What Makes a Child Special? Ideas for Celebrating Uniqueness
Every child has unique character strengths and abilities that allow them to express their individuality in a social environment. It is what makes them "special." As parents, we begin to notice differences in our children when they are quite young.
Remember when you discovered your child loved to listen to music, or to climb, or to build with blocks? These may have been slight hints as to your child's future interests, and perhaps in life they became a musician, a mountain climber, or an architect.
We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.— Stacia Tauscher
Let Me Tell You How I Am Special!
An Ohio kindergarten teacher I knew asked her class, "What can you do that makes you different from everyone else?" She used this as an introduction to the thematic concept "I Am Special" during circle time. Here are some of their responses:
- Andrew said, "I do puppet shows."
- Amy said, "I know how to play all the games on my Barbie computer."
- Austin said, "I am really good at LEGO Star Wars 2—the original trilogy computer game."
- Brandon said, "I can put my foot on top of my head when I'm sitting down without using my hand."
- Joe said, "I can run super duper fast."
- Elena said, "I am great at coloring pictures."
- Mary said, "I am good at soccer."
- Becky said, "I am practicing reading, and I can draw really good."
- Alicia said, "I help my little brother, Ben, build LEGOs."
- Tasha said, "I wear pretty hair clips."
Defining One's Individuality
These simple sayings, as humorous as they may seem to adults, are descriptive of what a child believes separates himself or herself from others. They help the child define his or her individuality from everyone else around them. I wear pretty hair clips, I can run super duper fast, and I do puppet shows are serious answers to this question. They affirm the child's belief in being able to accomplish something well in life.
What Exactly Makes Me Special?
How would you fill in the blank to this question?
I am special because __________.
We will come back to this question later. Let's continue on so that we can discover what makes children special.
The "Who Am I?" Activity
Using the "Who Am I?" form shown above, a group of children were asked to fill in the blanks with the appropriate words. They had just talked about their favorite cereals and made a book about them for their reading center, so the children were familiar with who liked what in the classroom.
The next morning, the teacher posted their forms on the bulletin board for all to see as they walked into the classroom. As they tried to guess who was who, the children learned that they had similar features, but yet they were unique in other ways. The concept hit home with them: Their individuality made them special.
How Can I Help My Child Know They Are Special?
It is said that people have mastery of four to five talents and gifts unique to themselves. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, our creator made us all unique individuals. We all have a purpose in life to fulfill. Yes, no one else can take your place or do your job in life, which you are uniquely qualified for; if you don't do this, then someone else will, but they may not be as effective (or, the job may never be done!).
As parents, we must instill a sense of our child's extraordinary life within them. We must encourage the gifts and talents they have been given and their special dreams. Our child must know that they are one person with special abilities, yet one of many in a world of opportunity. Here are a few ideas for how to help your child discover this.
1. Read Inspiring Books Together
You can begin by reading books about being special or unique to your child. I love the book Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss. I read it to my child when he was young and again when he graduated from high school. The book is a story of how we go through life facing many thrills, dangers, and adventures, but, most importantly, it encourages you to bravely face your future because you are special. This is a book that can help a child get excited about his or her potential.
2. Discuss Your Child's Talents and Abilities
Reading the Dr. Seuss book together can lead to a discussion of your child's uniqueness. Afterwards, point out how they can sing, dance, write, draw, help others, etc., well and how it is a great accomplishment. This will help them believe in themselves and their special abilities.
3. Celebrate, Affirm, and Validate Your Child
As your child continues to grow, celebrate their accomplishments in school, in sports, at home, and in other important areas in life. Let them know how you view their unique talents through affirmative words. For example, saying, "You amaze me by how quickly you can solve those math problems" goes a long way in helping your child realize they have some special skill. Give your child the tools they need, through your validation, to inspire their uniqueness in life.
Now, as you have had time to think through this concept, and knowing you also have a special purpose in life, can you answer the question?
How Would You Answer?
I am special because ____________.
Quotes About Celebrating Uniqueness
- I believe that every person has uniqueness—something that nobody has. —Michael Schenker
- Only when you are aware of the uniqueness of everyone's individual body will you begin to have a sense of your own self-worth. —Ma Jian
- I think we should all be tolerant of each other and embrace each other's strengths and differences and uniqueness and beauty. —Martina McBride
- I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know full well. —Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
Share Your Thoughts!
What makes you feel special?
Questions & Answers
Why is a little son so special to a mom?
Every child is special for moms, each in their own unique way. They are an extension of who you are and reflect the love you have for them.Helpful 22
- Helpful 1
Why is each person special for the abilities he or she has?
Your question is one many people ask themselves. How am I different from others? What makes me special? Other than our parent telling us, we wonder how others view our uniqueness. First, I believe our creator made each of us with special abilities to succeed on our journey. Using those abilities in the world around us makes our experience different from others. Secondly, how we see ourselves and use those abilities affects our view of life and how we live. Our unique application of talents and abilities will be different from any other individual.Helpful 11
What qualities make a person precious?
Precious is a trait held dear to a person for various reasons. What one person values may differ from another point of view. However, someone who is precious to another would bring joy, happiness, trust, love and loyalty to a relationship. Communication is open but not always evident when one is with another, silence is an accepted comfort as well when needed.Helpful 8
© 2012 Dianna Mendez