Just like a snowflake or a fingerprint, every child is unique in their own special way. Every child has a unique way of feeling, thinking, and interacting with others. Some children are shy, while others are outgoing; some are active, while others are calm; some are fretful, while others are easy-going.
As a loving and nurturing parent, it’s your job to encourage your children to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate their individual qualities. During my seasons of raising biological children, a step-son, and now an adopted son, I have experienced how I need to help encourage each child to be their own self, instead of me directing how they should be.
I love these ideas for helping to keep me focused on creating individuals rather than molding them all to be like how I would see them.
Allow your child to express themselves through their interests. They may find a creative outlet in theatre, dancing, or art, or they may be exceptionally talented in the sciences. Encourage them to embrace what they like to do, what interests them, and what makes them happy. Help them realize that they don’t need to worry about being “like everyone else.”
Power of the Positive
Teach your child to make positive choices, and praise them for good deeds, behaviors, and positive traits they possess. Be specific when identifying these things, rather than just general statements. Encourage them to become actively involved in their community, and introduce them to activities that promote a sense of cooperation and accomplishment.
Firm and Fair
Be firm yet fair when handing down discipline for misdeeds or misbehavior, and make certain the rules and consequences for breaking the rules are clearly defined. Show a cooperative, loving, and united front with your spouse when it comes to discipline.
Accept and celebrate your child’s uniqueness. Remember that your child is an individual. Allow your child to have his or her own personal preferences and feelings, which may be different from your own.
And finally, encourage your child to be true to themselves by doing the same. Show your child how to make positive choices with the choices you make, and that nobody is perfect and you too make mistakes. Show your child that mistakes can be a great learning experience, and that they should not be ashamed or embarrassed about making them.