Yes, I am talking about the cliched adage “Every Child is Unique” today. Especially during this pandemic, I had noticed that most of the parents use this adage only when it suits them, but internally keep comparing their child to every other kid whose parents have posted something on the social media.
As a parent, I can very well understand the feeling each parent carries internally in their hearts. They want everyone in the family and even in the friend’s circle to praise and talk about their kids. This pressure is self-built within parents due to the constant comparison with other kids in the neighborhood.
How many times, we would have asked our toddler and even kids to a certain extent to dance to a tune, or sing a rhyme or tell a shloka or recite a story in front of the guests, without even bothering to check whether the kid is in the mood for that impromptu stage show or not. We might say that we are not comparing our kids, but are only asking them to exhibit their talents. But asking them to do impromptu shows like this continuously adds pressure and stress on the kids. They start comparing themselves with the others who are not performing or even perform better than them. In the meanwhile, the other kids who are not performing will start losing their self-confidence, as no one is praising them. So that way, we are doing double harm to our kids unknowingly itself.
Every child has unique characteristics and traits. So as parents, we need to celebrate their uniqueness, enjoy and cherish it. But, we are comparing them with other kids and pushing them into the competitive world at an early age itself.
Why Every Child is Unique?
Developmental factors: Every child reaches the developmental milestones at their own time. The way, we show patience while our child tries to learn crawling and walking, we need to show similar patience in other areas as well.
Different Temperaments: Every child is born with their own temperament and the way they react to their surroundings and people. Some kids are very easy to raise, whereas few others would be very challenging.
Different strengths and weaknesses: Research shows that we all have different abilities and different types of Intelligence. Each individual uses them differently and they do develop differently for everyone. So we can’t really compare one person to the other.
Different Learning styles: Based on how the different bits of intelligence have formed in the brains of the kids, they learn in different ways.
Tips to Celebrate the Child’s Uniqueness:
Instill the confidence in the Kids that they are Unique and different
First of all, we as parents should tell our kids that they are really different from their peers and special to you. You really admire his unique qualities with all the mistakes and pitfalls too. Once the child gets this confidence, then he would be able to work on his special talents and hone them.
Read Inspiring Books together:
While reading these books together with the children, they will be able to understand how these successful and inspiring people have used their shortcomings in a better way to achieve what they had desired.
Never speak negative about him in front of him.
This is the toughest part of parenting, as in most cases when we are pushed to the corner by kids we try using the negative talk to scare them. But we need to control our impulses and stop comparing the kids in a negative way.
Provide the opportunities to explore their Interests and talents:
Always try to provide various experiences and opportunities to kids, so that they can explore their hidden talents. Don’t push them into the extra classes after school, without really understanding their preferences. The interests and talents vary from child to child. They form the basis for their future life as well. So that’s the reason why we shouldn’t push our interests on to the kid.
Celebrate your Child:
Always celebrate your child’s successes and failures without really admonishing. Also, give them tools and techniques to hone their skills.
So, as a parent, it’s our job to just show the right pathway for the child so that he can use his talents and interests to succeed in future life.