As a teenager, being accepted by peers is very important. Every classroom has a group of children who are “with it”. These are typically the smart, attractive and popular ones. For a child who is at the other end of the spectrum, a school can be a very lonely and depressing place. They are torn between everyday decisions - whether to follow the herd and be accepted or stick to their guns and be left behind. As a parent, here’s what you can do to help your child fit in.
Know The Circle:
They say a person is known by the company he keeps. It helps when you know your child’s friends and even their parents if possible, so you are aware of what sort of influences she is likely to be exposed to. As far as possible, let your children mix with, dress-up and have the same allowance and privileges as the average child. If a few in the group have access to cell phones, they might create a Whatsapp group on which they would share jokes, school gossip, and the likes. You as a parent might feel it is too early to give your child her own phone. Instead, let her use your phone for a couple of hours in the evening to catch up with friends away from school. Compromise so it’s a win-win for both of you.
Help Them Be Sociable:
If your child is having difficulty in making friends in school, don’t be overbearing and judgmental. Instead, encourage your child to interact with his classmates out of the classroom. If he brings friends home, be friendly and hospitable. Invite his friends over for a movie night or a sleepover so that he gets a chance to mingle among his peers and they can get to know him better. Moreover, if any event happens near your residence, always try to take him there and ask him to participate in the various games and shows. If you are a resident of Delhi, for example, you along with your kids can always go for the kids events in Delhi or kids carnival in Delhi. There is a good chance to meet their friends and have a jolly time.
Partner With The Teacher:
Sometimes when your child is not popular, a teacher can intervene and make the situation better. For instance, if your daughter is an introvert but writes well, the teacher can ask her to pen the script for the school play. This way, her talent is brought to the fore so that the rest of the school can appreciate her.
Hobbies And Group Activities:
Children have an immense energy that needs to be channelised into productive activities. Identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Your son might not be into sports but might be good at music. Encourage him to be a part of a band at school so that he is among like-minded children.
Beyond a certain point, just allow independence and give them a chance to develop their own social skills. Every child has their own way of discovering their true self. Therefore, if the child wants to join martial arts classes in Delhi or storytelling workshops in Delhi, don’t discourage him even if you like him to join something else such as language classes in Delhi. Let him make his own decisions.