Cliques are a normal and even healthy part of becoming an adult. At a time when teens are trying to figure out who they are, cliques give them a sense of belonging.
But that sense of belonging also shuts others out. What happens to the teens who can’t be members of a clique they want to join? Or to teens who aren’t a part of any clique at school?
Students who feel left out may become angry or do poorly in school. Their self-esteem and perhaps their grades go down.
What can parents do to help teens who are feeling isolated and left out of cliques at school?
Here are some tips:
- Be a good role model. Get to know people who may be different from you. Meet a newcomer in your town. Invite a foreign visitor to have dinner with your family. If teens see parents reaching out, they are more likely to have inclusive friendships.
- Suggest different places for your teen to make friends. Groups like the Scouts give teens a way to make friends outside of school. Look for a club or class on a topic that interests your teen.
- Stay connected. Teens need to know that parents love and care for them. This is the most important way you can help your teen deal with the downside of cliques.
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