27 Apr 5 things to embrace your child’s uniqueness
Thankfully we live in a world that is starting to embrace or is becoming more tolerant to differences. With many schools around the world participating in “Wacky Week,” we can definitely see how the paradigm has shifted to embracing ones uniqueness and eccentricities. I am definitely a fan of people being authentic and being true to who they are. I’m a fan of the underdog and love to see people express themselves. I especially enjoy encouraging kids to embrace who they are, and develop a healthy self esteem. Here are 5 things that you can do to embrace your child’s uniqueness.
– Parent for the child, not for you: All children are different and all parents have different parenting styles. There are many different ways to parent successfully, it’s more important to be guided by your ideals and by your children’s needs. The most successful parents are the ones that have the ability to adjust their parenting styles according to the child. Not every child responds to discipline techniques in the same manner. One child may adjust their behavior based on a stern look from a parent or a stern voice, while the other child needs more parental intervention, like a time out, or removal of fun activities and toys.
–Parenting is not static, it’s ever-changing: As your child grows, they will change. They are developing their personality and character every step of the way. This is essential for growth and maturity. How they were and what they felt or did a five, is not how they will be, or how they will feel at 17. Children as adults are allowed to have a change of heart. Parenting should also change with the child. You can’t expect to be a successful parent of a teenager if you haven’t been able to change your parenting style from when they were five.
–Pink hair, Polka dots and Stripes: OK, it doesn’t have to be so drastic and not every parent will be over the moon about pink hair, not sure I would be overjoyed either. However, allowing your child to express themselves in what they wear can help them build a sense of who they are and strengthen their self esteem. My mom used to tell me that she and I would argue all the time when I was little, over what I was going to wear. She wanted one outfit and apparently I wanted a combo of a couple of outfits. Even with my daughter, who always wants to wear her tutu, sparkly shoes and Elsa from “Frozen” socks, fights me with her clothes. I guess the tables do turn! To maintain my sanity, and allow my kids to wear what they want, I give them choices. I let them pick some of their outfit and I help them with the rest. I think this is a good compromise. But sometimes it’s really ok to let you kids wear whatever they want, right? If it feels good to them, then so be it.
– Embrace their natural born talents: All kids have talent in certain areas. Maybe you haven’t seen them use their talents yet, but their talents have a lot to do with their interests. My son can tell you every dinosaur or motor bike trick or sports car or airplane on the planet. My daughter loves babies and little kids (just like her) and is so caring and loving towards them. These interests at a young age can develop into what they will do later in life. Let them explore what makes them excited and interested, they are figuring out what they want to do. Can you imagine if Steve Jobs’ (Co-founder of, Apple Inc.) parents told him he was silly and didn’t encourage him? We might be living is a very different, less evolved place right now. A big interest for kids these days is a game called, “Minecraft.” It’s a game that you use blocks to build things. This game is so popular that there is a home schooling program dedicated to it.
– Don’t dictate, foster it: Some parents try to push their child down a path that they want them to take or that they themselves wanted to do. Not every child will be a basketball player or a football star, and that’s OK. Maybe they have the desire to play music or to write; encourage them anyway. Encouraging them, and allowing them to pick a positive activity or course or line of work, allows them to be exactly who they are and who they want to be. There is so much beauty in authenticity. We are born to stand out and be unique.
Love & Hugs,