Dear Kid,

Sometimes teenagers (and pre-teens) build themselves up by putting others down. By teasing, bullying, making fun of other teens (and pre-teens) they can feel (pretend?) they are better or more popular. This is, of course, complete and utter horse-hockey. But it’s frequently how teenagers (and pre-teens) operate.

As we grow up (not in terms of age, but in terms of real growing up), we realize that the put-others-down strategy is a Huge Mistake. The Universe is watching and it doesn’t approve of being mean to other people.

So now that you don’t have to put other people down (not that you ever did), you can Cheer for Other People (which you’ve often done).

Notice when someone does something well or something for kind and compliment them. Be aware of other people’s successes and help them celebrate (this can be anything from baking them a cake to sending a “yippee” sort of text or tweet).

How you help other people feel great about their accomplishments is far less important than the act of celebrating with them.

Here’s to a day worth celebrating.

Love, Mom