Discourage your child from comparing his performance with that of other students or even siblings. If possible, select activities that friends aren’t currently doing or that siblings haven’t done in the past. If comparisons are unavoidable, help your child accurately compare himself to others.
What you can say
“Jacob, let’s look at the activity choices again. I know you circled basketball and that might be fun. But you seemed to get upset and frustrated quite a bit when you played rec basketball in the summer with Mason, because you felt he was much better at it than you were.”
“Maybe there’s another sport you could try and make your own. What about karate? You’ve always been really quick on your feet and good at keeping your balance. Do you want to try that this term? You’d be the first person in the family who can do a real karate chop! That would be really special.”
Why this will help
Providing honest feedback and making clear that all you’re expecting from your child is his best effort will help build his self-esteem. Guiding your child toward an activity that plays to his strengths will also increase the likelihood of him enjoying it and sticking with it.