Peer Rejection
Cause or Effect of Social Anxiety

by Mary Ann Brown
(Glendale, Az,USA)

Peer Rejection Can Be Either Cause Or An Effect Of Social Anxiety

Peer Rejection Can Be Either Cause Or An Effect Of Social Anxiety

My 10 yr old granddaughter has developed social anxiety probably due to peer rejection.

She is having problem at school with 3 or 4 other girls. She says that they are in a click and that they ignore her.

She cries a lot about it for the past few weeks. Her mother tells her to ignore them and find someone else to hang with. But it has not helped.

This is very upsetting to me. I’m her maternal grandmother. My daughter has been very upset too. She cried over the problem to me on her last visit. I said that maybe she should speak to a professional. Maybe you could help.

The child has dropped out of chorus because of the peer rejection. She is a very very sensitive child, and had exhibited this before. She is the older of the two girls.
Thx Mary Ann B

The Expert, Ren Chats Answers


Hello Mary Ann,

Thank you for posting your question.
Peer opinion during middle childhood development has significant impact on child’s self-concept. Therefore, for children in their tween and teens, peer rejection equates with losing an important facet of their identity. Victims of peer rejection suffer academic and social set back. They become anxious, withdrawn or aggressive in social situations.

Here is what you can do specifically in your child’s case.

To begin with, I will strongly recommend you to read “Peers, a Peek at Peers' Psyche, Why They Do What They Do”. This book will help you resolve most of emotional and social issues of your granddaughter for now and future.

Click here to read detailed explanation on Social Anxiety in Children.

It is a chapter from my forthcoming book to help parents understand their children’s mind. I have reluctantly shared it here, only because your child needs it now. It is divided into 3 pages. Please read them all carefully; every bit of it is important to understand your child’s suffering and its long term implications.

Contact school authorities.

Get teachers’ opinion on your child’s academic progress and social interaction. School reports are remarkable asset to evaluate children’s social behaviour, self-regulation ability and task-oriented skills.

Explore the environment

Could your child have had any traumatic experience in the past - may be during infancy or toddlerhood? Also explore if there is any possibility of your child being a victim to bullying or neglect and abuse – in school, neighbourhood, family friend circle and relatives and at home.

Have a dialect with the mothers of the 4 girls in the clique.

Invite the mothers/parents of the 4 girls in the clique for a cup of tea or meal – together or individually spread within short phase of time of about two days. Talk the problem out with an open mind. You and they may discover several important facts about individual children’s attitude, actions and reasons associated with peer rejection.

Extend support

Collect all information and implement as much as you can from the social anxiety chapter posted. If it turns out to be a case of abuse or bullying than the actions required will be ofcourse different.

Reach early for treatment

With all clear data on your child’s case and the backing of knowledge on social anxiety in children, meet child’s paediatrician for further help.

Hope this helps!
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With Best Wishes.

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