Dear Ms. Starr,
I am in the fourth grade and I have two best friends. We spend all of our time together and play every day at recess. My friends are always asking me what I want to do and they always ask me to choose what games we play. They both also copy things that I say and how I dress and do my hair. I really like being original and don’t like how they copy me. I also don’t want to hurt their feelings.
How do I get them to stop copying me?
~ Concerned About Copycats
Although you may feel frustrated when your friends copy you, it’s also a form of flattery (meaning that they think you’re pretty cool). It seems like your friends really look up to you and don’t want to upset you or let you down if they choose a game that you don’t like playing.
I love that you love being original, and I encourage you to help your friends feel the same way! Nothing feels so good as when we are liked and accepted by our friends for being exactly who we are.
I suggest that each of you takes turns choosing what games you play based on the day of the week. For example, you choose games on Mondays, your friend chooses on Tuesdays, and your other friend chooses on Wednesdays. Then, on Thursday and Friday, do something fun to decide! Like a Rock, Paper, Scissors match, or choosing a game by putting your ideas into a hat (or bowl) and pulling one out!
Get creative and be excited about what your friends like and what they want to do. When it comes to your friends copying your style, well, you might just be a trendsetter (yeah girl!). However, the next time your friend does her hair differently or wears something that you don’t normally wear, compliment her! Tell her you think her new headband is awesome or that you love how she is rockin’ her leggings!
Being a friend is being a fan. So cheer for your girls and the ways in which they are different from you. Then, you will all be unique leaders in your own fabulous ways.
We are all born superstars,