Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fitting In

Why is it that we always feel the need to fit in? How do we empower our children to be themselves when we as adults are untrue to ourselves?

Just the other day, one of my Guides came in to our meeting a little early.  Since she was the only girl there, she took the time to share with me that she's been having difficulty at school with people she thought were her friends.  Apparently, she didn't have the right kind of shoes and so she didn't "fit in" with their group anymore.
Of course, I gave her the best advice I could think of, that being true to herself and not giving into peer pressure will make her a better, stronger person.  That liking herself and her sense of style is more important to her self-being than the thoughts of her friends.  Though, as much as I know those are the answers I should be giving; I couldn't help thinking that I'm guilty of changing to fit in too, even now. 

Being a kid is hard.  Being an adolescent girl can be even harder.  So what can we, as society, do to help our young girls, and boys, have the confidence to be themselves and not struggle with this timeless plight?

These are just some of my thoughts as I look at my own children and think about how I can give them the tools to be secure enough with who they are that they won't feel the need to change to "fit in".  What are your thoughts?  Do you think adapting to the situation is important?  Should we be teaching our kids that fitting in is more important that self-confidence?


  1. Such a tough question!

    My daughter was confident in her "other"-ness through elementary, but junior high just sapped her self-confidence. She doesn't want to be like the other kids--she just doesn't want to be judged for being different.

    It's hard not to care about what other people think, no matter how much you tell yourself it doesn't matter. You need to find friends who like you for you, which can be hard in smaller schools.

    So basically, I have no clue!

  2. That's just it, we DO care what other people think. I think even those people that say they don't care, do, just maybe not as much as others.
    It's tough. Being a parent you want to see your kids grow into self-confident, happy people. Sometimes life makes it really hard on a person though.