Being outcast from one's peers may be one of the most common traumatic events of childhood. Here's the information you need to help your child handle social rejection.
Ostracism may occur intentionally or accidentally. When it happens on purpose, it's a form of relational aggression and can be quite painful to the child who is outcast.
Ostracized kids typically feel pain at first, regardless of who has rejected them. If the ostracism continues, the child may experience one or two deeper stages of rejection. Kids who are outcast for a long period of time suffer the worst effects.
Ostracism attacks key psychological needs, including a need for belonging and self esteem. Tweens especially struggle with these two needs as friendship becomes more important to them and self esteem becomes more vulnerable.
Girls are particularly vulnerable to being outcast. When they're threatened with being excluded themselves, they use ostracism more often than boys do. This probably happens due to the social structure of female groups.
The opposite of being outcast is being socially included. Being part of the social group can positively affect tweens' self esteem and help satisfy their need for belonging.