Be Like No One Else
I have a very strong-willed, independent six-year-old daughter.
Without her knowing, she reminds me that patience isn’t something I was born with, but yet something I pray for and work for every single day. She reminds me that being different and unique is truly beautiful, especially in this day and age when everyone strives to be something they aren’t, and wen we as adults are working hard to un-become things that our younger selves thought sounded perfect... but let us be like no one but ourselves.
Our children can remind us of so much.
They will live much simpler little lives if we just let them be kids. We know that teaching them responsibility at a young age only betters them. Yes, some may tell you that you are being too hard on them but… they are your kids.
We must let go of the mom-shaming and remember that no one can love your kids as you do. Choices like chores, sports, and college are to be made in the walls of your home with your family. Explaining to our children that everyone’s families do things differently--not better not worse but differently--helps to grow their minds so they understand the idea that not everyone has to be the same.
My daughter stares like no one you’ve probably ever met before. It gets on my every last nerve if I am being honest (queue my lack of patience here). But throughout her staring, she usually always smiles at others.
A simple smile that may have changed someone’s day is something that I holler at her about because I don’t like that she stares. She always tells me she isn’t trying to be rude or make others uncomfortable, but that she just likes to watch people. There isn’t really anything wrong with that. Again, I am reminded that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or the only way.
She is the true definition of staying true to yourself. If there is one thing I want to pound into my children’s minds it is that it is okay to be different!
As I raise my kids, the responsibilities and privileges also grow.
I have found that working together to explore what he or she likes/doesn’t like to do is a key ingredient to working together as a team. For example, my 10-year-old hates with a passion to unload the dishwasher, but my 6-year-old loves to unload the dishwasher but hates switching the laundry--that was an easy chore swap.
Do they like doing their chores daily? No, but they know that it is their job to keep our house in working order. Keeping the communication lines open and loving makes trying new things not so scary. We want to raise kids who take chances and explore this amazing world we live in. We want to raise kids who experiment to figure out what they like and don’t like, as opposed to just saying they don’t like it because cousin Eddy didn’t like it two years ago.
To create these characteristics in our children, I believe we must demonstrate them as well. It’s like feeding them with positives so they choose to eat positive. We raise no two kids the same way, but leave the same morals etched into their hearts and minds, reminding them daily that God created each of us beautifully differently but all to succeed.
In this day and age where social media is so accessible to our youth, I believe that it is even more important to know our true selves. We must share our morals and expectations with our children earlier and more boldly. Being sure that they know it is okay to be different.
So friends, if you have a child that is the complete opposite than you, let’s pray for each other and know that they can and will teach us something beautiful in this season of raising em’ up. And let us be like no one but ourselves.