Girls' Cliques: What Role Does Your Daughter Play?

6. The Banker: Girls trust her when she pumps them for information because it doesn't seem like gossip; instead, she does it in an innocent, "I'm trying to be your friend" way. This is the girl who sneaks under adult radar all the time because she can appear so cute and harmless.

7. The Target: She's the victim, set up by the other girls to be humiliated, made fun of, excluded. She can be part of a clique or outside the clique. Either way, she feels isolated and alone.

Talking to Your Daughter:
4 Must-Ask Questions


It can be really hard to talk to your daughter about her role and experiences in the clique. Start by asking her opinion of the list above. What rings true for her and what doesn't? Encourage her to come up with her own names and create roles she thinks aren't on this list. Approach your daughter as an observer of other girls.

1. What do people gain and lose from their role in a clique?

2. Why do you think that person is in that role?

3. How does it impact you to watch these things happen with your friends?

4. How does it feel when it happens to you?

Whatever position your daughter has in her clique, always affirm her self-worth. Tell her that you recognize that these situations are really difficult. If you think a story about when you were a teenager will be something she can relate to, tell her. But don't tell her what to do. Instead, describe the behavior you respect. Work with her as she comes up with a plan that describes specifically what she wants to happen differently, and how she can make that happen. You daughter will feel better just knowing you understand life in her world.

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