Exclusion issues...

by Sunny
(Mountain View, CA)

I thought that exclusion of friends started in high school, not in elementary school. What advice do you have to help a child navigate friendships in first grade...especially when they just want to play exclusively with only one child at a time and are then approached by another child to join their play?

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Oct 20, 2011
by: Kelli

Yipes, this is so hard! You are right, it does start disturbingly early. We had a rule in our after school program: "You can't say you can't play."

If it was a 2 person game I taught them to say, "You can play winner", or to take turns.

As a parent, you likely won't have that kind of power on the playground, but you can teach your child how to do include others in a play group. It also helps to role play. Do it once with your child leaving someone out. Do it again with your child being the one left out. Talk about what each one felt like.

If it is a problem of your child being excluded at school, I would talk to the child's teacher.

I know this is a big problem, and doesn't have a simple answer, but I hope this gives you a starting place. I'd love to hear what others have tried in this situation.

Good luck!

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