THE SOURCE: IT'S OK TO ASK

How can I fit in without doing what everyone else does?

HOW CAN I FIT IN WITHOUT DOING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE DOES?

Your child comes home from school and says to you “I don’t have any friends” or “no one likes me”. Often, our first instinct as a parent is to say things like “that’s not true” or “of course they like you”.

Wanting to fit in and have friends is a normal part of life regardless of age. We all want someone to understand who we are and support us.

When a child talks about feeling left out or not liked, it’s time to start a conversation.

  1. Listen to what your child is saying and make sure you understand what he is trying to communicate.
  2. Invite your child to tell you more about what happened, what she was thinking while it happened and how she was feeling.
  3. Let your child know that you care about how he feels and will support him in finding ways to feel better.
  4. Encourage your child to ask you questions and praise her for talking with you about a hard subject.
How can I fit in without doing what everyone else does?
By having this conversation, you and your child are figuring out the reason your child is upset. You can work together to find solutions.

It is easy for youth to forget, or ignore,
their strengths.

Helpful Conversation Starters

Here are some things to talk about with your child to remind them of previous successes and to build new skills:

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Help your child think of a time when he faced a problem and was able to overcome it.

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Take some deep breaths and pay attention to how you both feel before and after.

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Talk about what your child is passionate about and figure out if there are student groups or others who are passionate about the same things.

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Describe some favorite memories of times when you, or your child, were proud of her.

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Identify people that your child looks up to, his role models or idols. Talk together about challenging times that person faced and what they did about it.

When to Ask for Help

If your child’s anxiety about fitting in leads to:

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Dangerous behavior (sneaking out, drug or alcohol use, skipping school or bad grades)

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Self-harm, like cutting or picking skin to reduce stress

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A drastic change in mood or behavior

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Talk of suicide or not being alive anymore

Who to Ask for Help

It can be challenging to know what is “normal” for children but if you are concerned, the best thing to do is ask someone.

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Contact your primary care doctor

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Talk to your child’s teachers, guidance counselors or coaches to see if they have noticed any changes in mood or behavior

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Talk to your child about healthy ways to manage stress

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Engage in your child’s interests to support their self-esteem

And remember, IT’S OK TO ASK!

The Source • Youth Mental Health Network

MORE RESOURCES

There are a lot of places in your city that can help, too. Here is a list of some community resources.

IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY CALL 911 or GO TO NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM

For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 1-800-273-8255 or text the word ‘home’ to 741741 for Crisis Text Line.

IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY CALL 911 or GO TO NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM

For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 1-800-273-8255 or text the word ‘home’ to 741741 for Crisis Text Line.

CONTACT US

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We do not monitor these messages 24/7, so if this is an emergency and you need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

If you need someone to talk to, text “Help” to 741741, or call 1-800-273-8255.