I remember that some my worst days in eighth grade were due to friendship troubles. Adolescents can be some of the most harsh people in the world when it comes to building and cutting friendships. The act of forming groups of friends and leaving others out is known as forming cliques.
Cliques are groups of kids that form friendships with one another and seclude others from entering their group. Not every group of friends is a clique. Some children just enjoy playing together and have no other motive. Cliques purposefully and hurtfully leave other children out. More popular children usually control cliques. Once a child is in a clique, he or she may behave differently than before.
Cliques begin forming in late elementary school and middle school. Cliques are often seen in high school also. Both boys and girls can be in cliques. However, girls are usually harsher and treat others worst when they are in a clique.
Some cliques begin when two friends have an argument and want to try to get others on their side. They almost seem to form two teams against each other. Some children feel that being in a clique makes them popular and important. It becomes about power.
If you know a child that is having trouble at school due to cliques, offer him/her some of the advice listed below.
· Find new friends. Begin focusing on other people that are not part of the clique. Chances are they may be feeling the same way.
· If the child is part of clique and is excluding a friend, encourage the child to speak out and let it be known that he/she wants to continue the friendship despite of the clique. Other members of the clique may join in.
· If your child is not in the clique and wants to be friends with someone that is, invite the child over to your house or on an outing. Many children are very different away from their clique. Getting the two children together away from school may help build a friendship.
· Most importantly when things get bad, keep reminding your child that this to will pass. Cliques can change as often as the weather.