Let your kid be the “academic”.
Let your kid be the “jock”.
Let your kid be the “brain”.
Let your kid be the “rocker”.
Let your kid be the “princess”.
Let your kid be the “geek”.
Let your kid be “popular”.
Let your kid be “musical”.
Let your kid be “weird”.
Let your kid be “athletic”.
Let your kid be “theatrical”.
Let your kid be “wacky”.
Let your kid be “comical”.
Let your kid be all of these.
Let your kid be some of these.
Let your kid be none of these.
Let your kids be something other than these.
Let your kid be what your kid wants to be, even if the phase lasts five minutes.
You may have heard, “Don’t be something you’re not!”
There is no way for your kid to know who they “are” if they don’t figure out who they are “not”.
I went from shoulder pads to flannel.
From Sam & Libby shoes to combat boots.
From princess pink lip gloss to ridiculously dark lipstick to match my teenage angst.
I liked smart boys, and I liked bad boys.
I went from cheerleader to the debate team.
I figured out who I was by growing through the pains of who I was not.
Evolving between elementary and high school is part of growing up.
Life is about reinventing yourself. Many times over.
Are you the same person you are now that you were 20 years ago?
We must allow our children to reinvent themselves. Often, more than once.
What matters is they remain faithful to their values.
Those values “carry them through” whatever phase they go through.
Check on your kids.
Talk to your kids.
Listen to your kids.
Teach your kids to be kind to everyone but not spend their valuable time on just anyone.
Teach them to be strong but compassionate.
Teach them actions speak louder than words.
Teach them that it is OK to reinvent yourself as long as you remember to value yourself.
Originally published on the author’s Instagram