When the kids were smaller, I used to read quite a few parenting books, but I haven’t read any for a long time. I picked up this book from the library since I have heard so much about it. It’s a fascinating read. The first couple chapters blew me away with it’s accurate description of girl relationships and cliques. This a must read for parents of girls. The first chapter, titled “Cliques & Popularity” gets right to the heart of the issue by describing the different personalities and roles that make up the girl clique. Such roles as Queen Bee, The Banker, The Sidekick, The Floater, The Torn Bystander, The Pleaser and The Target. As I was reading the description of each role, my brain was picking off each of Hunter’s friends who fit these various roles. I was shocked to realize that last year she was the sidekick for the Queen Bee in her class, and I am so very glad that this particular girl is not in her class this year because this girl seemed so nice at first but then revealed a real nasty side, and by the end of the year, Hunter was coming home in tears about things this girl had done. I can see how this year Hunter has become a “Floater” which means she doesn’t like to exclude people and she rarely has fights with people, her friends are comfortable around her and she doesn’t have to ‘win’ conversations; most importantly, she’s not exclusively tied to one group of friends, she has friendships from different areas of her life, like skating & ballet, and she can bring another person into the group with some success. Now I just have to help her keep this personality and role for the new few years. It is totally amazing to me how when I think back over Hunter’s school years and from my observations at school, girls are organizing themselves into cliques and roles by Grade 1. Yes, I said Grade 1! Grade 6, 7, & 8 are the worst years for girl cliques, so I can hardly wait for next year. I am so glad I am able to stay home with my children, because the first 15 minutes after I pick up Hunter from school are the most important of the whole day. She is just bursting forth info about how her day went for her and what was great or what was not so great. I am so glad I am there to really listen to her.
This book has a whole chapter devoted to the topic of nasty girls. The later chapters are about parties and boys, but hopefully I won’t have to deal with that for a few more years. Tyler has given me enough grey hair already.
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