Sociologists define “mattering” as the belief that other people notice you, care about you and rely on you. It’s the answer to a vital question that all children ask about their place in the world starting as toddlers, and continuing into and beyond adolescence: Do I make a difference to others?

When the answer is no, kids feel rejected and alone. They become more prone to self-destructive... and antisocial behaviors.... Others withdraw. ...

Adolescents who feel that they matter are less likely to suffer from depression, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. They’re less likely to lash out at their families and engage in rebellious, illegal and harmful behaviors. Once they reach college, they have better mental health.
- Sheryl Sandberg, How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss, NYT, APRIL 24, 2017

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