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Let Your Child Be Who They Are

Everyone is different and that's what makes the world so special. Encourage your child's individuality.


When I was young, all I wanted to do was fit in. I was tired of being bullied at home and at school. I threw myself into my schoolwork and I read in my free time. I was chubby and I was socially awkward. I had so much against me, and my sister was popular and fit in everywhere she went. She liked to point out just how different I was. I was being told by everyone just how wrong I was, that I began to believe it.


I eventually accepted my fate as being wrong and unlovable. It wasn't until I began to heal from my abuse that I realized there wasn't anything wrong with me. I realized that everyone is different and that I actually liked being different. I began wearing what I wanted to wear, I quit covering my gray hair, and I quit wearing so much makeup. I tried things that I had told myself I couldn't do, and I found out I was more capable than I knew. Doing and being who I wanted to be was so freeing. Our children deserve the same freedom.


Let them find their own sense of style!

Let your children wear what they want and have the hairstyle they want. Before I discovered my own independence, I used to worry about the outfits my daughter picked out. I would warn her that she may get picked on if her clothes didn't match. Then, I realized I was teaching her to worry about what other people think of her and to put their ideas above her own. I was also teacher her to look and judge others for what they were wearing. Once I made this realization, I gave her control over her outfits and hairstyles. I let her feel comfortable with who she is, and she has done a great job creating her own sense of style. Now, I tell her that if someone is saying something negative about her outfit to tell them that she likes it. She knows that she is the only one who has to like it because she is the one who is wearing it.


Let them choose their activities!

We tried soccer, we tried dance, and we offered everything we could think of to our daughter. She just doesn't have any interest in sports or participating in activities. I used to think that she needed the activities to build relationships, but the truth is, she does plenty of socializing at school. We do a lot of activities as a family, and she is content with those activities, so why force her into something she doesn't want to do. We check in every now and then to ask if she would like to participate and her answer is always no. The important thing to remember is to never force your dreams and childhood wishes on your children. We all have visions of what we will do with our children, even before they are born, but remember all children are different and they need to figure out what makes them happy, not their parents.


It's rewarding as a parent, when your child is interested in the same things as you, but don't force them to be. Let your children figure out who they are and support them as they try new things and decide what makes them happy. Encourage independence and encourage them to be themselves no matter what others think of them. The more support they get from the important people in their lives, the more they will feel free to be themselves.

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