Louisa Claire


Do you want your kids to fit in?

This afternoon Bliss and I had some quality time in the car driving around doing errands. She was being her usual, exhuberant self and I turned to her and said “You are SO beautiful. Do you know that?”

She smiled and then continued on with her antics, cracking herself and Bluey up more and more as each moment passed.

“Do you know what else you are?” I said.

Without skipping a beat she cried out “CRAZY!!!”

Got it in one kiddo.

Bliss fairy skirt

We celebrate the crazy in her – as exhausting as her degree of exuberance can be, we know it’s a huge part of who she is and we love that about her. We also don’t ever want her to feel she has to shut down, or conform. Yes of course there are times she needs to understand about behaving appropriately (though, from what her teachers tell us – she knows that already; they all say she is just a delightful girl to be around) but we don’t want her to think that there’s something wrong with her approach to life. In fact, we often think she could teach us a lot about how to embrace the moment!

The other thing we’ve heard from school is something we can see ourselves – somehow, throughout this first year as a school kid, she has managed to avoid becoming self conscious about herself. She says what she thinks without inhibition or fear of reproval from her peers.  She started school a happy, random little chickie and seems to be on track to finish her first school year in much the same fashion… only having learnt a bunch of cool stuff along the way.

Why am I telling you this? Probably because I’ve thought a lot about childhood this past year; what it means to leave the family home and move into the world – my beautiful girl now spends a huge amount of time with people who aren’t her family, people who aren’t wired to love and adore her. We gave a lot of thought to this when it came to choosing a school for her but still, this transition is a big one and you never really know how it’s going to go.

It can be tempting to want your child to fit in, to go with the flow – I guess with the idea that if they can do this they’ll get through unscathed.

Maybe that’s true, but for me – getting through school unscathed is a pretty low benchmark to be setting.

It seems to me that when we talk about “fitting in” what we are really saying is – let’s all be the same, let’s all conform to some external standard of well, being standard. Don’t rock the boat, don’t think outside the square – just get along and try to make nice with people.

So, do I want my kids to fit in? Heck no!

I don’t want them diluting their sense of self in order to get approval from their peers and I certainly don’t want them going quiet about their passions and beliefs in order to be accepted.  I want them to have confidence in who they are and what they believe so that they can stand up for those beliefs and be comfortable with difference. I hope they will seek out and find the good company of other intelligent, independent young folk who are curious about the world and unashamed of who they are and what they stand for. Of course I want them to know how to get on with people and be able to relate with empathy and kindness to the world around them, but I also hope they will strive to be intelligent in their conversation and committed to their views.

This means we’ve got quite a job cut out for us and I pray we’re up for it…the world feels likes a harder place to resist than it was when I was growing up.


{Photo credit: Chris Allsop Photography}

What about you? What do you think about fitting in? What are your hopes for your kids?


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