Not every family has one, but if you do, you know it – a free spirit – a child that doesn’t necessarily fit into anyone else’s box. By definition, a free-spirit is “a person with a highly individual or unique attitude, lifestyle, or imagination.” After having our firstborn son, we thought we had it made for when our daughter, child #2, would arrive. I mean, what was there that we possibly hadn’t already learned from our first child?
Well…What we came to realize very quickly was that with two different children in the home, there were two different sets of personalities, desires, and needs. While our firstborn was a “rule-follower”, our daughter was a “free-spirit”. And with that came a whole new learning curve and set of parenting challenges. But over the years, our now 14-year-old daughter has become not only an amazing person but an amazingly strong free-spirited personality as well. Through it all, here are a few things we’ve learned about how to raise a free-spirited daughter.
Allow her to be herself.
Don’t squelch her personality and passions. From day one, we have had to learn how to parent our daughter differently in many ways, starting with breaking her strong will while she was young. My temptation even now is often to try to tone her down because she is so bubbly and outgoing, which is completely opposite of myself. But I’ve come to realize that I have to have a balance between guiding her free-spirit while at the same time letting it guide her. Yes, free-spirited individuals are sometimes misunderstood and even criticized for being themselves, and yet, allowing them to be who they were created to be is one of the greatest gifts they can be given.
Encourage her to use her gift.
A free-spirit can be a blessing and a curse, a gift and also a huge responsibility. From the time she was small, our daughter has never met a stranger she didn’t want to befriend, and so we have had to intentionally help her understand both the benefits and the precautions she must take. When you are a free spirit, it’s likely that everyone wants to be with you because you are just flat-out fun to be around, but along with that comes the tough realization that being close to everyone just isn’t reality, as much as you would like for it to be. However, free-spirited individuals, with proper guidance, have the natural potential to be in a category of the world’s greatest encouragers, motivators, and even leaders if they learn how to use their gift.
Pray for God to maximize on her potential.
A daughter’s free spirit can either make her or break her. A daughter’s free spirit can either make her or break her. While there is certainly its own set of challenges in raising a free-spirited daughter, there is also huge potential if God can get ahold of that free-spirited heart and steer it in an others-focused and eternally-minded direction. Our family and our home are better because of our free-spirited daughter. She brings vibrant life and vitality to everyone she is around. And my prayer is that God would take her bubbly, sometimes over the top, free-spirited self, and use her for His glory. If you have a free-spirit in your home, I think you would agree, that the world is a much better place because of these highly unique and gifted individuals. Take the time today to tell your free-spirited child just how special they are and how much they mean to you.
What is your favorite thing about free-spirited children?