When a child responds with immediate compliance to a parent’s request, it certainly seems to make the day go smoother. If the kids on the playground all run with the pack (and not against it), the social interactions for those children seem to be more at ease, less conflictual. When all of the students in the classroom follow their teacher’s instructions without dawdling or questioning the teacher’s reasoning, yup, that seems to make things feel a little easier, at least for the grownup, too. Currently, in most settings in most children’s lives, conformity seems to be valued and demanded even. Yet, there are some children who just don’t seem to conform.
Inconvenient Isn’t Always Problematic
The kids who don’t conform are the most likely to get labeled problematic. We often go into “fix-it” mode— wanting to change the child who seems to be in the world differently than same-age peers. At times though, we may be trying to fix something simply because of our own grownup desires for convenience. Sometimes, those children with different ways of being in and viewing the world grow into adults who will lead society to advance in unexpected ways.
It’s April, which is Autism awareness month. Autism is a very good example of something that was once viewed as a condition warranting a solution and/or cure and those with Autism are often viewed as non-conformists. However, the contemporary viewpoint seems to be one of acceptance. Consequently, it focuses on supporting the child in finding ease and success in their life and addresses the environment as the most appropriate place for intervention. This is different than just treating the child’s symptoms, though that may also be helpful.
Allowing for Uniqueness
In honor of Autism Awareness month and in support of the misunderstood non-conformist child, I share a quote. Samantha Berger, author of the children’s book, “Rock What Ya Got!”, is, presumably, in support of leaving room for people to be uniquely them:
“Everyone has their own special thing— find what is yours, and bring what you bring… Find your own voice and sing how you sing. Find your own OOMPH! Find your own ZING! Be your best you, and rock what ya got. Don’t let anyone say what you’re not. Live in this world and make your own spot. Take what you’ve got and rock it— A LOT!” -Samantha Berger, “Rock What Ya Got!”
At Intuition Wellness Center we specialize in integrated services and wellness programs for children, young adults and families and supporting other like-minded professionals in doing good work. We offer parent education seminars, wellness classes and other supportive services. If you think you would like some extra support, call us. Call 520-333-3320 for a free phone consultation.