Group of friends
They are formed based on shared interests, sports, activities, classes, neighbourhoods or family connections. In a group, there is freedom to hang out with others, they don’t have leaders.
Many times, cliques are formed around common interests, but social values differ. They are usually controlled by leaders. Anyone with a friend outside the clique may face rejection or disgrace. They have a leader or leaders who dictate who will and will not be included.
Cliques can be formed in middle and high school, but can and do start as early as grade school and even kindergarten. Cliques are tight groups that usually have a strict code of membership and ways to act. People in cliques sometimes use their power to hurt others on purpose, either by excluding them by being callous or both. Many cliques tend to focus on maintaining their status and popularity..
Cliques give people who like to take control or a chance to be in charge either good or bad. Sometimes those in cliques sacrifice some freedom and following their leader rather than doing what they feel like doing.
Cliques aren’t for girls alone, guys form cliques too, usually around a sport, game or type of clothing or music. They can just be as mean as girls about the outcasts of the group.
Kids who are members of a clique may feel pressure to do things they may not want to do such as bully.
What parents are meant to do?
Be a listening parent.
Be a parent who ask questions from your children and who is also ready to listen. Questions like: how was school today? What of your friends?
Talk to your child’s teacher.
Encourage your child to play with other kids.
Talk about your own experience.
Find stories your children can relate to.
Foster out of school friendships.
How to cope with cliques
Know yourself and your reputation.
Know your values, interests and beliefs. Ask for self discovery questions about what you and your friends give each other.
Do what makes you happy.
Don’t get intimidated by friends, don’t get lured into what saddens you, be firm be yourself, don’t be pressured to do things.
Let your social circles be open.
Have friends with goals, values & behaviours you fit in.