Children are not just different because they have different colour hair, skin or eyes. They are each a wonderfully unique person walking the planet with billions of other unique individuals.
Even siblings born into the same family, with the same parents, can be very different from each other. Unfortunately so many children see their ‘difference’ as an issue, leaving them feeling that they are “weird”, “different” or just don’t fit in. This can lead to self loathing, depression and anxiety.
Children need to feel that they “fit in” because acceptance and belonging is a basic human need, but they shouldn’t just try to fit in with anyone. They need to find healthy friendships with children who are “like-minded” or similar to them in some way. These children will naturally get along with your children because they will have common values and attitudes.
If there are no like minded children at your childrens’ school then you need to seek out a club, sport or activity that does have like minded children, for them to connect with.
You want your children to have a positive self image and the first step is to make them feel loved, accepted and celebrated by you. Even the quirkiest kid who has a positive self image is easy to like because they exude confidence and positivity.
The Magic Coat contains a Pocket Full of Starfish that introduces children to five unique starfish, each with their own name and personality.
- Linckia - is energetic and athletic. She strives to beat her personal best and is a team player.
- Cookie - Cookie’s special skill is cooking. He’s a little masterchef who is very artistic and precise.
- Lavender - Lavender is floaty and very connected to nature- like a little hippie! She cares for the reef and environment and is very community spirited.
- Brevis - Brevis is a star performer. He practices and trains hard. Bravo Brevis!
- Bat Star - Bat Star is a super hero! He is webbed like a Spider- hero and has special skills. What makes him a hero is the extraordinary things he does for others.
Each starfish reminds children that we are all unique and different. We were not born to be the same. We were all born to stand out!
You need to ensure that, while your children celebrate their own individuality, they must also celebrate or at the very least respect the differences of others.
Explain to children that, while not everyone is going to be “best friends” because we all have our own unique personalities, we can all show respect and care to one another.
Research has found that, if every child made sure no child ever sat alone at recess or lunch time at school, bullying would be dramatically reduced. This is because children who are isolated are easy targets for bullies.
As a parent you can assist your children to navigate the sometimes scary, social school environment whilet also keeping their own uniqueness, by ensuring your children have the basic social abilities of starting a conversation, playing games by the rules and being friendly and approachable to others.
The Magic Coat workshop, which helps children navigate friendships, is a great resource for parents and children to do together.