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  • Writer's picturedrmollybarrow

Children Who Are Different

Updated: Oct 5, 2019

Is your child different? Or are you a teenager and feel that you do not fit with your friends?

A body image that appears to be non-conforming can be a significant compressor of a child's self image. Anything that differs from society's "norm" such as being too short, too tall, too light, too dark, too little, too big, can be devastating emotionally. This is most damaging during the teen years. Appearances matter too much to children due to peer pressure and superficial values.

Adolescent bodies grow and develop erratically and often create self-loathing that lasts a lifetime. Regardless of your actual looks, if people tell you repeatedly that you are too "something," you will probably believe it. However, people gain influence and power over your own mind when you give it to them.

"Different' can become an asset as you grow older especially in the arts like music, film, or painting. "Different" in business or inventions can make you millions of dollars. If you begin to consider different as an asset, then you will select your partner or spouse differently, too. Instead of picking lower because you are different, you will select a finer quality mate who will appreciate you and your uniqueness.

Adolescence is often hellish and one must fight to survive the insecurities, fears and critical scrutiny. To be a carbon copy of your friends is the lowest of goals. Learning to love yourself is a test and a passage into a freer and more tolerant world of your own that you can design any way you like. Redefine your image as you want it to be, first in your own mind, and then in other people's perception of who you are.

Dr. Molly Barrow earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor and educator in private practice. She is the author of the Malia & Teacup children's books, Matchlines for Singles; and Step Parenting Essentials. Dr. Barrow is a relationship expert helping individuals, couples, families, and co-workers improve their relationships and communication skills. Her commentary and advice column, quotes, radio show, interviews, and articles are enjoyed worldwide in O Magazine, Psychology Today,, Parenting, Morning Blend,, Progressive Radio Network and Women’s Health.

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