10 Steps to Encourage Your Children’s Individuality
Have you ever found it difficult to discover your individuality? Our individuality is made up of the characteristics, differences, and preferences that make us stand out from other people.
Everyone likes to be unique and different, but being different can be scary. Children are often taught that they need to be like everyone else and conform to the “one size fits all” standard. Some children find this difficult and don’t realize that they can just be themselves.
Children are curious and creative. They thrive on stimulation, but they also need to be able to explore their own unique world without constant adult intervention.
Many children feel self-conscious and don’t know how to express themselves. This can stifle individuality before it even has a chance to develop.
There is a lot that parents and teachers can do to encourage a child to be comfortable and aware of their individuality.
Help your child to be who they are meant to be:
1. Ask for their opinion and use it.
At some point, kids become more outgoing and confident when they know they’re right. They start to develop opinions, but don’t always want to share them with their parents. That’s okay — you can ask for their opinion and use it.
- If your child doesn’t agree with you at first, keep talking about it until there’s an agreement between you both.
- When they see that their opinion matters, their willingness to express their individuality grows.
2. Be very sympathetic to their interests.
Show them that the things your child cares about matter, whether it be singing, dancing, sketching, or basketball. You’re demonstrating to them once more how significant their opinion is.
- Help your child to be great at what interests them. This might mean helping them to join a team, taking a class, joining a club, or getting a tutor or coach. They’ll love you for it, and love themselves more, too.
3. Make a list of your child’s strengths and preferences.
Find ways to help your child leverage those things. Combining your child’s strengths and preferences is a great way to ensure success, build confidence, and foster individuality.
4. Accept your child as they are.
Give up any idea of the ideal child you may have in your mind. You are not automating anything. You’re shaping a unique person. Leave your personal tastes outside the door and support their individuality. If you want a project, you can transform yourself as much as you want.
5. Give a lot of freedom when allowing your child to select clothes.
Clothing selection is a harmless way for your child to express himself. Meet the school’s dress code, but other than that, get out of the way. If your child likes to wear mismatched socks or colors, great.
6. Encourage your child to be assertive.
An assertive child is much more likely to express their individuality freely. Help your child to be more assertive and share their opinions and preferences openly. Encourage your child to speak up and give their opinion. Teach your child not to allow themselves to be mistreated.
- Every child should respect themselves and appreciate their own value. You can help make it so.
7. Encourage their attempts to explore their identity.
Even though it may seem to take them in some strange directions sometimes. Emphasize safety and help them think through the outcomes decisions they may make. (See Questions, Not Answers and Alternatives to Advice Giving for more information.)
8. Avoid making comparisons.
One way to damage your child’s individuality is to make comparisons between your child and others. Comparisons don’t bring about positive results. What one child is or isn’t doing has nothing to do with your child. Comparisons are for buying cars or a new lawnmower.
9. Show your own individuality, too.
Your child knows if you’re holding back. They’re always watching you. Be brave and show the world who you really are. Your child is likely to follow your example. It’s an opportunity for you to both grow together.
10. Quit worrying about what the neighbors or relatives are saying.
Stop wasting time worrying about what other people are thinking. As a parent, make sure you’re doing everything you can to help your child grow up happy and healthy.
Everyone struggles to feel comfortable enough to be a hundred percent authentic, including adults. The best time to begin creating this comfort is in childhood.
Children who learn through the influence of strong role models have the opportunity to examine their own character and values as they work through challenges in school, careers, and personal lives. The simple act of putting character first helps a child develop a stronger sense of self-worth, confidence, and security.
Help your child to show their unique nature to the world. Without a parent’s help, most children fail to develop the courage and comfort to be themselves. There’s much you can do to help your child develop fully.
Contact us at Confidence Voice Studio. We can also help your child find individuality within themselves.