My 4th grade boy is extremely bright, extremely shy, and sensitive. As a result, he has had trouble making friends.
So tonight, he confided his sadness over his difficulties.
His older 6th grade brother, who usually has nothing nice to say to his younger brother, overheard the conversation. He seemed genuinely moved by his brother’s plight.
He confided to his younger brother that he too had trouble making friends at his age, but in the last two years his situation improved dramatically.
The 4th grader looked to his older brother and asked, “What changed? What did you do?”
With all sincerity, the older boy looked his brother in the eye and said, “What ever you do, don’t be yourself.”
I said to him, “That is terrible advice.”
“No Dad. It is awesome advice. It works for me.”
“I am sure it does.”