Part of avoiding the comparison trap is celebrating the abilities and things that others have. One day this week, choose with your student someone that each of you will make a point of celebrating by paying that person a compliment, writing them a thank you note, or posting about their awesomeness on social media.
Sometimes the feeling of not measuring up can be so isolating. This week, take a few moments to tell your student about someone who you didn’t feel like you measured up to when you were in middle school—maybe it was a sibling, a classmate, or even a friend. Share a way that, looking back on it, you can see unique strengths and abilities in each of you.
Comparison doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. At one meal this week, ask these Would You Rather questions (or make up some of your own!): Would you rather . . . Live in a place that’s always hot or always cold? Be able to run really fast or jump very high? Wear clown shoes or a clown wig every day for the rest of your life? Be able to play any musical instrument or be fluent in all languages?
Your student has unique gifts, talents, and abilities, and they need you to tell them about the ways you see them excelling. One evening this week, tell your student something about them you’re proud of. Try to attach your statement to something that’s true of them every day, like “I’m proud of you for being kind,” or “I’m proud of how you make a point of speaking up for others.”