Monday is Parent Affirmation Day at Help 4 Your Family! 7/9/2012- unique
Written by, Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C
Most of us have heard that saying about “keeping up with the Joneses.” It refers to our longing to have what others around us have and to fit into our perception of a “normal” family, but what if we all stopped? What if everyone stopped trying to keep up with the Joneses and just worked on being the Smiths, the Olivers, the Mbutus, the Pierces, the Finklesteins, or whatever your last name is? What would happen then? What do we give up when we work so hard to be like everyone else?
I would venture to guess that when we strive to be like everyone else, we give up our own authenticity, our power, and our inner peace, yet, so many people who come through my doors each day struggle with feeling so different from everyone else with the assumption that different equals not as good as.
I am going to propose that different just means different, no more and no less. I bet you can come up with a lot of people you have met who are different. I bet some of you are way nicer about them being different than you are to yourself when you feel different. Every family is different too. Each family has its own eccentricities. Maybe part of what attracts you to the Jones family is the thing that seems to make them unique. It could be that they always seem to have some inside joke in their family, or that they have a family activity they do together like hiking or biking that makes them different. Well, this week, we are going to focus on embracing what makes our family unique with this affirmation:
I love the experiences, values, and principles that make the family I am creating unique. We celebrate our differences.
This is an important affirmation for all families, but I am going to highlight the importance of this affirmation for families with trans-racial adoptees. In those families, or any families where a child does not necessarily look like his or her parent(s), finding similarities or unique qualities about your family that bind you together outside of the way that you look is so important. In my family we have a special hand squeeze that we, and only we know, means “I love you.” If I want to make my child feel special at any time, I give them the special squeeze- it does not embarrass them in front of their friends since no one else knows it is happening but the two of us, and sometimes they give me the squeeze and it always makes me smile.
I hope you enjoy this affirmation this week. As with all affirmations, it is good to say it over and over to make it a part of your everyday thought process.
How is your family unique? Please share.
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