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  1. #1
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    Default When your child is excluding others

    I had a parent/teacher interview this week, the teacher tells me DD1 is very clever and amongst the top of the class for all subjects (very proud).

    Then she tells me that there is a small issue that a couple of other parents have brought up regarding my DD1 excluding their DD's at playtime.
    Apparently DD1 has been telling them the game her & her friends are playing is full so they cant join in.

    Obviously the excluded girls are getting upset enough for their parents to speak to the teacher.

    Im horrified as have never known Dd1 to do this to anyone before and i feel sad for the other girls.

    I had a quick chat to DD1 this morn about including others and being careful not to hurt people feelings.

    Any other suggestions about how i can help Dd1 going forward

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    I'm not a mum yet so take this with a grain of salt.

    I would tell my daughter to treat others how she would like to be treated. What did she say when you brought it up?

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    I would be asking her how the other children feel being excluded and what her friends think of her excluding other children. She may be the spokesperson for all her friends or be acting on her own.

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    This sounds mean but it has worked for me in the past- do that behaviour to your child, but only tell them it was pretending after the fact. That way they get to actually experience the real feelings for themselves. If you tell them you're going to play a role-play game beforehand, then they still feel it as a 'game'.
    So I would sit down with your DH and DD2 and say "hey we're going to play this fun game together", then when your DD walks up and asks to play, say no, this game's full. Then when she gets upset, you can talk about how that made her feel, and explain that that is how she is making such-and-such feel at school, and of course tell her you were just pretending.

    You can also explain to her that she doesn't have to be bestie's with everyone, that everyone is different and likes different kids, but that she can't be rude, mean, or leave people out, no matter who they are. That if someone she doesn't want to play with asks to play, that it won't hurt just to play with them, that it's not a big deal and it's not putting her out.
    If the game is indeed "full", she needs to suggest to everyone that they take turns, so that no one gets left out.

    Another important tip for you- keep an eye on this. Don't think that just because you've talked to her now, all is well. Or in another month's time, if you follow it up and everything seems fine, then please just follow it up again in another couple of months. Talk to other mums of kids in the group and ask for transparency; tell them that if their child complains that yours is being mean, tell them to please let you know, that you won't be offended, that you would rather know than not know.
    This, in my experience, has been the biggest issue. That the parents are unaware, or choose to be unaware. Parents need to keep on top of it; teachers can't witness every interaction every day.

    Good luck.

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    How old is she?
    I'd probably make time to have a sit down and a good chat about school and friends in general and ask her what's going on with her friendship group and these particular girls and see where the conversation takes you.
    I've always told my kids that you don't have to love every kid you know but you mustn't exclude them. Sometimes though, it takes them being excluded for them to understand how it really feels - DD was recently one of the only girls not invited to a class mates birthday and it really drove home what I'd been going on about for all this time.

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    I see the situation a little differently. (Also a Kindy teacher). I don't make children play with everyone. They can decide who they want to spend time with, just as we do as adults. I would instead be teaching some resilience to the children.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamasupial View Post
    I see the situation a little differently. (Also a Kindy teacher). I don't make children play with everyone. They can decide who they want to spend time with, just as we do as adults. I would instead be teaching some resilience to the children.
    I disagree with this. I don't think we should be treating rejection with resilience, we should instead promote inclusiveness.

    In life we have to get along. We have to get along with family, colleagues, and people in our life we probably don't want to.

    If you're an adult and you really don't like your sister in law, you get along. You really don't like a colleague, you get along. In friendship settings it may or may not be applicable because you can chose your friends, but you can't chose your friend's friends, so it's important to be inclusive. By teaching children to be kind and inclusive we're instituting life skills... And helping a lonely child be included.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Best Things View Post
    I disagree with this. I don't think we should be treating rejection with resilience, we should instead promote inclusiveness.

    In life we have to get along. We have to get along with family, colleagues, and people in our life we probably don't want to.

    If you're an adult and you really don't like your sister in law, you get along. You really don't like a colleague, you get along. In friendship settings it may or may not be applicable because you can chose your friends, but you can't chose your friend's friends, so it's important to be inclusive. By teaching children to be kind and inclusive we're instituting life skills... And helping a lonely child be included.
    I agree with this - I see it like being in a mothers group or something and six of the eight mums decide to go and have coffee together and do it in plain sight of the other two and when those two ask if they can join in, the six say no, we're full.

    Exclusion can be extremely hurtful and girls particularly will bully through exclusion (not at all saying that your DD is bullying, OP) so it doesn't sit well with me.

    I wouldn't expect my kids to be best friends with everyone or to have kids that they aren't overly drawn to over for play dates or sleepovers but I don't accept them leaving children out on purpose or being hurtful.

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    I didn't say I don't encourage children to get along. They all need to treat each other nicely and with respect but children shouldn't be forced into friendships.

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  14. #10
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    Default When your child is excluding others

    I can see two sides of it.

    I am philosophically opposed to forcing people to be friends, and I think it happens to children all the time. However, inclusion is extremely important in life and at our school we have the rule 'you can't say you can't play.' Our school is so small that it's not a matter of just finding someone else to play with much of the time so inclusion of others is a vital social skill.

    At the same time, I do believe resilience is important. I compromised myself a lot as a child because I was terrified of rejection, and I wish I had been a little more ok with the idea of people not liking me so I could've been more myself, iykwim?

    OP I'd first be asking the teacher how they are addressing on a school level and what their policy is. It's not just up to you to change this.

    Your DD sounds like she has a lot of social power. Saying the game is full is not appropriate behaviour. It's also being dishonest and people might lose trust in her down the track. What would be appropriate would be to think of something they could all play together. I would be pushing that strategy with her.

    So I'd be doing some role plays with her. Do you have other children? Could you have a couple of scenarios where you invite your other children to play games with you and exclude her? You could even do it with food cos that's a good currency! Buy and give everyone a Freddo except for her?

    Then you could help her talk about how she felt when that happened and say that's probably how those other girls feel. You could think of some games that you can play with people you aren't great friends with (all sorts of physical chasey games, playing Lego etc) that she can suggest when people want to play.

    I see this a lot with kids, it's all about balancing respect for others with your own preferences. It's a tricky thing. Good luck OP.

    ETA is it possible these girls are being not very nice to your daughter so she has a good reason for not wanting to play with them? It might be worth trying to suss that out too.
    Last edited by harvs; 06-05-2015 at 20:47.

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