Thursday, 24 November 2011

Cliquey cliques



Mum's are being scared to attend children's centre groups because of other cliquey parents
It can be daunting for any new mum entering a parent and baby group for the first time, especially when you do not know many people there. But, as a newspaper article outlined today, many Mums go to the groups only once as they are scared off by other Mums who look down on them.

Many of these mums are needing the groups more than others, coming from deprived backgrounds and feel intimidated by the other parents that attend, especially when they get looks of disapproval and the feeling of being criticised behind your back. I do empathise with this as I recently moved up from a baby group to a toddler group as my daughter had outgrown the baby group we had attended. I knew other parents there, which put me more at ease, but immediately when you walked into the room, you could sense a certain group of parents had a clique which made you feel quite intimidated.

It is difficult for groups to stop this from happening. Unfortunately, when you have been going to a group for a while, you do tend to stick to the people you know well and that your children have got used to. It is helpful if other mums make new people feel comfortable and welcome them into their conversations, asking about their children and what they do etc. Some groups actually have an appointed welcome person, our is a member of staff but it is often more comfortable if it is another parent. The article suggested that some groups should do allocated time slots of six to eight weeks, allowing parents to not get into cliques and networks, making newcomers feel more at ease.

This is an interesting point and one that I found quite interesting. If you would like to read the article you can on www.bbc.co.uk/news/education What do you think?

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