Do you remember when you were in school and there was one group of students that everyone wanted to be a part of? Those groups, also called cliques, may have thought they were cool when they made fun of anyone who wasn’t a part of them. And they’re still around today. Your own children, or teens, may be facing their own issues with cliques in school.
Depending upon whether they’re a part of the “in” crowd or not could make their time in school enjoyable or not so enjoyable. In fact, experts believe part of the reason there have been so many school shootings in recent years is because some teens were ostracized, or made fun, of by the popular cliques at each school.
Teenagers, as well as younger students, can be mean and cruel. Students are made fun of for not wearing the right name-brand clothing. Maybe they don’t have the newest computer or piece of technology. Whatever the issue may be, you don’t have to stand by and watch your children or teens being treated in a hurtful way. You can help them avoid some of the problems associated with cliques.
Cliques are groups of friends that may leave some students out of the group. Not all groups of students form cliques, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t mistreat one another on occasion. In fact, if your child or teen gets through school without being made fun of, or mistreated by their friends at one point or another, they’re very lucky.
It’s not unusual for groups of kids to form cliques. In fact, it would probably be more unusual if they didn’t. They’re usually formed among children or teens that share interests such as sports or band. Quite often cliques involving girls can be more hurtful than those with boys, but this is not always the case.
The problems occur when people are kept out of the groups and it causes hurt feelings. You can help your children deal with cliques in school by encouraging them to:
* Find new friends. If your child is being left out, suggest they make new friends who aren’t a part of the clique that hurts them.
* Speak up instead of being quiet. If your child’s friends are turning into a clique, suggest your child speaks up so the clique doesn’t start keeping other people from joining.
* Seek out individuals. Instead of trying to become a part of a group, suggest your child invite one person from the group to go to the movies or something with them. Prepare them for the possibility that their invitation may be rebuffed.
* Don’t let them take the rejection personally. They may feel like there’s something wrong with them that is causing the clique to reject them. The truth is there’s nothing wrong with your child. Help them decide that being a part of that group isn’t all that important and that they are fine just the way they are.
No one wants their child or their teen to be left out of a group or made to feel like they’re not worth being friends with. Yet unfortunately that may happen while they’re a student. Cliques in schools can be hurtful, but the way to combat them is to help your child avoid trying to become a part of them. They need to realize that they’re fine and dandy just the way they are.