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Bullying And Exclusion Of A Teammate

Bullying And Exclusion Of A Teammate

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"My 12-year-old daughter is new to her soccer team and is being bullied by a group of her teammates. In practices and games, whenever she makes a mistake, this group of teammates whisper and seem to snicker about what she did. They always exclude her, ignoring her attempts to join in conversation. My daughter loves the game, but this is making her miserable. Any suggestions for us?"

Response by Amanda Golert of Kidpower
I have been playing soccer since I was 12, and it would be a great pity if the unkind behavior of her teammates caused your daughter to stop playing. Having your support to deal with this upsetting experience can help your daughter learn to protect herself and others from bullying and harassment throughout her life.

Tell your daughter that the unkind behavior of her teammates is NOT her fault. Explain that bullying can happen anywhere, on or off the playing field, to anyone at any age and that "People Safety" skills to address bullying get better with practice, just like you need practice to learn to play soccer well.

At Kidpower, we believe you can help your daughter by practicing with her how to be respectful, persistent, and powerful in protecting her feelings from hurtful behavior, in speaking up for herself, in setting boundaries, and in getting help. We coach our students to use body language and choice of words that show confidence, assertiveness, caring, and calm rather than tentativeness, whininess, irritation, or anger.

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