As a kid, I never really felt like I fit in. I tried to be friends with everybody, but it always seemed like my peers wanted to fit everyone into a box. Athlete– Go there– those are your people. Artist–Go over there…those are your people. Nerdy-smart kid…Go over there and stay with your tribe of fellow nerds. I hated that because in so many ways I never completely fit into any one box.
As a mom, I’ve tried so hard to fight the same signals when my kids felt the need to conform. I never wanted my children to fit neatly into some pre-prescribed box. Who said you can’t be an athlete and an artist? Who said you can’t be a nerdy-smart techno geek who also writes and is athletic? Who said you can’t love classic rock and antique shopping? Why can’t you be a girlie girl that can shoot guns and spear a gator? Why try and fit so neatly into someone else’s box and rules and conform? Why not test and push and BE who you really want to be?
I have found, as I’ve grown older, that [bctt tweet=”over time the boxes we allow ourselves to be put into can often times become cages.” username=”lyettereback”] Like the baby elephant who is held in place by a small stake in the ground. When he grows up to be a mighty and humongous animal, he is still held in place by that same small stake…all because as a wee one he was trained to think that the little stick was all it took to keep him in place.
Growing up has only been made more challenging and confusing with the advent of social media and all the confusing messages our kids are bombarded with on a moment by moment basis. Being placed in a pre-prescribed box can happen almost by accident…and that’s why I wanted to write this post. If you’re like me and you want your children to live out their God intended purpose and pursue His design for their life, then there are plenty of times your child will have to throw off conformity like an old ball and chain and fight hard to be and stay the person that God created them to be. Challenge them when they begin to put themselves in a box. [bctt tweet=”Remind your child that their originality is a beautiful thing. ” username=”lyettereback”]Encourage them to stay true to who they are, and to run after becoming all God has for them to be.