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Encouraging Inclusiveness in Your Family

| 9/25/2018 10:39:00 AM

No one likes to feel left out, but unfortunately, it's a common experience in early childhood. Kids can be excluded from activities on the playground and in the classroom, and sometimes they can also be inadvertently excluded at home. Even worse, if your children are not taught inclusion from an early age, they may accidentally or purposefully exclude others.

It's important to encourage inclusive behavior at home in order to foster healthy relationships and promote good mental health. Plus, being inclusive is an essential part of kindness. Read on to learn why inclusiveness is important and how you can encourage it within your family.

family with baby
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Why Teach Inclusiveness?

People need to feel a sense of social belonging to be happy, and this especially applies to children and teenagers. Because of this need, social exclusion is often used as a way to bully or manipulate other people. Exclusion, in this way, is a form of relational aggression, which is defined as a type of behavior that aims to wound others by damaging their relationships.

Though not all exclusion is intentionally aggressive, the pain of being left out feels the same. Social rejection processes similarly to physical pain in the brain, and exclusion could have lasting impacts on mental health, sometimes leading to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and aggression.

With these negative outcomes in mind, it becomes clear that teaching and encouraging social inclusiveness should be a part of every child's education. It's difficult to control whether or not other children are excluding your kid from activities, but at home, you can practice being inclusive in order to teach your children that you value them and that they should treat others with equal kindness.

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