Welcome to the March 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Self-Expression and Conformity
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about authenticity through self-expression. We hope you enjoy this month's posts and consider joining us next month when we share about Peaceful Parenting Applied.
I moved about once per year as a kid. I didn't move to new towns, just new neighborhoods and schools. I made friends fast or I wouldn't have made friends at all. That said, and I'm not sure what it was about my childhood or if it was perhaps just my personality, but I always strove to be different. I was never popular and rarely made efforts to conform.
Actually, I think I occasionally did things to conform to my own clique of friends. I remember my year at Monte Cassino Catholic School that it was cool to wear your socks scrunched down. At All Saints Diocesan School we wore Keds, but they could not be new white! I remember kicking dirt onto new shoes. Man, we do some weird stuff as kids to fit in, don't we? My mom was so mad at me for messing up my new shoes!
Photo Credit: alessandra luvisotto
I'm kind of old, but these days... kids want to get piercings to fit in with the crowd. I've had a piercing and I have tattoos. I didn't even let my daughter get her ears pierced until her father and I felt she was old enough to tend to the piercings herself.
My teenage daughter, on the other hand... Well, she wants to fit in with someone but also doesn't seem to strive to be "popular." She has her own set of friends and does her own "weird" stuff as part of that group. She likes to cosplay.
As long as she isn't wearing clothing that I feel is too revealing, I've been totally supportive of her imagination when it comes to her style as well as her cosplay dress-up. I've been impressed with her ingenuity when she wants a costume piece right now (she always wants it right now!) and she has to come up with something from nothing.
I don't understand being embarrassed by what your child chooses to wear. I don't feel that her clothing choices are a reflection of me as a person or as a parent at all. I don't want to stifle her creativity or imagination. So... she looks "weird" sometimes. She sure has fun with it!
Do your kids do anything that makes them seem weird to the average passerby?
Does it make you uncomfortable or proud?
Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month's Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- No Tattoos! (yet) - Jana Falls at Jananas is okay with tattoos. You just have to wait until you're 18.
- The Chains of Conformity -Destany at They are All of Me writes about teaching her children to be true to their own authenticity and... screw conformity, it's for sheep.
- Supporting Self-Expression in Children - At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy encourages her children to be themselves and express themselves accordingly.
- Encouraging Good Examples -Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work encourages her spirited preschooler to choose good examples to copy in order to discourage inappropriate learned behaviors.
- Supporting Your Child's Self Expression - Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses how she support's her daughter's desire to be herself despite objections from Rasta Daddy.
- Can a "good" child be noncompliant? - Lauren at Hobo Mama has a sweet-natured child who is anything but obedient. She likes him just fine, but his grandmother's not sure what to make of him.
- In Crowd or Outcast, March to Your Own Beat - Jorje of Momma Jorje compares some of the odd fashions of her own youth to some of the crazy stuff kids, and her teen in particular, are doing these days.
- Their bodies are their own - At Authentic Parenting, Laura questions society's claims on children.