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Accepting Your Child’s Individuality

on March 19, 2014

My Child is an individual.  She dances to the beat of her own drum.  I sometimes ask myself why is my child the odd one out?  But other times I applaud her individuality.  It is not something you can teach a child.   It is important as a parent to appreciate your child for who they are.  To help their child with their uniqueness is a step towards self-esteem.   However it takes time to come to this realization.  This is my journey in accepting my daughter’s individuality.

When I was growing up my mother was excellent at involving us in all activities but we never seem to do anything musical or dance related.  I really wanted my daughter to embrace ballet and dance and to meet other little girls.   We enrolled in the local Dance Academy and started doing Tiny Tots ballet.  The big end of year concert approached.  All of the Tiny Tots Ballerinas were doing Under the Sea from the little Mermaid.  They were all dressed as tiny adorable little Mermaids in a tutu, except for one, my daughter.  She did not want to be a mermaid she want to be a crab.  Her costume was a bright orange (Guantanamo Bay Orange) jumpsuit with a big lump on the back.  I was devastated.  Finally it was the night of the big dance concert and the MC announced that in the 18 years that Miss Rebecca had produced Dance Concerts, she had never seen a tiny tot who wanted to be a crab.  The concert started.  There were 40 mermaids on stage and one crab.  Guess which tiny tot stole the show – the crab!!  My daughter knew what she was doing.   

 mermaid.jpg

 

Over the years we have seen countless other examples of her individuality

  • Her first Book Week – everyone was a fairy and she was Pete the Sheep.
  • Her last Book Week  – she wanted a Harry Potter costume.  Did she want to be Hermione, Harry or even Ron?  No she wanted to be Dumbledore (do you know how hard it is to find Dumbledore costumes).
  • Concert Band – All the girls played the flute and she played the Saxophone (note there is a good reason to play the flute a Saxophone is really heavy for a year three child).
  • Sport – the only girl in the AFL team.
  • Reading – She did not read Fairy Books.  It was books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid or other adventure based books.
  • Christmas Presents – She did not ask for dolls.  Her Christmas wish list was Lego or remote control cars.
  • Year Six Graduation Party – All the girls turned up in party dresses.  She she wore shorts.

 dumbledore        St Michaels Auskick 004.jpg

When she was about ten I stopped trying to force her to conform.  I realized that I was trying to live vicariously through my child and to get her to do things I used to do and what the others were doing.  The problem was really with me and there was no problem with her decisions.   In fact I think I should have done more to let her know she was a trendsetter.  Instead I worried that when she went to High School she would be alienated for being different.

Now, I am happy that I do not have a “me too” child?  I never hear from my daughter the words “Everyone Else Is doing it”.   I love the fact that she is an individual. 

Is your child an individual?  What traits do they have?

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