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Expert advice

10th Jun 2024

‘My daughter is being excluded by her school friends – I feel helpless’

Niamh Ryan

Clinical Child Psychologist, Dr. David Coleman spoke on the Claire Byrne show about dealing with children being excluded

A woman wrote in to the show about her 14-year-old daughter being excluded by her friend group.

While everything seems to be fine at school, when it comes to the weekends and after school the other girls don’t invite her to hang out.

“It’s having an effect not only on my daughter but the whole family,” the mother said.

“I see her face when they were all out and about together as we passed in the car. She kept checking her messages in case she missed one.”

Dr. Coleman said that unfortunately at that age, girls are more likely to experience exclusion.

“There’s nothing that her daughter is going to be able to do directly,” he said.

“Her daughter is doing the best she can in terms of staying connected in school, and it’s good that she’s able to stay included in school.”

“I think it is up to the mum if she has a relationship with all the other mums to talk with them and say what’s happening.”

Dr. Coleman said it’s best to make all the parents aware of the situation instead of trying to force them to change their daughters’ behaviour.

“You can’t expect that other parents are going to take on board your concerns, and you can’t expect the other parent to then talk to the daughters. But at least if you’ve done as much as you can do by approaching them then that might resolve the situation.”

If the other parents aren’t willing to do anything, it’s a reflection on them.

Similarly, children are probably better off not having those friends if they’re capable of doing something so cruel.