"SaY" it with Parenting: How to help your child when (s)he feels rejected
When your child feels rejected, it’s hard. Of course we want to help when they hurt. We can’t fight their battles, but there are things we can do to help them through these difficult times.
Rejection is tough. And for most, it’s not a matter of if she ever feels rejected, but when.
Even the most friendly and outgoing child will likely experience rejection at some point. And for those who struggle to make friends or who are shy, sensitive or just plain awkward, it’s bound to happen more often.
Anytime your child faces rejection, it’s helpful to remind her of the following things to help her through it. (In writing this article, I have used “her” instead of “your child”, but it’s important to note that boys also experience feelings of rejection. These same strategies will be helpful for them too.)
1. When your child feels rejected, let her know that everyone feels rejected sometimes.
Some more than others, but everyone feels rejected at some point. Let her know that she is not alone.
2. Being yourself is good enough. This is a powerful reminder when your child feels rejected.
Kids compare. And so many times they believe there is some flaw in them when they experience rejection.
At these times, it is important to remind her that she was created in God’s image, with her own unique traits that make her who she is.
(I mean, let’s face it, even we as grown adults fall into this trap. And our children are so much more susceptible.)
Help her to understand that she is uniquely awesome. Encourage her to be who she was created to be. And rock it.
3. When your child feels rejected, let her know that she can grow and learn from the experience.
It’s never fun, but the truth is, experiencing rejection gives us a heart for the rejected.
Rejection hurts, but if it helps you love others better, just maybe it’s worth it. She might not want to hear this while she’s in the midst of her crisis, but tell her anyway. The more she considers this, the more sense it will make. And just maybe, her painful experience will allow her to develop a deeper empathy for others.
The rejection she suffers now, may actually show her how to live. We can use all our experiences… the good, the bad and the unbearable, to shape and mold us into better people!
4. When your child feels rejected, help her to understand that sometimes, it’s all in your head.
Listen to her feelings. Allow her to vent. But then help her evaluate the situation.
We don’t always give others the benefit of the doubt, and what we perceive may not be reality.
Take a closer look. What seems like rejection may be unintentional.
Were you actually being ignored, or is it possible that your friend didn’t hear what you said?
You were upset and no one asked you what’s wrong. You feel like they don’t care. But maybe your friends truly didn’t notice.
Or maybe you weren’t invited to your friend’s house on Friday night, even though the two of you discussed a sleepover at the beginning of the week. You think your friend probably asked someone else over. But maybe your friend’s mom just had other plans.
Sometimes rejection is real. But sometimes, it really is all in your head. The sooner your child learns this, the better off she will be.
5. Nobody is everybody’s favourite. When your child feels rejected, it may help her to understand this. It’s nothing personal, it’s just the way things are.
Try to teach her that if someone doesn’t care to know and love her for who she is, she should try not to worry about it. This is a tough one. We all want to be liked.
But sometimes people just don’t click. It’s nobody’s fault.
Usually, the best thing to do is to accept it and move on.
Remind her also that if she has done something to cause someone not to like her, that’s different. Maybe she needs to make amends, and she might even have to win them over.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” But otherwise, don’t sweat it.
6. When your child feels rejected, help her to stay humble.
Remind her that in history many of her role-models were once despised and rejected, there are times when she will be too.
Ask her to check her heart to see why she feels rejected.
Is it because her pride has been hurt? If that’s the case, encourage her to talk about it.
Or if someone really has legitimately caused her to feel rejected? She should talk about that too.
7. When your child feels rejected, remind her that she is loved!
Most importantly, help her remember that she is loved deeply and passionately by people who care for her.
If your parents are for you, who can be against you?
If your parents are for you…and THEY are…what does it matter if someone else isn’t crazy about you?
And then, assure her of your unconditional love for her. She probably already knows it, but it never hurts to say it again. The more secure she feels in your love and in your love, the better equipped she will be to cope when she feels rejected by others.
Rejection hurts. But sometimes the most painful circumstances we face brings out the best in us. We need to teach our children these truths.
Whatever we go through in life always remember, the people who truly care and love us, will never reject us. We have their unconditional acceptance always. What more could we need?
Who We Are:
At Spin A Yarn India: our mission is to become the primary outlet of children focused content by encouraging the participation of India’s latent indigenous story telling creativity, knowledge, and culture.
It is through stories that we define our identity, express our history and culture, learn and engage in all aspects of society. Stories are not only the first medium for communication, education and social integration, but are also at the heart of each person’s unique identity, cultural history and memory.
Spin A Yarn India has created a platform to enable “Storytellers” to come together to discover and share their passion for stories. A community of creators, dreamers and explorers united by their love for great stories.
Spin A Yarn India is a partner of the United Nations Indigenous Language and the Bhasha Sangam programs. Spin A Yarn India runs as a social enterprise. Profit is reinvested to support children from underprivileged backgrounds to gain access to books, education and in general to improve the literacy of families across India.