If you’re anything like me, one size does not fit all. I’ve never been the person who could wear the hat that fits most people, who could wear the poncho or other decorative item or accessory. One size fits all never applied to me.
This was a hard pill to swallow when you’re a teen girl – high school was hard enough! I couldn’t wear the stuff everyone else did because my body was so different. It didn’t fit. I just didn’t fit.
It wasn’t until I got older (and we’re talking like 10 years older than that frustrated 14 year-old me) that I realized one size should never fit all. We’re not all alike. We don’t all share the same strengths and talents and we certainly don’t share the same triggers. We each have our own experiences in life that make us who we are, a combination of nature and nurture. Since our insides are different, why would we expect our outsides to be the same that one size could fit all?
I am seeing this now, once again, as a parent. What works for me as a mother of three boys with a husband who works long hours might not be the approach for a single parent, first time parents, or even parents with older kids. There is no one right approach to parenting – no one-size-fits-all parenting. In fact, we even parent each of our own kids differently than their siblings because they are each unique. I think everyone with kids can agree there’s at least one of your kids that doesn’t seem to know how to listen, or requires a different set of guidelines that lead to time-outs.
So the next time you find yourself wondering why you can’t act like other parents, remind yourself that your approach to parenting has to fit you and those you parent. Remind yourself to recognize that your unique attributes are what make you you – you are never supposed to be the same as everyone else. Instead concentrate on being the best version of you and bring that best you to all you do.
Read the poem “I Am An Individual.” It’s something I was required to memorize in 6th grade and the words have stuck with me ever since.
You are a uniquely wonderful person. The way you look, the way you live, the way you parent, the way you work – it is unique to your strengths and talents. What a boring world this would be if one size truly fit all.
Consider reading Being Uniquely You