Glenn's Weekly Motivational-Embracing The Unique Child

November 13, 2018

Photo courtesy of Glenn Anderson Entercom Radio

Yesterday was my son Cooper’s 7th birthday. Getting the opportunity to celebrate birthdays at this age is a reminder of how quickly it all is gonna go. Yesterday, it was all about his beloved sloths;  T-shirts, stuffed animals, coloring books, you name it. I don’t know why he has been so drawn to this animal, but we encourage it because it’s different and so is he. As parents, it is up to us to embrace what is unique about our kids instead of wanting them to be like everyone else.

We are fueled by a society that finds acceptance in groups. Smokers naturally bond over their workday breaks freezing outside. Gossipers bond over talking bad about someone. Don’t get me wrong, there are many positive groups you should be a part of. Small church groups where fellowship boosts the human spirit. Book club groups where you discuss “books”. All of these can be tremendously rewarding. 

As parents, we do anything to get our kids to be a part of a group. We dress them alike, we push them in their individual sports so they can feel what it’s like to be a part of a team. We give them all a group award so no one feels left out. Everything is done with the best of intentions, but also elicits a sense of entitlement and the dependence on that group for happiness. We need to embrace the uniqueness of our kids and teach them to find happiness through that.  Otherwise, when the group breaks up, or the team moves in another direction, your child will fall hard and will need another fix to suppress those sad feelings. 

Trailblazers rarely follow the herd. They have a drive and passion in their diversity and thrive on it. As parents, it’s up to us to make sure we are balancing positive group activities along with what makes them unique. I know my son is different at times and I encourage that. I’m sure that uniqueness will backfire at times since kids can bully and be mean. It’s my intention that the strength I instill in him with his convictions will give him the strength to overlook and forgive those that are mean to him. 

As parents, it’s up to all of us to do our part.  None of us have the answers, but we should constantly be seeking those answers with compassion. Cooper’s mantra is “Go Slow”. It’s a sloth thing. It’s a good reminder that life goes quick.  Take time to do things the right way and embrace what makes us all different.