Yesterday my nephew had baseball practice. The baseball field is in the harbor about three miles south from our house; so it’s much cooler and windy down there. It was gorgeous outside, but Cydney needed a hat. Cydney opted for this wig that belonged to my nephew from an old Michael Jackson wig. I laughed and obliged. We went to the soccer field right next to the baseball diamond and kicked the ball around like we normally do.
Because it was quite windy out, Cydney didn’t want to play soccer for too long. She wanted to run around with her hands in the air reminiscent to an airplane and pretend to fly around. It was about 6 p.m. and there were many people jogging around the track looking at this toddler pretending to fly around in a wig that made her look like an old lady or Jerome from the TV show, Martin. She didn’t care and neither did I. She was happy and I was happy.
I let my daughter do all kinds of things. If she wants to walk around with a princess dress while we’re going to the mall? Fine. She believes she’s actually a
princess queen. Do we practice soccer with a tiara on if she feels like it? Why not. The whole purpose of this is that my child is unique. I facilitate this by letting her be whoever she wants to be. It’s the key to letting her become an awesome individual. It lets her imagination develop. It will give her the courage to do whatever she wants to do in life without worrying about obstacles, hindrances, or others who may look at her negatively. It will in fact encourage her to take risks that others won’t and is the bedrock of leadership. When she walks outside happily with two shoes that don’t match but says they’re her tap dance shoes then I just look at her, laugh, take pictures, and post them on Instagram.
The result of this is that Cydney has a ton of personality. This is how I was raised I think it works. People tend to gravitate towards me because I tend to look at life differently. I’m candid, honest, and have a sense of self that even in times when I don’t feel the most confident I can and will find a way to make a way out of no way.
Many people didn’t “get” me growing up. I was the kid in Pre-K who grabbed his crotch and imitated Michael Jackson during the pledge of allegiance every day. I’d come into class some mornings and just lay on the floor because that was how I felt. For a short spell of time I changed my name and would write my name on my heading as “Blue Milner.” Some teachers thought I was crazy; some kids did too. Oh well. The teachers who understood I marched to the beat of my own drum were the ones whose classes I emotionally flourished in because my grades were always good.
This kind of pattern always made me seek out people who were accepting of me being me. Timile saw who I was deep down and while I resisted for a little bit it was the thing that made me crazy about her. She got me. It is the most important quality I look for in relationships these days. It speaks volumes to acceptance. If you can see past someone’s “crazy” and know there’s an incredible upside to it then I feel like I’ve got a winner where we can both be weird together.
There are adverse effects to raising this kind of person. I’m kind of a rebel and for what many would consider to be “normal” is not for me. I remember growing up and thinking that my dad was the coolest because he didn’t wear a suit to work. That shaped me into aspiring to be just like that one day (Note: Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind wearing a suit to work; but I want to continue to do things that make me happy as well as paid).
The key to this is balance. I do discipline Cydney. When she does something she’s not supposed to do I will tell her she can’t wear something that she requested and this is the reason why. Eventually she’ll get the gist of it. I also think that once she is in school she will become more balanced as well.
As of now, Cydney’s got a fairly free reign to be whoever she wants to be. People can and will flock to her because of this.
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