Celebrating Individuality and How You can Start at Home

Celebrating Individuality and How You can Start at Home

12 June 2022 • Words by Nanette Botha 2 mins

Pride Month may have different meanings for different people. Regardless, though, it really all boils down to celebrating individuality and acceptance. In some countries in more recent years, there has been a stronger focus on these aspects in general. Within the school environment, children are often encouraged to share their interests and opinions; therefore, opportunities are created for acceptance, understanding, and respect to be taught.

Challenges may arise, though, when a family’s opinion or point of view differs, perhaps significantly, from what is taught at school. When a child learns at school to celebrate their peers’ individuality, focus on their strengths, and help one another out with things that they may find challenging, it could be hard for parents to understand how this will benefit their child’s learning. However, at the same time, a child’s social and emotional understanding, as well as interpersonal skills, are developed. These are skills that they would need right into adulthood.

Pandya (2014) says that a lack of acceptance and support from peers and others within a community can have a significant impact on children’s mental health. It is therefore paramount that respect is taught from a young age – even when there are disagreements or differences between children. Perhaps especially when there are differences and disagreements.

There are a few simple things that families can do at home to foster understanding and acceptance in their children:

Model an appropriate response or reaction to your children

This starts with everyday matters that may seem insignificant such as when disagreements arise at home. How do you handle disagreements? It should be in a way that shows children how to listen to another person, consider their feelings and choose their words and attitude carefully to accept and love their partner, child, or family member regardless of differences or disagreements.

Make disagreeing okay

It is important for children to be taught that they do not always have to agree with their peers – it is a skill to be able to agree to disagree (and still be friends)!

Teach respectfulness

With the celebration of individuality, we need to take care that we expect our children themselves to still be respectful. Celebrating your child, their strengths and uniqueness are wonderful and necessary, but it should not mean that our child should be the one making all the rules and trying to be in control of others (when it doesn’t concern them). Speaking to school teachers, you will often hear them say that discipline within the classroom can be quite challenging. It is our responsibility, as parents, to ensure that we are teaching our children respect and consideration, not only for themselves but also for others.

These things may sound very simple, and it is. If we can start at home to foster understanding, acceptance and respect with our own children, we are setting them up for success as they would be able to generalize those same skills to their peers outside of the home environment.

Moshi Stories and Moments to help teach acceptance and individuality:

The Moshi app is a great tool to have on hand for parents. It’s not only the perfect bedtime companion but also has loads of amazing learning moments and educational themes throughout its tracks. Here are just a few that are perfect for teaching acceptance and individuality:

Pandya A. (2014). Mental health as an advocacy priority in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Journal of psychiatric practice, 20(3), 225–227.

Nanette Botha

Educational specialist & mother of 3 young children Co-founder: AIMS Global & Leadership at: Augmental