The most important things in the world are our children. They’re the only chance we have to leave a legacy behind. So, it’s natural for parents to want their children to be successful and happy. But what can you do when your child is different from everyone else or doesn’t want to be what you had imagined they would become? How can you help them grow up feeling confident and secure about who they are? This blog post discusses how parents can celebrate a child’s uniqueness!
Understand the benefits of embracing your child’s uniqueness
There are so many benefits of embracing your child’s uniqueness.
Every child is unique. We’re not talking about generalized personality types, like introvert or extrovert here. Every person has some degree of uniqueness in their genetic code that makes them who they are. Some people have larger noses than others and some might be more prone to baldness in later life while others will never lose a single hair.
Equally, we have aspects of our personalities that may be different from those of people around us. If you have a child who is different, don’t worry. There are ways for parents to embrace this uniqueness and help their children grow up feeling confident and secure about who they are!
Why should we celebrate a child’s uniqueness?
It helps build their confidence and self-esteem because they feel understood and accepted by you as the parent.
They develop into an individual person with specific strengths and weaknesses rather than constantly worrying about being like everyone else and fitting in.
If your child being different is something that concerns you, ask yourself why this worries you. It may be that you are worried about how they will survive in an environment where everyone else seems the same.
Or, does your own fear of being different impact your child, and how you see them? If so, perhaps they sense your fear at some level, in which case they would be less likely to feel comfortable about being different.
This is especially obvious in families where parents may end up comparing one child to another. By weighing up one child’s skills, features, or tendencies against their siblings, we are stifling that child’s ability to just be themselves. Instead, we are encouraging them to be like someone else, perhaps more like someone we want them to be, rather than who they are.
If you try to force your child to conform, they’ll grow up feeling confused, frustrated, and resentful. Allowing them to be themselves will make it much easier for your child to find their place in this world.
Encourage individual decision-making, from what they wear, to the music they listen to, and from their personal hobbies to their academic choices.
This doesn’t mean you have to raise a rebel! You’re not encouraging them to respond and react to others, or to how the world is, but rather to lean into what feels right for them.
Discuss your child’s dreams and goals with them
By spending regular, one-to-one time with your child you can show them how important they are, and how interested you are in them. Ask them about their dreams and interests, then explore ways to help them explore those things.
This doesn’t mean you have to provide all the answers. But it does mean that you can help them get started on figuring things out for themselves and let them see that they have the freedom to make choices about who they want to be.
How to help your child embrace their uniqueness
As your child becomes more aware of themselves as an individual, they might find this confusing.
When you celebrate a child’s uniqueness you help them celebrate their differences, rather than worry about them. Encourage them to explore what sets them apart from others and makes them special.
Let them explore their individual interests and desires. Try reading inspiring books with characters that share the same trait or watching movies where the main character is different from everyone else and saves the day.
When you see unique character traits in your child, recognize them and compliment them on things that are particular to them, to help them feel more self-secure in their own skin.
By being supportive and interested in your child you can help them be more confident in who they are so that they don’t see the differences as problems that need to be solved.
We can set a great example for our kids by focussing on the positive aspects of something that is different. When we see someone else who sticks out from the crowd for whatever reason, the language we use to describe that person can either celebrate and respect their uniqueness or criticize it. By using positive language, we can model for our kids that being different is something to be valued.
Our children deserve to feel loved and celebrated for who they are, not what we want them to be or think they should be like.
Ask your child what they can do that makes them different from everyone else – even make a game of it. Choose something that you can do, to give them an example. It might be something silly and funny, like being able to touch your nose with the tip of your tongue. Let them see that these little things make them special.
Focus on the journey, rather than the arrival
It’s great to celebrate big goals and targets, but life is full of little but important accomplishments too. We can recognize and celebrate their skills, along the way.
For instance, your child might not win a singing contest, but her happy and carefree singing brings the house to life and lifts everyone’s mood. Telling her that her singing makes everyone more relaxed can only build her sense of confidence in herself and make her feel valued for who she is.
Parents should celebrate a child’s uniqueness and differences because they are a one-of-a-kind individual who’s worth celebrating!
Your child’s uniqueness is a wonderful thing, and you want them to know that they are cherished. You can do this by celebrating their personality traits or interests in creative ways that feel right for your family – the possibilities are endless!