Encouraging individualism in children 5

I want my children to be individuals  to not be afraid to be different. I want them to have the courage of their convictions and I want them to know that uniqueness is something to be embraced not shunned.  However, this is not easy ion today’s mass market society   Everything looks the same and they often want to follow trends, well Mini does.  Maxi is much happier to stand out from the crowd.


Over the Easter holidays we were invited to London Zoo by Next to see their Spring/Summer 2013 range and as both the boys have started to show an interest in the clothes they wear it was an interesting event.  Maxi gravitated towards the bright colours, whilst Mini loved the streetwear.  I was going to blog about the clothes, but realised that there are already some great posts out there from This  Mummy Loves, Inside the Wendy House and The Crazy Kitchen.


As we left they were gifted a goodie bag that contained a monochrome hat and some sunglasses.  When we got home they thought it would be a great idea to use some fabric pens we have and to customise their caps.  I thought this was a great way of introducing individualism and we had great fun.

hats next

Both the boys really enjoyed personalising their hats from Next and took a lot of time in picking the colours they wanted and it was the perfect quiet time activity.  We sat at the table after bath time and discussed why it is OPK to wear what you want and that it is what is on the inside that matters not the outside.

How do you encourage your children to be unique?


5 thoughts on “Encouraging individualism in children

  • Alison

    I have always been quite unique in the fact that I form my own opinions, I try not to follow fashion trends but always get complimented on my appearance. I don’t want to be ordinary when I can be extraordinary. I can stand my own in a boardroom without raising my voice, I love all things feminine and I can’t stand nasty gossiping women. I have tried to teach my children that they are individuals and that if they don’t like what everyone else likes that that’s OK. My son is very much like me and doesn’t have too follow the status quo for fear of not fitting in, he is totally comfortable in his own skin.

    However my daughter is a completely different kettle of fish. Somewhere along the line I think I have failed her as a Mother. She is kind, thoughtful, naive and quite soft really. She was always unique especially in her dress since and was full of fun and life, she was the one you could hear laughing above everyone else, she always took the lead, she always had a go and was never bothered if she didn’t get it right but things have started to change. She is in year 6 and all of a sudden she has started to follow the crowd because she now gets teased mercilessely for her vibrant and hearty outlook on life and her opinions which often differ to everyone elses.
    She wants to now be part of the crowd, but the crowd is often quite nasty. I can see the change in her when she’s aroudn family and how she behaves when she’s around certain friends. I wish now I had taught her how to be a little tougher instead of how to look for the good in people and focus on that. I know this is the correct way to behave but she will have a tough time at High School I think and people will take advantag eof her good nature. So yes being unique is brilliant I think but how do you make the transition from being unique in junior school to being unique in High School and still maintaining our personality.

    • Jen Walshaw Post author

      Alison » I wish I had the answer. Maxi is still very unique at eight, but Mini does want to be part of a crowd and hard his long curly locks cut off to fit in. I keep trying to instill in them the confidence to be who they want to be and I do not allow them to be cruel about the way people look or what they wear. I am especially keen as they have a cousin with ginger hair and friends who are redheads too. I want them to have the courage of their convictions too!

  • Rachael

    Hmm, that’s a tough one isn’t it. No matter what we do our children have their own personalities. My son, for example, seems happy to not fit in. But it is not a statement, it’s just that what everyone else is doing seems to wash over him. He is so laid back, he doesn’t seem to notice what ‘the crowd’ is doing. To be fair, he is only 7! My daughter is more likely to want to do what her friends do. However, she has a few friends who are probably going to turn out to be goths eventually! I know her friends have like-minded parents in terms of being confident and individual. I often don’t think that we are that unusual as a family but then I remind myself that we do do things differently. After all, all three of my children were born at home and breastfed for at least 11 months. I guess I hope that they will just absorb the influence that we are happy without doing EVERYTHING that everyone else does but that we still want to engage with lots of people and find out what is going on in the world.

  • Ned

    I loved what the kids did with their hats! they turned out to be quite brilliant in my opinion.

    You have raised a very important question here.. But I’m not sure what my answer would be to that. My kids are very small but happy and lively for their age. I’m not sure what they would grow up to be. I want them to be independent and confident individuals, not afraid of being different but i think its only natural for children to want to fit in with their friends.

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