teach kids to be themselves

Teaching Your Kids To Be Themselves: Is It Really That Important?

I have two nieces. One is very original and does her own thing. The other hangs off her sister’s every word, does exactly what she does, and seems to lack originality completely. True, they are very young, but I often wonder if they will carry these characteristics into their old age, and whether it will affect them negatively sooner than later.

Twin Lakes - Bank Holiday Aug 2013 082
Not my nieces, but two kids from flickr who deserve to be unique!

The truth is that life may cause them to become different. The unique niece may be scolded by others for being so unique and turn into someone more quiet, whereas the unoriginal niece may embrace her uniqueness thanks to friends she surrounds herself with, and become a great leader in the future.

My wish for both of them is that they accept who they are and live their life with passion and bravery and uniqueness because in the end…

No One Likes Someone Who Is A Copycat!

I wrote about copying other people’s work on the Internet not long ago, and it seems that many people agree. Copycats are not viewed favorably.

However, that was in regards to marketers and adults. When it comes to kids, I thought that they didn’t really care about someone mimicking them. Turns out a study proved me wrong. The study showed kids videos of characters drawing similar pictures. Interestingly, children 3-6 years old favored the unique or initial drawer in the experiment as opposed to the people who copied the unique people.

To me this just shows that originality is appreciated at all age groups, and this is another reason to be unique and be yourself no matter what other people say (their negative words may not always align with what they think).

As children grow older and feel comfortable in their unique bodies and with their unique attitudes, they will contribute their uniqueness to the world, which is ultimately what keeps the world going! Unique people are literally the blood that runs through this world’s veins.

An Example Of A Kid Who Is Not Afraid To Be Unique

Could you imagine if this kid was not allowed to be himself? Where would the world be without his wisdom and outlook – now and in the future…


How To Teach Children To Be Themselves

Simple – allow them to be themselves!

One of my biggest memories of my mom is her yelling at me to stop dancing in the street. She said it was embarrassing to her, and she made me feel really bad about myself. I was a kid, but I still remember her tone, face, and passion behind her words. Now, I watch the town dancer (the guy who dances as he walks, do you have one of those?) and I appreciate him for standing out and doing what he wants to do.

Obviously you don’t want to let your kids make dangerous decisions, such as dancing in the middle of an intersection, but allowing them to be their creative or quiet or thoughtful self is essential to allowing them to follow their own path in life.

As a side note: the kid president always dances. 😉

You can teach children to be themselves in the following ways:

  • Encourage creativity
  • Encourage imagination
  • Allow kids to feel good about their attempts at their dreams
  • Allow kids to talk about their dreams!

And most of all…

Demonstrate That It Is Okay To Be Yourself

Kids learn from us adults. Therefore, express your own opinion, be unique, show compassion for other people, teach your child to be compassionate towards other people who are not like them, and lead by example. The more your child sees that you accept the real you, the more they will accept the real them.

Doing so will allow them to be respected by their peers, stand out in the crowd, and lead our world to bigger and better things.

We are all unique, let’s stop fighting it and start embracing it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *