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Belonging vs. Fitting In: Parenting Creative Kids in a Conformity-Driven World

Here is a topic that hits close to home for many of us:

The issue of fitting in versus belonging for our kids. Kids and teens navigate the labyrinth of social dynamics, seeking external validation from parents, siblings, and teachers – it is just how we roll. For those with a creative spark, the journey can be particularly challenging, often leaving them feeling like outsiders in a world that seems to prioritise conformity. So how do we parent creative kids, so that they truly thrive?

Picture this: you're a kid, marching through the school hallways, and all you want is to be part of the in-crowd. But if you're the artsy, out-of-the-box thinker, that road can feel like you're constantly chipping away at the very essence of who you are. The pressure to conform is real.

Now, we all get it. School life is tough. Fitting in seems like the only ticket to dodge the ostracisation bullet. But here's the kicker – that whole fitting-in charade? It's a confidence eroder, a soul-sucker that leaves you feeling like a second-rate version of yourself.

Let's get real about the difference between fitting in and belonging. Fitting in demands you play by the rules, blend in, and lose those quirks that make you, well, you. Belonging, on the other hand, is the golden ticket to a community that embraces your uniqueness, rough edges and all. It's not about being the finished product; it's about celebrating the messy, beautiful work in progress.

A series of images of children in an acting class, having fun with their friends and connecting with like minded creatives

Now, for our creative minds, finding their tribe is like finding a secret clubhouse where they can let their true self fly without fear. Creativity is messy, it's got edges, it's got layers. But without a crew to vibe with, that uniqueness can go unnoticed, leading to untapped potential and, worst-case scenario, a personality flatline.

Belonging is the antidote. It's the space where your quirks aren't just accepted – they're celebrated. It's where the journey is just as important as the destination, and that, my friends, is a game-changer for the creative souls among us. Creative minds need a tribe that gets it – a crew that sees the process of becoming as the main event. A community that not only tolerates but downright revels in the eccentricities. It's in this accepting space that creativity thrives, pushing boundaries and unlocking true potential.

A series of images of children in an acting class, having fun with their friends and connecting with like minded creatives

In a nutshell, as the grown-ups in the room – parents, educators, mentors – our gig isn't just about pushing conformity. It's about creating environments that scream, "Hey, it's cool to be you!" Let's champion uniqueness, because that's the secret sauce that makes every individual stand out. By doing that, we're not just raising kids; we're raising a generation of unapologetically authentic, creatively charged superheroes.

So maybe it’s time to check in on your kids, have some honest conversations, and make sure they know you support them for just being them.

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