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Are your children ruined if they join a clique?

As your children move through elementary, middle and high school, they'll likely make new groups of friends and lose old ones as they go. Depending on your children's interests, personalities and activities, they may have a few close friends or a larger circle. While these evolving social dynamics will help them mature into personable, independent adults, they can also create difficulties – particularly in regard to exclusive high school cliques.

While it's largely up to your children to navigate the travails of high school culture, there are some ways you can help them deal with and understand clique mentality. One way you can provide support is sharing horror stories from your own childhood as a means of opening up the discussion and showing your son or daughter that cliques are not a new phenomenon. Though it seems like high school reputations are inescapable, explain how these dynamics go right out the window after graduation.

In the meantime, you may want to encourage your children to expand their friendships and interests outside of their classmates. Pursing extracurricular activities will show your children that there's a whole world that exists beyond their high school's walls – one where being the captain of the lacrosse team or head cheerleader counts for a lot less.