Fear of Not Being Included

Nov 16, 2022

Most parents know the feeling of dread that comes when their child is excluded from a party or event. Especially over the last two years, it’s not always a great idea for many kids to get together indoors, leaving some girls on the outside looking in. No one likes that feeling.

Being excluded will happen to most of our girls at some point in their childhood. According to The Ophelia Project, 48% of students in grades 5-12 report regularly being involved in or witnessing this type of social exclusion.

Talking about exclusion proactively can both soften the blow and encourage girls to recognize and stop it when it does occur.

Being more resilient in the face of exclusion

In addition to talking to their daughter about exclusion, parents can do many things to encourage resiliency in the face of rejection and other troubling social behaviors.

Here are some tips parents can use to help foster and encourage their daughters’ resiliency.

  1. Model resiliency in the face of hardship or uncertainty yourself. Our girls are watching, so be mindful of how you handle challenges while they’re present.
  2. Don’t immediately step in to solve problems. Learning to work through complex situations on their own helps them understand that they can do hard things.
  3. Help them create a plan, but don’t do it for them. Developing the skills to foresee issues and learn how to work around them is critical.

Encouraging your daughter to be more inclusive

Social exclusion is a normal and expected part of growing up, especially for young girls. Many girls exclude others out of fear that they themselves will be excluded, leading to a cycle where there is always one girl on the outs.

To help break this cycle, parents should actively encourage their daughters to be more inclusive. Some great ways to do this include:

  • Exposing your children to diversity from a very young age. This can include individuals of different races, religions, upbringings, and more.
  • Encouraging your daughter’s individuality and the appearance, personality traits, and interests that make her unique.
  • Helping your daughter create friendships outside of school. Making friends through hobbies, extracurriculars, or family connections will help her feel both more confident and more accepting of others.

I hope this will help in the upcoming festive season when many of our girls are beginning to receive invitations to holiday parties and get-togethers.