Boy sitting alone on a wall looking sad

When a child is afraid of being rejected socially they don’t put themselves out there and talk to other children at school. Past experience has dictated to them that this is the safest option to take. If they don’t talk to anyone then they cannot be rejected by others.

However, there is a huge difference between being socially excluded and socially isolating yourself, but the two can be connected sometimes. Children who are socially excluded tend to be those who are socially awkward and don’t have the best interpersonal skills. They may have a strong personality that rubs people up the wrong way, are seen as annoying or don’t understand how friendships work. A socially isolated child that is distancing themselves from others is stopping themselves from making friends and without friends school will be a very lonely place for them. That child will miss out on the skills gained and used within friendships.

There are many ways parents and teachers can try to help a socially isolated child to get out of their head and move forward. Here are some ideas…

Ways To Help A Socially Isolated Child

  • Build up their self-esteem. Help them to feel more confident in themselves around their peers.
  • Build up their confidence by getting them involved in an after-school activity that allows them to be themselves and not worry about being rejected.
  • Help them to leave past feelings and experiences behind and don’t allow them to dictate their future with their friendships.
  • Challenge their negative thoughts about themselves and get them to see the great things about themselves and what they can offer others.
  • Get them to see the advantages of having friends. They may not have had good friends before so may not see the point. Teach them that good friendships are valuable.
  • Help them to see they can be a good friend.  Show children that they have many ‘good friend traits’ like being a good listener, kind etc.
  • Can they identify children who they think could be good friends? Who seems friendly? Who would welcome them into their group? Is there anyone else who seems socially isolated who they could chat to or play with?
  • Teach children how to make friends again. They may not have the life skills needed to make small talk or feel brave enough to talk to people. Help them to develop the skills they need to make friends.

School life is difficult for any child who sits alone at break times and at lunch. They are the only ones really who can break this habit and start to socialise, so we need to give them the social and personal tools to be able to do so. With both parental help and help from the teacher a child will be able to feel stronger and to join in more. They need to see that they and their thoughts are the only ones holding themselves back.

If you would like me to help your child socially please do get in touch with. I can be reached on 07961312749.