Being on the outside can be hard on a child’s self-esteem and make her adjustment to middle school more difficult.
At this age, parents shouldn’t interfere too much with social issues at school, unless there’s a severe problem, such as bullying.
But there are plenty of ways to help at home:
• Go out of your way to make your child feel loved at home during times when she feels unpopular at school. Serve a favorite meal. Have a parent-child “date” to a place she likes. Say “I love you,” more often than usual.
• Offer to listen. Mentioning your own experiences may encourage her to accept your offer. “I think there was a month in seventh grade when I cried myself to sleep every night.”
• Welcome her friends. Your child may not be in the “in” crowd. But one or two real friends can help her feel happy and secure. Encourage her to invite her buddies to your home.
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