5 Lesson 1: Coping with Cliques
You have seen how cliques work. They are special groups whose members
act superior and exclude others. Or maybe you belong to one of these
groups and are tired of all the rules and things you have to do. Cliques
tend to cause a lot of unhappiness for members and non-members like. On
the Web site below, you will learn more about cliques and how to cope with
Link to explore: 4 Therapy:
- Start at the 4 Therapy Web site.
- Read through the page on cliques.
- Take notes as you read. When you are done reading, answer the
- Finally, using the information from the link, create a membership card
for those teens who choose not to belong to cliques. For example,
the card could read “The Association of Anti-Clique Teens.” Include
a mission statement and a place for the teen to sign his or her name.
- What is a clique?
- What are the positive aspects of belonging to a clique?
- How can belonging to a clique negatively influence teens?
- How can teens become empowered to cope with potential negative peer pressure
and confidence-eroding cliques?
- A clique is a tight-knit groups of friends who share similar interests
- As a ready-made groups of friends, cliques can help teens form relationships
and a feeling of belonging. Identifying with a set group of friends or "clique" can
help during the emotionally tumultuous years of adolescence—providing
a safe haven of friends to socialize with, confide in, and feel supported
by as they cope with the day-to-day issues of being a teen.
- When a teen becomes part of a clique that formally or informally enforces
conforming to negative and even dangerous behavior, whether it's snubbing
or harassing other kids who don't belong to the clique, skipping school,
shoplifting, engaging in unsafe sexual activity, or encouraging the use
of alcohol and/or drugs, they can become susceptible to caving into negative
peer pressure rather than determining and making choices from their own
growing sense of what’s right and wrong.
- For every teen, developing as big a network of friends and overall support
system as possible is essential. Maintaining involvement with others in activities
beyond just one small group’s influence can provide important additional
personal self-definition and balance, such as becoming involved in sports,
some aspect of the arts, or a community effort. Being at the "giving end" helps
too—e.g., coaching a little kids’ soccer team, being a camp counselor,
teaching a class at the local Y or skate park, or volunteering for an organization
that’s dedicated to an issue you’re particularly passionate about.
Additional Resources for Teachers
Below are some Web sites that offer advice and
information on cliques You might want to have
your students perform role plays in which they
are forced to deal with negative peer pressure
from cliques and must find the best way to handle
- Stop Hazing Bulletin Board:
- Objectivist Center:
- America’s Youth Essays and Articles: