A large part of self-acceptance is tied to your ability to accept yourself holistically. The sum of your parts is what makes everyone unique and valuable. The earlier we teach this concept, the better. It’s important that kids grow up with self-acceptance and feel encouraged to explore and develop their interest. It’s a healthy part of developing self-esteem.
Encouraging Free Play
Most schooling platforms place a lot of emphasis on structure. In most educational settings, there’s an allotted time for each scheduled task or activity, already pre-determined for a child. Although structure has its value, it is equally important to encourage free play and exploration. This part of child development allows kids to feel comfortable trying new things and exploring any and everything they are interested in. Encouraging free play is the opposite of the type of precise training you’d need to perform harmonic scalpel repair. Instead, it’s crude and undefined on purpose.
Encouraging Differences & Individuality
Groupthink is alive and well in the world today. Even adults fall victim to this type of influence. Honestly, it can be quite strong. However, once again, the earlier we encourage the exploration and expression of different ideas, tastes, and preferences, the easier it is to show our children that it’s ok to have differing thoughts and preferences. These distinctive opinions and tastes are the early beginnings of what will make your child authentically who they are.
Encouraging Discussion about Differences
Another powerful tool that supports creativity is encouraging open and honest expression. No child is too young to voice his or her concerns or preferences. Encourage it as much as possible. You are empowering their voice. If a child feels that he or she is free to voice their feelings, thoughts, and preferences about a variety of different things without being censored, they are more likely to practice this essential communication skill. Effective communication is a beneficial skill for anyone, however, self-acceptance is an essential skill that promotes self-love. It also gives children the confidence they need to stand apart from the crowd if necessary.
There are no two fingerprints alike. Your child needs to know that he or she is uniquely and wonderfully different. However, they also need to know that it’s ok to be different. Talk to your child often and encourage open and honest communication. In addition, create as many different opportunities for free play as well as other creative activities. It allows children to explore themselves and find their own unique interests and preferences.