April 25, 2013 WHEN YOU’RE BAD AT SPORTS AND KIDS MAKE FUN OF YOU Today’s question comes from Helen, who writes: Help! I’m really bad at sports, and at school it’s compulsory! Everyone gets mad at me and talks behind my back, but since I’m walking in front of them I can hear! They expect me to be excellent at sports, but I can’t enjoy it or play it properly either! Please help me out! My Advice: Hi Helen! I TOTALLY know what you’re talking about. I don’t know if you remember, but I’m HORRIBLE at ice skating…like, humiliatingly, awkwardly, ridiculously bad. I was SUPER embarrassed about it, especially when I knew I was going to be in a competition with Chloe and Zoey. If it weren’t for the fact that I DESPERATELY wanted to win money for Brandon’s grandparents’ animal shelter, I probably would have bailed. The LAST THING I needed was a bunch of people making fun of me for being as graceful as a basset hound on skis!! But then I remembered: not everyone’s good at everything, and what really mattered was that I tried and did my best. I know what you might be thinking…cue the afterschool special music! I admit, this sounds like the kind of thing your mom tells you, ranking a 1.3 on a scale of 1 to 10 for helpfulness—with 10 being super helpful and 1 being as helpful as a drink umbrella in a rainstorm. But, I mean, it makes a lot of sense. If YOU don’t beat yourself up not being good at sports, it won’t hurt as much when other people say mean stuff about you. And you’ll probably enjoy it more if you don’t worry as much, too. And here’s another idea: if other kids talk about you behind your back, turn around and get in on it! Show them you don’t take yourself too seriously by saying something like, “OMG, did you SEE how I almost FELL! Haha I’m such a DORK!” Maybe when they realize you’re funny and confident, even if you’re not the best sports player in the world, they’ll stop being so nasty. (Unless they’re like MacKenzie…some people never change!) So that’s my advice: cut yourself some slack, because no one’s good at everything, and if kids talk about you, don’t get sad…get in on it! What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Helen?