Left out at school!

My son feels out of the ‘gangs at school. How do I help him cope?
1. Find out why this is happening. Is he new to the school, or is he very different from those he wants to be friends with?

2. Share your childhood experience of being left out and explain that it is not because of his personality. He may want to be part of a particular gang, but he may have more in common with other classmates or group in class. Encourage him to focus on being friendly and helpful with everyone, including other marginalized children. Soon he will find himself within an inclusive group.

3. Encourage him to be himself and not go out of the way to try to fit in with certain kids.

4. Ask him to invite his friends home. It will also give you an opportunity to spot any problems that you can help him fix.

My daughters school often has special programmes, but they cant accommodate everyone. So someone else gets selected for dances, competitions, plays and games. My daughter wonders why she is never chosen. It seems to be affecting her self-esteem. What do I do?

1. Help your child understand the reason why she doesnt get chosen – the ratio of children chosen, and number of children in school. Reassure her that she would make a wonderful dancer or speaker, and talk about how she can find opportunities to use her talents in other ways, such as presentations in class.

2. Provide her platform to show-case her talents in other dance classes and clubs where she can play an active part.

3. Investigate the criteria which teachers use to choose performers. Talk to her teacher to find out if she can give her opportunities to participate in school programmes.

4. Use the situation to motivate her to take the initiative and do something herself. For example, she and her friends could put up an entertainment show in your apartment or neighbourhood. Or she could start a Talent Club, and invite her friends.

5. Help your child understand that school programmes are just a small part of her life, and that there are many more interesting things that she can do.

Hi-Five

Top 5 Family Exercise

Walking: Get some exercise together and slow down for chats and to watch morning birds

Jogging: Burn fat together

Swimming: Everyone enjoys splashy fun

Playing ball: Getting sweaty for a good game is always a pleasure

Shuttlecock: This provides any-age exertainment

– Veena Shankar

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