Conformity provides a sense of assurance, well-being – and identity. I am sure there are many people who are perfectly happy to be normal. There is a certain comfort in complacency.
And yet, I believe, there are just as many of us who are straining at the bit, just dying to break out of the constraints of normalcy – and for them the road to true happiness is not to be just like everyone else – but to dare to be considered different!
There are many things that can stand in the way of happiness and success. Having a negative self-image is certainly one of them. However, a misplaced belief in what you think you need to do to be considered “normal” can be another roadblock — and one that is often overlooked. Renowned motivational writer and speaker Wayne Dyer, wrote in his book Excuses Begone, that we need to make a list of all the things we are “unwilling to do to achieve the life we want” –with the ultimate goal of having a blank sheet.
So, what should you take away from this as a parent? Simply this, if it is not in the extreme, it is probably OK to let your kids, especially your teens, experiment with being a little “out there,” Of course, it is important to watch for signs of true anti-social, or sociopathic behaviors, especially in light of so many school shootings, and teen suicides. But, in the absence of those extremes, its ok, to let your kids break from the norm a bit –it’s all part of them finding themselves.
And you know what mom? The same goes for you too!