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Dodging Techniques for Kids to Cope with Cliques

By Jodie Lynn

Do cliques overflow into neighborhoods? Is there a set standard to be a part of the "ever-popular" mom crowd?

Neither my friend nor I attended much neighborhood events but our husband's were making a mark in the business world. However, we were painfully noticeably different from these tanned, almost 40-year-old's who were "you know who" wannabes desperately acting as if they were sixteen again.

In fact, my friend and I were the only ones who did not care about tans or low-riding jeans and plunging necklines. Therefore, in the beginning, it was somewhat of a mystery as to why our daughters had been invited to a birthday party.

We decided that if the husbands made pretty good money, the wife attended certain functions and worked out at right health club, dressed a certain way, etc., then your family was invited to parties - even children's parties.

Then it hits us, our daughters as well as ourselves, were being tested. We were actually being scored on everything from A to Z!

To make matters worse, if one of the kids asked a question, the mom would ask the same question to the mom. For example, if the birthday girl, Carrie, asked her friend Sherri, "Are you getting the new Barbie Backpack for school?" Before she could answer, Carrie's mom asked Sherri's mom, "Is Sherri going to get the new Barbie Backpack? We just bought it, everyone here has it, and it is a total must-have in that fabulous pink color. "

When Sherri said she wasn't sure, the mom howled in union, right along with the little girls. "It totally rocks and you better hurry or you will not meet the deadline."

Sherri is my daughter, so I tried to save face by acknowledging that we would go online and research which backpack Consumer Report recommended as the safest and longest lasting for school-aged children.

Sherri was embarrassed and at first so was I, then I quickly came to my senses. Like all good moms in this type of situation would do, I looked at my watch, and said, "Oh Sherri, we have an appointment that mommy has forgotten. We need to run."

If this birthday party made us adults feel odd, sad, and frustrated, how do you think children feel each day for six or so hours at school with intimidating questions and cliques? Now, here's the biggie: these girls were all of six!

Keep Reading

Next time someone tells you that you are missing the deadline, missing the boat or in his or her opinion, just missing, you might want to explore a little more into what it is they are implying. If they are voicing their opinion to you, you can bet your child is also being crossed examined. Give your children some Dodging Techniques now. They create positive morals for a successful school year and successful life.

#1. Treat others the way you want to be treated. This is the first golden rule, and the very first one in my revised book, Mommy-CEO. We need to teach our kids to live by this rule and if other kids treat them rude, tell them to ignore them or leave the area.

#2. Don't listen to gossip. Tell your child that if someone begins to talk to them about someone else, not to listen even for one minute. Tell them to walk away or go to the bathroom.

#3. Be true to yourself. Emphasize to your children to do what they feel is right and do not follow a group to be "cool."

#4. Change the subject. Instruct your child to become involved with something else if they feel bad when someone or a group is talking to them. Tell your child to change the subject or say, "I have to go check on something," and leave.

#5. Don't listen to what others are saying about someone new. Share a story about how you felt one time when you were the new person at school or in a neighborhood. Remind them to get to know a person before forming an opinion.

#6. Tell you child to use you as an excuse to be "excused." If someone is being mean, again, tell your child to say that they need to go do something, or to say, "My mom gave me a project and I need to go work on it." This way, your child will not be labeled as a party pooper or prude and can use you to be excused.

#7. Stress to your child that all questions are OK to ask and it is best to ask a teacher or other adult if you are not around. Let them know that questions on being bullied, talked about or being made fun of, are never silly.

#8. Connect with your kids. If your child feels uncomfortable or is leery of a situation, tell them that you probably would be too. Let them know that if they are feeling frustrated or sad, to come and talk to you. Communicate that you want your child to be as happy as possible but that you need to know when they having certain feelings.

By the way, do not teach your child to lie. I did have an appointment to go pick up our dog from the groomer.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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