Helping Kids Stand Up to Cliques
Whether your concern is that your child will become part of a clique or be excluded because of other friends who are moving into cliquedom, these points and warning signs are something to keep in mind and look out for.
Ironically, feeling left out can open a door for hurt feelings and lead someone to find friends who don’t have their best interests in mind. Wanting to be part of a group that looks cool can be enticing, even if their values don’t quite line up with our own. Groups that feed on popularity often build on the misfortune of others, which leads to them taking advantage of those who are feeling lonely.
There Are More Important Things Than Being Popular
Remind your child there are many things more important than being popular, here are 5 big ones:
- Opinion of Self
Exclusive Cliques Are Not the Same as Friends
Exclusive cliques are groups that like to spend most of their time thinking how much better they are than anybody else. They start to feel it’s more important to be popular than kind to one another. When you become a part of such a group, you are expected to give up your uniqueness and be mean to others. These “friends” expect you to never be better than them at anything, and may not be willing to cheer you on when it comes to anything outside of their group, from sports to smarts.
5 Warning Signs for Parents:
- Old friends are suddenly not coming around as often, or at all
- Abrupt change in attitude and mood
- Drastic change in appearance
- Concern from teachers, peers or other parents
- Feeling stressed about keeping new friendships
If you are concerned about one of your child’s friends, make sure they know their friend may still need them and though they are giving in to peer pressure now, it’s important as a true friend to keep their friendship a priority. But, of course, not to their detriment. If the friendship is truly lost, then they do not need to continue to put themselves in harm’s way. Encourage them to keep being their unique self and seek out others who appreciate the uniqueness in others.
True friends like you for you as Skye and Jack find out in Cliques, Phonies and Other Baloney. If you are concerned with your child getting pulled into or excluded by a clique or other group, then join our kids club and check out our videos and other resources for parents and kids.