| Parent Tip | Unique

While most girls in the 1st grade had their bedroom strewn with princesses, all things pink and soft, and closets bulging with tutus, and dresses that twirl, our girl was visiting nature stores. Her jeans pocket was home to a stuffed bat with long brown wings and tiny ears, and she had high hopes for purchasing another poster indicating the variety of bats found in our world. Her bookshelf was stacked with non-fiction books about Vampire bats, fruit bats, and all collections in between and if they were available, her comforter, sheets and pillowcase would have been donned in flying creatures. There is a good reason why bat sheets are not available. Bats. Flying, blood sucking, creepy, fly-in-your-hair-and-get-stuck, bats. My only girl. Bats.

While we secretly hoped that her bat fixation would pass, we always welcomed a new bat photo, key chain, or book into our home. We celebrated national bat week, recorded bat documentaries on television, purchased bat paraphernalia, and made bat cookies for her birthday. We embraced bats.

She also went through a stage of pulling her hair into a ponytail for 6 years straight and insisted on wearing boy’s basketball shorts and t-shirts as her primary wardrobe. At some point we were only allowed to call her Mrs. Jumbo, and during one summer I painted her face every day for two weeks with a rainbow and clouds. Her clothes rarely matched, she has never owned a doll, Barbie, or Hello Kitty pillow, and was more interested in painting dolphins than toes and fingernails.

Every child in unique, and God purposely created people with different interests and skills. Celebrate the individuality of your kids. Find the common thread no matter how different they are from you. Stages pass, interests shift, and maturity happens.

Sameness is dull and being just like everyone else is boring. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Hebrews 2:10 NLT

God has a great plan for your child as they develop their own, distinctive, personality. But be warned, you may have to learn how to discern between a Little Brown and Bumblebee Bat. My condolences.