

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Dear DMM: My son seems like a well liked kid. People are always saying hi to him and coming up to him when we attend school functions. He seems to know everyone. In general, he is a pretty happy kid.

Lately he has seemed a little down. When I pressed him for information, he confided that none of the kids in his class want to play with him on the playground at lunch. He said that it makes him sad and although he tries to play with the kids, he keeps getting told that there is no room for him to play and to go somewhere else.

This makes me sad because no one wants to have that kid that no one else wants to play with. My first instinct was to go to his teacher and tell her what was going on but my son begged me not to do that. What should I do? My heart is breaking for my son. I teach him to play with every child so that no one is left out. Don't other parents do the same?

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Give Advice on our previous Modern Manners Monday posts:

Unruly Kid

Kids & Swag or Giveaways – When is it Enough?

Dealing with a Negative Child

Dealing with a Tattletale

Shopping with Children

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Is it only a Quarter? Beware of Bad Manners

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3 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. ellen

    First off, I would hope that other parents do tell their children not to exclude other kids, but as we all know, kids can be cruel.

    In your first paragraph, you say he is well liked, they say hi to him and everyone knows him… but then you go on and say no one wants to play with him.

    I actually would press a little harder and ask your son if something happened at school that caused the other kids to exclude him. If he doesnt want to confide in you and it is happening just in his class , I would ask his teacher if there was some incident that might have some bearing on this- was he embarassed, did he have a bathroom accident etc- maybe the teacher could shed some light on it.

    I hope your son does confide in you, and everything gets worked out soon!

  2. Eileen

    We all know kids dont want our mothers (or fathers) going in to SAVE them. But this is a young child without good coping mechanisms and hard to figure out WHY someone shuts them out without feeling REALLY bad about it. often to the point of disrupting academics.
    It might be wise to talk to a teacher in confidence of course and brainstorm. Maybe a unit on friendship and common courtesy is in order? We have had kids of all personalities…some who are very outgoing and if faced with that they would just go on to find someone else to play with. Others might be OK with taking a book out to read….or you might have a child who actually has their eating, sleeping, and other functions affected. This can be the sort of thing some kids might really let affect TOO much and can help to destroy their self esteem pretty quickly. We had one really shy daughter and found many weeks into the school year that she was eating lunch alone. That broke our hearts completely! Other kids loved her as a friend because she was sweet and caring and giggly. But not a great conversationalist or really sporty during recess. We had to explain to her that her quietness MIGHT be seen as standoffishness. She really had to try to work hard to put herself out there more. We did talk to her teacher and she settled it by having a friendship club where she asked others to take turns staying inside to join for lunch once or twice a week. *YES…and amazing teacher! . This way the girls involved would eventually all get turns to stay in and the teacher was there to “monitor’ conversation and see where issues might lie. And offer our daughter some advice. It came to light that there WERE certain “leaders” out at recess and lunch that were controlling the friendship circles…and there were playground teachers that did put a stop to it and encourage more games that required more people to play. Having 4 daughters, this happens lots but usually not til about 5th grade and up, or so. Not a fun thing to deal with.

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