Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. This is an important maxim we should share with all kids. Another expression of it is, “you will become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This variant may be more accessible for kids. It’s a bit more concrete. Share it with your classes!
Could it lead to unhealthy competition as students all strive to hang out with the “best” kids?
a) There is no unhealthy competition… b) This competition is already happening, but maybe not for the right reasons. If kids explicitly think about who they want to become, they will make the decision of who to hang out with based on deeper consideration rather than a shallow attraction to bling. They may in fact decide to hang out more with their teachers, parents, and mentors rather than the cool kid of the moment.