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The Comparison Game: The Game You Can Never Win

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

The Comparison game is a social skills and self esteem game for children

Almost daily I hear kids talk about something someone else has, how someone else is prettier, stronger, or more popular. On the other hand, I also hear kids bragging about how many toys they have, incredible vacations, or even being more liked than others. This comparison game leads to relationship problems almost every time!

Comparisons either lead to feeling arrogant and better than others or feeling inferior.  Either way you can't win..

The Comparison Game uses cognitive behavioral concepts to help children identify how to stop intrusive thoughts of comparison and to focus thoughts on being content. When you compare yourself to those you think you are better than, you come across as arrogant and rude. When you compare yourself to those who have more, it ignites jealousy and discontent. Either way, you lose. This game helps children evaluate their own attitudes and recognize ways to be content with what they have and value the differences between people.


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There are four sets of cards, each highlighting a different aspect of comparisons and how they impact relationships.

  1. Not Fair. These cards help kids process how to process things when they feel like life is not being fair to them. By role playing or considering options for how to respond to the situation, kids will be better prepared for when it happens in real life.

  2. Haughty Attitude. We all have met that kid who thinks he/she is better than everyone else. However, many of these kids do not recognize that they are acting that way. Many believe that showing off will help them gain friends rather than lose them. These cards will externalize haughtiness so they can see it from a different perspective.

  3. Happy Thoughts. One of the best ways to stop a bad attitude is to focus on the good things in life. This can include thinking of happy memories, singing your favorite song in your head, or any other positive vibe. The goal is to redirect negative, intrusive thoughts to positive, happy thoughts.

  4. Stay Grateful. Rather than dwelling on what your friends have, you can be appreciative of what you have. This change in perspective can relieve the heaviness of feeling left out or disappointed.

Since it is a game you can never win, the game board is designed in a circle with no ending available. This helps drive home the point that comparing yourself to others never pays. The game can be played in individual, group, or family sessions.


Helpful Resources:

comparison game for kids for telehealth


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