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Who you are is just right

Message To Our Kids: Who You Are Is Just Right

Our world speaks at us. It tells us what is valuable, what success looks like, what to believe, what to drive, how to live and on and on… With so many “directives” coming at us, how do we help our kids discover, develop and live who they really are?

We do it by helping them realize that they are just right as they are and that they should listen more to their own internal voice than the voices of others.

One of our greatest roles as a parent is to help our kids discover who they really are, and to accept it and be proud of it. It may show up as a passion for animals or technology, music or helping others. It may show up in an ability to write poetry, run a company, connect with others or solve complicated engineering challenges. It may show up as being gay, black, an immigrant, special needs or just different. We are who we are and that is just fine. The sooner we help our kids accept this, the sooner they will stop trying to be something they are not and spend more of their time and energy delivering their certain special “something” to their lives and our world.

Each of us are different for a reason. It reminds us that we each have all we need to deal with whatever life sends us. We all have abilities that when used, can deliver something special to the moments of our lives – and for the benefit of all of us. We can self-realize with the support of our parents and families to be who we are born to be – to figure it out, accept it and to live it boldly and unapologetically.

Many times we are more concerned with what it looks like to have a son or daughter who embraces his/her uniqueness. Instead of supporting them to be the best version of their unique selves, we pressured them to change, comply and blend. Be like the others. Go and do what they do. Study where they study. Work where the work. Make your parents proud by acting like others or by living to the standards that others set.

So my question is: Why is it more important to raise unhappy kids who are encouraged to look and act like others than to focus on helping each kid become happy and successful by living a life that makes sense for who they really are?

I spent most of my life all twisted and fearful as the gay kid in my big Italian family. So much effort went into trying to to pretend to be “normal” or hide that it took me so many more years to discover and develop my greatest abilities and connect myself to a career and a life that really fit me. With the distraction and effort of trying to be someone or something I wasn’t, so much of my life was spent looking over my shoulder – not moving forward – not living into my greatest abilities and using them to make a profound difference in my world and life. Pretending and hiding shortchanges our lives and our world.

Help your kids accept and be who they really are. They will be better able to live lives that they love and to deliver to the world those things that only they can deliver. Remember, they certainly can’t deliver something great when being an average copy instead of a truly amazing original.

About Jay Forte

Jay Forte is a family, teen, career and mindfulness coach, author, motivational speaker and nationally ranked Thought Leader. He helps parents learn how to guide, support and coach their kids to discover, develop and live who they really are - to help them be ready for life.

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5 comments

  1. Well this is certainly a message that needs to be out there more. I know that I struggled with thoughts like this when I was growing up, and so I am sure that countless other kids are going through the exact same thing, and surely always have. As adults we need to do our part to constantly remind the kids of this fact, and honestly it is tough because you are dealing with every other influence that they have in their lives, which are certainly in the thousands. I love the message though, and for that I say thank you for sharing.

  2. Very valuable words indeed. From another perspective, sometimes we put too much emphasis on having our kids reach for the stars, or know that the sky is the limit, or that they can be the president if they want to be. Most people (and therefore most kids, whether we like to admit it or not) are just average – and that’s fine too! Your kids get one chance to have a happy life, however they choose to do that should be perfectly fine with you.

  3. A million times, YES! I have three children, and have worried about this for awhile. I despise the way society makes us feel sometimes. I dont think anyone should have to change who they are as a person, to “fit in” with everyone else. Everyone is different, and thats okay, in fact, thats a good thing!! Can you imagine how boring our world would be if every person was the same?

  4. This is a great piece! I believe it is imperative to create a foundation in which our young can start building their hopes and dreams. We live in a very judgmental society and the only way to cope with such demands, is to prepare them so that they have the capacity to lay out a set of expectations on the things they can achieve with hard work and determination. It is up to us to instill the values that will shape the human beings that they will become.

  5. this is a really great piece in my opinion. it is so vital that we raise our children to know that they can achieve their dreams, no matter what they are, and to allow them to express themselves in whichever way they choose to, as this can really have an impact on their happiness and the way they will then go on to live their lives as happy, content, well-adjusted adults

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