Your Child is Unique
Your Child is Unique!
I was a very quiet child. People would insult me because they felt I wasn't 'sharp' enough, and I didn't like that. I wished I was as playful and loquacious and troublesome as the other kids in the compound. But somehow, I preferred staying on my own in the room, drawing characters in my books and forming stories in my head. Sometimes, I'll gather the dolls, tins, bottles and other materials around the house, give them names, and form my own drama group with them. I'll turn stools upside down and put them on one another to make storey buildings for my 'actors'. I could go on like this for hours, happy and full of life. Sometimes, when I'm where I don't have access to my dear actors, I use my hands as actors instead! I can't remember the names of my two hand actors, but I bet they were the most romantic actors of the time.
Alas, I sucked at making real life friends. And it didn't help that I was always reminded that I wasn't 'sharp' enough. So I kept away from most people, lest they realise I was not "normal".
Years later, my mum and I were discussing, and she said,
" You might not be as physically active as other children, but it's not your fault, and it doesn't mean you are not strong and active. Allah has given each person a different type of strength, and yours, Halima, is in your pen."
I felt so calm and more contented than I had been for years. I felt accepted and I decided to accept me the way I am. I don't need to stress myself about been normal like others, when I can be the normal me.
Most children feel inadequate because they are made to feel so. When a child as an older sibling that is intelligent or sport savvy, the parents and the society tend to force the child to be like their poster child.
Alas, every child has their own unique ways of living life. While one child might be very outspoken, and have the tendency to be a lawyer in the future, another might be so reserved and wish to be a painter or a writer, without much fuss.
These days, you find a parent who is a business man, forcing his child to follow in his footsteps, whether he wishes that or not. This leaves a child frustrated and feeling unloved.
When we tell our children we love them, it is not just about saying the words. It is also about trying to understand them better, listen to them even when they are not saying a word. It is about knowing their strengths and weaknesses, and supporting them to complement these in becoming successful, confident people in life.
Sometimes, a child might be scared he is not like his peers. Sometimes he is not sure of how to take the next step. However, when a parent becomes friends with their child, and encourages them no matter what, a child's confidence would grow, making it easier for them to face the outside world without fear.
Each Child is unique. Never belittle or ridicule your Child. When a child feels unloved at home, it is easier for them to succumb to negative peer pressure outside just to feel wanted.
Identify what your child is good at, and encourage them on it. A talkative child could be encouraged to go for debate competitions, or contest for student government roles. A child interested in technology and machines could be encouraged to go into engineering or Information technology fields.
Never force a child to be who they are not. Only encourage them towards the line of their passion and personalities.
We are all special in our own unique ways.
© 2017 Fowosire Halima Adebola