“As we grow as unique persons, we learn to respect the uniqueness of others.” ~ Robert H. Schuller
Parents often think of their children as blank slates onto which they can “design” the person the child will grow into. While it is vitally important to teach children moral values and appropriate social skills, attempting to shape a child into a certain “type” is taking something away from the child.
Even as babies, we can see distinct differences in personalities. A child is born with certain innate characteristics and we must accept these the same way we accept the color of his or her eyes. Most parents recognize that while they may have three children, for example, who were raised in the same environment and with the same life experiences, they often grow up having distinctively different personalities.
As adults, we all have differences in our likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and preferences in a variety of areas. We accept this, generally not taking kindly to someone trying to change us.
Children are no different, however they are so much more vulnerable. It is important that they be celebrated and valued for who they are, not compared to others or made to feel inadequate because they are shy for example, or not very athletic.
Our children are their own unique persons, not simply reflections of us. Like flowers in the garden, we must let them grow into what nature designed them to be. Our job is to nurture them, love them, and to help them to see the beauty and wonder of their own uniqueness. Doing this helps them to love and appreciate themselves, and also to appreciate the uniqueness of others.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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