I’d like to customize my order please

…that’s the phrase that came to mind when I thought about this week’s blog. Which, when it comes right down to it, I do want my child to be unique. A customized order. An individual. Not a cookie cutter replica of her friends. Having said that, I guess I should then expect myself to parent her as if she IS customized.

While we search for THE right answer to our parenting questions,we really do come realize that there isn’t just ONE right way, not even in a family with multiple children. Parenting is all about understanding each individual unique child and beginning to dance with their customized self. In the moments where parenting is frustrating, I have learned to give myself permission to be frustrated while at the same time learning to appreciate that I have created something unique. Customized. Created by me with input from her, her friends, her neighbors, her community and her world. Taking all those pieces and watching and wondering at the same time.

Sometimes its important as a parent to step back and let the child lead the dance that we have been talking about over the last several weeks. Other times it’s important to be the adult and make the decisions (and follow through). Parenting is a back and forth, leading and guiding and following all at the same time. THAT’s what makes it customizable. It shouldn’t look just like the next door neighbors family, or your own childhood experiences or the tv show on a popular network.

You and your child should customize your world together and enjoy the journey along the way.

How have you customized your journey?

Lori Korthals, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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One thought on “I’d like to customize my order please

  1. I struggled with social relationships as a child, and one of the things that I’m most proud of with my children is that they are willing to follow their own interests while maintaining friendships along the way. But it isn’t always easy and it has certainly provided some interesting teachable moments along the way. For example, given that social relationships, especially in the adolescent years, are so important, how does one stay strong and positive as a teen when your interests (maybe 4H as a high school junior or not being into X-Box)run counter to what everyone else seems to be doing? Our family focus has been on teaching respect for all, regardless of what the person is into, including respect for self, but it can certainly be difficult when kids are trying so hard to find their place in the world. 🙂

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