Does your child come home crying that “nobody will play with me” or “everyone laughs at me”? If it only happens now and then, just listen and reassure her. If it seems to be a chronic problem, however, take action:

  • Talk to the teacher. She may be able to make some adjustments in the classroom or talk to the other kids about their behavior.
  • Help your child fit in. There’s no need to spend a fortune on the latest styles, but if she’s being rejected for something she’s willing to change, help her do so.
  • Minimize negative habits. Some kids get shut out because they don’t bathe frequently enough, or they pick their nose, or their social skills are otherwise lacking.
  • Remind your child of his strengths. When a child knows he’s good at something, it’s easier for him to cope when peers say mean things.
  • Teach your child to stand up for herself. Talk to your kid about different strategies she can use when classmates tease.
  • Arrange playdates. Children act differently when they’re not part of a large herd. So look for children who share similar interests with your child and invite them over.