Photo via www.commons.wikimedia.orgCollege application rates are skyrocketing and school is becoming more and more competitive by the year. Teenagers are striving to be the best among their friends and their class mostly since their peers make-up part of the applicant pool to which they're competing. What schools they do or do not get into is often a source of judgment, leading to fights, added stress, and loss of friends.
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Further, competition stemming from who has the best clothing or who is in the more popular social group can be mentally grueling on not only on your teen, but on parents as well. It's not about having one nice bag, it's about having five-everyone is trying to outdo one another. The constant comparisons to other teens breed a competitive attitude.
Has too much competition become a problem for your child? Take this quiz with them to see how competitive they are.
Here are some tips for making sure competition between your child and their friends doesn't turn ugly:
- Remind them that although a little competition in their lives is inevitable, it's important to maintain perspective. Change your attitude and judge what situations are worthy of bringing out your competitiveness in-like on a sports field.
- Their friends should make them the best person they can be; they shouldn't make them want to change. It's toxic to have people surrounding you that are forcing you to change or stress.
- When it comes to school, remind them to focus on what engages them rather then trying so hard to be the very best at everything, even if it doesn't interest them.
- As for college, suggest them making a pact with their best friends to not talk about scores, grades, or applications. Keep the discussion only in the family; it may help to keep a healthy attitude about admissions.
- Most importantly-remind them that their decision is to do what's right for them and them alone.
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