What Makes a Child Special?
We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.— Stacia Tauscher
Share your thoughts!
What makes you feel special?
Celebrate Your Uniqueness
I believe that every person has uniqueness - something that nobody has.
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.
I think we should all be tolerant of each other and embrace each other's strengths and differences and uniqueness and beauty.
I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know full well.
—Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
Let Me Tell You How I Am Special!
Every child has unique character strengths and abilities that allow him or her 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 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.
An Ohio Kindergarten teacher I knew asked her class, "What can you do that makes you different from every one 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."
These simple sayings, as humorous as they may seem to adults, are descriptive of what a child believes separates him from others. It defines 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. it is what affirms their 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.
Using the form Who Am I? shown adjacent to this paragraph, a group of children were asked to fill in the blanks with the appropriate words. They had just talked about and made a book holding their favorite cereals 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 as to how their individuality made them special.
How Can I Help My Child Know He Is 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 it may not be as effective (or, it may never be done!).
As parents, we must instill a sense of our child's extraordinary life within them. We must encourage their gifts, talents and special dreams of which they have been given. Our children must know that they are one person with special abilities, yet one of many in a world of opportunity.
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 potential. Reading this 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. Give your child the tools they need, through your validation, to inspire their uniqueness in life.
As your child continues to grow, celebrate their accomplishments in school, in sports, at home and other important areas in life. Let them know how you view their unique talents through affirmative words. For example, saying, "You amaze me at how quickly you can solve those math problems", goes a long way in helping your child realize they have some special skill.
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?
I am special because ___________________________________________.