Your child has two best friends one minute and the next minute her friends are ignoring her. It can be SO hard when your son or daughter has been such a good friend to another child and it isn’t reciprocated.
You may want to call the parents of the other child or you might want to do nothing at all and let your child handle it. Either way, you want to help your child in the way that you know is best. Here are some ideas to help your kiddo get over this hump.
What to do when your child’s friends are ignoring her:
- Do nothing except listen. This one is SO HARD. I know — I’ve been there. By not stepping in, you are equipping your child with the tools to handle social problems.
- Explain that friends change. Talk to your child about friends that you had in their grade that you aren’t friends with now. Talk about how you made even better friends that are now your life-long friends.
- Have a new friend over every weekend. My (grown-up) friend does this for her son. Every weekend she has a new classmate over. It is someone that has never been to their house before. If they don’t know the child, they will go to a park or to a playground.
- Have her call her friend, at home, to talk about what has happened. This can be intimidating, so be there for support.
- Find library books like Judy Moody or Junie B. Jones, where they talk about things like this.
- If you are encouraging your child to talk to her friends, I suggest that you and the friend’s mother be present. Don’t step in or even say a word, but be there just in case the kids aren’t being kind.
- Call the parents of the child and ask if they have noticed a change in the friendship. Perhaps they aren’t aware or maybe they know what is going on.
- Plan special ‘dates’ for you and your child. This time with you is going to be just what they need. Be sure to give your child all of your attention.
- Encourage your child to join a new club or sport. Look for a local drama class, pottery class or girl scout troop. Find friends in that group and plan some play dates.
- It can be very hard to step back and let her learn how to navigate the world of friendship. The more practice that your child has now, the more equipped she will be in the future when similar issues arise.
- Tell her to treat others as she wishes to be treated and to find friends that are following the same rules. She will soon find friends that are similar to her.
- Listen to your child, be empathetic and understanding “I’m so sorry. That has to be so hard.” Hug her and check in daily. Give her tools to know what to do and how to handle it and be there to support her.
It can be hard when your child is upset, but you can be a listening ear and an empathic voice.