Children with mutual interests often come together to form a friend group.
However, cliques are formed to keep others from joining the group without permission or socially isolate members.
A clique may be an excellent way for your child to make friends, but it can also put them at risk of negative peer pressure and social isolation.
However, as a parent, you can support your child when you know the risks of cliques for your child.
For one, being in a clique may hinder your child's self-discovery.
Often, children in cliques spend more time adapting to rules and trying to fit in than discovering their sense of self and personal identity.
It is, however, essential for your child to form their self-identify at a young age as it can improve personal development and mental well-being.
Also, cliques may limit your child's social circle.
Due to the exclusivity of a clique, it may be frowned upon to have friends outside the group, thus hindering your child from forming meaningful relationships with others.
Furthermore, cliques may influence your child to make poor decisions.
Due to peer pressure, your child may be forced to follow the poor choices of their clique even when they are aware the decision is terrible.
Read on to learn more about the risks of cliques for your child:
When your child is a part of a clique, they are more concerned with becoming popular and moving up the social scale than they are with self-discovery.
One of the risks of cliques for your child is a lack of a distinct sense of identity.
Your child's identity may be developed based on the rules of their clique, and they may find it challenging to discover themselves amidst the influence.
The group may influence your child's self-perception, causing them to develop low self-esteem and self-confidence.
Also, if your child is a member of a clique, they might need to hide their uniqueness and opinions.
Your child's opinion may be irrelevant when they are not the leader of their clique.
They may also be forced to hide their opinions for fear of looking more knowledgeable than others.
Furthermore, cliques can damage your child's sense of identity and make it harder for them to have a clear understanding of their likes and dislikes.
They may eventually grow up relying on others to make decisions for them.
When your child is part of a clique, making new friends may be challenging, especially if it is frowned upon in the group.
Thus, one of the risks of cliques for your child is that it prevents them from forming new acquaintances and social networks.
Also, when your child tries to make new friends, the clique may exclude them from group activities.
The worry of losing their current friends and being left out of the group may discourage your child from making new friends.
Having friends in different social circles may allow your child to discover various healthy interests.
It may even help them develop their personality because they can pick good qualities from a new friend and use it to build their identity.
However, being in a clique prevents them from having the opportunity to discover new interests.
Furthermore, your child may find it challenging to make new friends because they constantly compare others to their clique.
They may perceive people who don't act or appear like members of their clique as undeserving of their friendship or being out of their league.
Children are easily influenced by their friends, and belonging to a clique may empower your child to do things they usually would not do.
Making poor decisions due to peer pressure is one of the risks of cliques for your child.
Knowing that members of their cliques are watching their actions may influence your child to make bad decisions.
They may make poor choices to please their friends and prove they are worthy of being part of the clique.
Also, your child may be influenced to take risks without a second thought.
Due to the pressure to fit in, your child may do things against their values and upbringing.
In addition, your child is more likely to follow their group's decision to make fun of other people who do not fit with the ideals of their group.
Knowing that being mean to others makes one more popular among their clique may encourage mean behavior in your child.
One of the risks of cliques for your child is being exposed to harassment.
Due to the possible exclusivity of a clique, there is a high tendency for your child to be harassed in a clique or forced to harass other people.
Even when it goes against their better judgment, your child may be forced to harass others to fit in with their clique.
As long as it keeps them in the group, they might not think about how their action will affect their victims.
Also, when your child has a low rank in the group, they are very prone to harassment.
They may be forced to do the group's dirty work because of their low-ranking position.
Furthermore, the desire to belong to a group due to low self-esteem and lack of confidence may force your child to do the bidding of the clique, even if it entails hurting other people.
Failing to conform to their clique's biddings can lead to seclusion and punishment.
It is essential for your child to have friends who care about them and have their best interests at heart.
However, being in a clique may cause your child to develop unhealthy friendships.
Having unauthentic friends is one of the risks of cliques for your child.
Cliques may accept your child because of what they have to offer the group, not because they care about your child.
Once your child has proven to be no longer useful to the group, they may be immediately discarded and ostracised.
Also, there is very little chance that true friendship exists in your child's clique.
Members of your child's clique may be more concerned about maintaining their status in the group than helping or getting to know your child.
Furthermore, your child needs to have true friends who can support their social and emotional development, improve their self-confidence and boost their happiness.
Authentic friends give them a good sense of belonging and purpose, but when your child belongs to a clique, it may be impossible to find these types of friends.
Being in a friend group is common, and not all groups are bad for your child.
However, it turns unhealthy when these cliques negatively impact your child's behavior and mental well-being.
Therefore, as a parent, you must support your child by assisting them in leaving unhealthy cliques.
The risks of cliques for your child include hindering them from discovering themselves, limiting their social circle, influencing them to make poor decisions, exposing them to bullying, and preventing them from having authentic friends.
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