The Left-out Child

Below is a typical example of how I would deal with children being left-out by others.

"Sharon won't let me join their game. She isn't my friend.""

I would gather all the children involved in the game and say:

"We have to think about how we can include others that want to join in.  You children are so lucky to have each other, you can be friends for your whole life.  I have had friends since I was 10 years old, since Grade 4, the same age as you. I'm 58.  So minus 10 years old from 58 years old equals?"

Student: “You have had your friends for 48 years?!  That’s older than my grandma!”

Me: “I have these friends that I can tell anything to, we have grown up together.  They get my meaning without having to explain.  You guys can be friends for life.  When you’re 35 and walking down the street and I see you, I’ll be a little old lady (I use a little old lady voice and walk all bent over - see note 2)  How are you three doing?  Look at you still friends after all these years, how wonderful.  How lucky are you to have each other.  I remember you when we were at West Primary and you would play games with each other.  How special.”

Me: “Let’s do a group hug/high five/elbow touch.  Go play together…for life.”

1. You may need to tweak the year here so it fits with the children’s age or not. 

2. I am showing exactly how I would get all of the pupils attention. Often, for new teachers and/or parents, these ‘grabbing the children’s attention’ strategies are so helpful.

3. Sharing my personal stories helps the children to relate to the discipline strategies that I am trying to instill.