I read this book several years ago; I loved it then and I continue to recommend it to parents as a great guide to understanding the world of girls. I also saw Rosalind Wiseman speak in person several years ago, and I found her to have a down to earth, practical and reasonable approach to working with kids in these tough relational situations. She doesn’t claim to have all the answers or say that these things won’t happen. But she does have some ideas of how to work through things and is great at explaining things in a way that parents understand.
Cliques can start forming in elementary school, and this book is a great guide to understanding all the dynamics that happen within one. For kids who struggle socially, it’s important for parents to be aware and on the lookout for what role your daughter may be playing, and understand that the role they play can change over time.
While there are some topics in this book that are geared for more teen concerns like dating, I still find it to be a great read for parents with younger girls. The whole book has good information to know and you can always go back and revisit once they are experiencing those issues.
Here are some of the highlights:
One of my favorite parts of this book are the diagrams of the school, labeling which groups of kids sit where. I am always fascinated that each school has a version of this, and the kids know where different groups congregate. You just have to ask and they’ll tell you. It can be a great topic of conversation, if it’s done from a sense of curiosity, not from a “I’m going to tell on you” after we have this conversation.
The description of the queen bee and the other people in and around cliques is really helpful. For each role, there is a section that describes what they gain and what they lose from their roles.
I also find her description of the different types of parents quite enlightening. She has written another book entirely dedicated to moms and dads. I also highly recommend that book as well, especially if you are having difficulties interacting with other parents and need help figuring out their motivations.
Rosalind Wiseman has a great suggestion that I want to start with my own daughter. She recommends that you take her out every couple of weeks and have some one on one time without other siblings around, and just talk. It doesn’t have to be serious, but it’s a great way of opening the lines of communication. That way, you have already established this way of communicating, so that when issues come up, you have a regular opportunity to talk.
She also has some lists of books and movies in the back of the book. What another great way to start communicating with your child: watch a movie together or read a book and then discuss!
If you want to understand cliques and the world of girls clearly, this book is a wonderful read. Read it and let me know what you think!
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