They have been around forever and they will always be around for years to come. School cliques can make life extremely difficult for some kids during their school years. While it is good for children to develop into individuals with independent thoughts, values and opinions, some kids crave acceptance and it can really make it hard for a child if they are not accepted by their peers or allowed to join any groups (cliques) at school.
A clique usually refers to a group of about 4 to 6 adolescents or high school-age friends that are together because they share either the same interests, are on the same sports team or have a certain bond. Sometimes these cliques are closed groups and there isn't any room for new friends to join. This can really be hard on children if they are trying to make friends or have just moved to a new school.
There are some actions parents can take to help their child form their own group, or become friends with a specific group, without giving up their individuality.
Host a Party
Children tend to "use" other kids for materialistic reasons when they are young and this is the last thing that you want to happen to your little one. However, you can host a gathering at your home without spending much money. Do not leave anyone out and include an invitation to all classmates. Provide simple board games, movies, and music and throw in some icebreaker games to get everyone communicating.
Team Building Events for Kids
This is a fantastic way to let your child develop skills and learn how to trusts others in their peer group. It can also help others (that haven't gotten to know your child yet) spend some genuine time together, where they have to work together to achieve a common goal. There are many team building companies that arrange two-day or weeklong team building events to overcome issues like bullying or loneliness at school. They can help kids become more open to the idea of bonding with other kids in their peer group.
After School and Recreational Activities
Giving your child the option to join a group for an afterschool activity may offer some comfort to your child when they are not feeling accepted by peers at school. It can help them get to know others in their community and they will learn to look forward to having fun with a team outside of school and on weekends. Sports teams, volunteering or charity groups are always a great choice for this, and kids can develop new skills and learn how to be a part of something beyond their school walls.
Encourage and Support Them
Kids that do not feel accepted at school or have been rejected by their peer group may suffer with problems as years go by. Make sure they always have the support, love and encouragement they need at home - the place where they should always feel accepted.
It is wise for parents to remember that kids don't always need to be in a clique and if they show no interest in being a part of one, they may be happy with being on their own. Of course, learning communication skills and being social is important for development and growth, but most likely, your little 'loner' will blossom and learn in his or her own time. The time to help is when your child expresses feelings of loneliness and has a desire to be a part of a group or meet new friends.
How do you help your child if they are feeling rejected by their peers at school? Feel free to share your story!