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don’t fit in when you were born to STAND OUT

“The things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.” – Ben Platt

don’t fit in when you were born to STAND OUT

Don’t fit in, when you were born to stand out!- Don’t hide the things that make you uniquely you.

On Britain’s Got Talent, a disabled boy rolled out onto the stage, leaning heavily on a walker in order to make the trip. The judges frown as he finally faces them, wondering what a boy with cerebral palsy can possibly do on a talent show.

“Tell me a little about you,” one of the judges ask, his eyes lasered in on the walker.

“I’m a professional gymnast,” the boy says cheekily.

This laugh is just the first of many Jack Carrol produced on that day at just 14 years old. He continued to have the audience in stitches as he showed them all exactly what he could do as a comedian. He never once hid his cerebral palsy, making it instead a way of bringing him closer to the crowd.

Jack Carrol is now an actor, writer, and comedian. He is doing very well in his career, and continues to delight his audiences with his charming personality and wonderful humor. Many adults can’t boast the same confidence in their own, perfectly sound and working bodies, but that is a cycle we can and should break in our children.

Learning to appreciate what is special about ourselves, and developing our own unique talents, is vital to our mental health. For Jack Carrol, that meant focusing on his humor, and using everything, even his own physical impediments, as a tool to sharpen that.

Most of us have children who are in perfect health, (we hope!) and my hope is that you won’t focus on the walker as the judges did and think only those with a disability have something that makes them different. All of us have something deep in our hearts that is strange, unique, different, and wonderful!

For your child, it could be their freewheeling skills on the monkey bars, or an obsessive interest in all things musical, embracing what makes us unique could change the world. That kid on the monkey bars could become a world champion Spartan Racer, that child who can pick out any tune on a violin could be the next Lindsey Stirling.

Even if we don’t choose to make our special talents our profession, taking pride in them can be wonderful for our wellbeing, both as adults and as children.

If you want to encourage your kid to make the most of their unique talents, here are a few tips on getting them started.

pay attention to the things your child loves

This is especially important for teenagers, who might be a bit shy or reclusive with their talents. Some kids may have “odd” talents. Even if your son loves singing opera or your daughter is crazy about skateboarding, look to see what they drift towards and (as long as it is relatively safe) encourage it.

If you notice that they have focused on a particular area of interest, encourage it. Even if you simply buy them a new rod so they have a better chance at winning the Fly Casting Championships, your approval will go a long way to helping them let their talents shine.

if your child doesn’t seem to have a talent, help them explore until they find one

Not every child has a visible gift right away. Kids that don’t have a passion to hone frequently end up with destructive habits instead, because our self-esteem is often directly affected by our abilities. You don’t have to saddle your child with karate lessons or violin when they find these things utterly boring, but introduce them to new experiences may help pave the way for discovering that special interest.

Every one of us is unique, and we deserve to let our personal talents shine. Help your child find those talents, and then watch them take on the world with those skills.

books to encourage kids to stand out

Encourage your children to stand out and shine with these empowering stories. Through characters who dare to be different, challenge the status quo, and celebrate their unique qualities, these books teach young readers that it's better to be authentic than to fit in.

coloring fun

Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.

Download PDF • 155KB

share with us

We would love to hear your experiences and advice on empowering your little ones to embrace their true selves, fostering self-expression, confidence, and a sense of pride in their individuality. Are there any books or resources you feel can help? Thanks so much for reading and feel free to comment.


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