Don’t Make Them Fit In

Our kids, like us, are utterly unique. Inside each person is a combination of DNA that has never before and never will exist again. On top of that, each person’s experiences, their interests, their unique moment in time–all of it adds up to something very, very special.

And what do we encourage our kids to do with this bounty given to them by biology and fate? This black swan of black swans? We encourage them to be like everyone else! We compare them to how other kids are doing. We try to get them to do what other kids are doing. We’re concerned they don’t “fit in” or that they “stand out.” Um, yeah…that’s the whole point of life!

It was Dr. Suess who tried to remind us of the stupidity of this bias towards sameness. “Today you are you,” he writes in Happy Birthday to You!, “that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” Our job as parents is to keep them this way, to encourage this difference, to help them be youer and stay truer to that you than the day before.

Our job, as we’ve said before, is to keep that spark in their eyes alive. To enhance the colors they see, not mute them! To help them carry the fire of their goodness and uniqueness. To help them be what they are…which is something very special, never seen before and never to be seen again.

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