When kids don’t fit the mold, it can be even harder on us than it is on them. While they’re lying down on second base instead of paying attention, we’re up at night worrying about the year 2035. The good news: the world is wider than it used to be.
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Sooner or later, most parents discover that their kid doesn't fit society's mold in one way or another. But there's "quirky" kids with unusual haircuts, and then there's the kids who really do their own thing, with or without peer approval. In this episode, we're talking about the latter.
Those parents will recognize what Dr. Perri Klass calls "the pivotal moment": "not just one moment of extreme behavior in your kid, but the last in a series of impossible-to-explain-away behavior that resonates with the parent's long-considered and long-avoided fears. It crystallizes in a parent's mind all the floating anxieties and worries of many months."
It’s especially challenging for us when our kids are outside the norm because we can't help but think what will become of this kid? But at those times, we're forgetting two things: not only do our children have the ability to grow and develop, we're going to become better parents along the way, as well.
When it comes to our non-mold-fitting kids, there's reason to hope that the world will someday be wide enough. Albert Einstein didn’t fit the mold either, and things worked out pretty well for him. Which isn't to say he didn't cause his mom some sleepless nights along the way.
Here are some links to writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:
Drs. Perri Klass and Eileen Costello: Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn’t Fit In
greatschools.org: How to support your unique, quirky child
childmind.org: Sensory Processing FAQs
slate.com: What About Kids Who Don't Fit The Mold?
Dana Basu: How to Cope When Your Child is Different
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