There was a Dodge commercial a few years back that emphasized originality; more so, it highlighted the importance of being “different” and standing apart from the crowd. Children and young adults often find themselves in a place where they feel like they must be like the rest of the crowd to fit in… sometimes caving into peer pressure even when it’s the wrong path. When you notice that your child is trying to find her identity among her peers, it is generally a good idea to begin guiding her in a steady and healthy way.

Help her to feel good about herself by nurturing her talents so that she can strive and thrive in school, at home and at work in the future. Explain to her that there is no “snowflake-cutout” image perfect for her, but rather that she should design her life the way she sees fit and not what others may dictate to her. When she understands that you are going to be the rock on which she can lean, she will feel emboldened to be courageous, strong and determined in her abilities and to help her be unique.

What many young children and teens do not realize is that eventually, they will be adults in the real world. To them, everything is complex… from school, to friends, to teachers, homework, socializing, parents, extended family, siblings, dreams, goals, studies, dating… there is no end in sight sometimes. In matters that often create massive emotional strains, teenagers are quickly overwhelmed. While they may be smiling on the outside, their hearts may be breaking internally. This is where a mother’s (or father’s) intuition can really begin to pay off. When we can look beyond the mask that our growing child has placed upon her face, we can easily head off negativity at the pass. Get a feel for her daily routine – her likes, her dislikes, her friends, her schoolwork, her habits, her behavior, her teachers and her extracurricular activities. By knowing our children, we can begin to understand what it is they need from us to move beyond their inhibitions.

Practice listening so that you can hear what she is saying to you. When I say that, I mean that you have to develop an ear for discovering her innermost feelings. It is by no means an easy task. Even watching their body language is vital for you to understand and know your child better. As parents, we desperately try to do everything and anything within our means to create a loving and solid environment, but even in our best attempts to do so, we may not always see through the veil. We may even unintentionally smother them if we try too hard. So how does one help her child to be “different” in a constructive way? Unconditional love.

Let your child always know that no matter what the circumstance, no matter the challenge, no matter what the case may be, that you will always be there for her. Explain to her that mutual respect and honesty is what you want in your parent-child relationship. Let her know that your door and your heart are always open to her. When she trusts that she can communicate with you, you will be able to help mold your child into the creative and matchless individual that she already is and who she will one day become in a sometimes volatile world.

When she learns that she is different but in a special and loving way, she will feel comfortable about herself, her surroundings and her dreams. Be the mighty oak tree that will shelter her from life’s storms, but do not overshadow her…be strong, but not so rigid that you cannot sway with the currents of the wind. She will love and respect you for it… and in the end, she may just be like Dodge: different…and in a positive and productive way.

The Baby Whisperer Vol9: From Peer Pressure to Perseverance
By Joan Marie Whelan The Baby Whisperer

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Author's Bio: 

Intuitive Life Mastery Coach and THE BABY WHISPERER WITH JOAN MARIE ™, Joan Marie Whelan, brings the art of heart and soul bonding to the lives of parents and children, pre-conception - in vitro and beyond! Learn more here: The Baby Whisperer with Joan Marie