April is Autism Awareness Month, so at KidSnips we’re donating $1 to Autism Speaks for every weekday, regular price haircut. And we’re celebrating the uniqueness of all our kids and embracing NOT fitting the mold.
When I was a kid, I remember waking up on my birthday with this very specific feeling. It’s the feeling that you get when you know that on that day, for at least a few minutes, everyone’s attention would be completely focused on celebrating you. That everyone’s love, laughter, smiles (maybe even… gifts?) would be directed at you. And that they’d be laughing and smiling and happy because you made them happy. Just as you are.
Sometimes we parents forget that our kids need this birthday morning feeling more than once a year. Sometimes we can get too caught up in the Parent Comparison Game. Is my kid normal? we ask ourselves. Are they too much this and not enough that? These are natural thoughts—especially living in a culture that’s so obsessed with perfection. But when we’re consumed by these anxieties, our kids begin to pick up on these worries instead of how much they’re loved. And wonderful. And unique. Even if they’re not just like little Jesse or Mason or Rolf from daycare—that’s ok. In fact, we think that’s awesome.
Every child is an individual and needs to be loved and celebrated for who they are. At KidSnips, we see all kinds of kids. Quiet ones, loud ones, funny ones, shy ones, take-charge ones, and barely-move-an-inch ones. And we adore them all, in all their quirky uniqueness. (Which is why we only hire stylists who love kids—all kinds of kids.)
So we’ve got some tips to help you celebrate your wiggly little one—and to let them know how big of a gift they are to you, and to the world.
Say it with words.
If you want your child to know, without a doubt, how special they are… tell them how special they are. This sounds like a no-brainer, but in the chaos of driving your kids from school to activities to doctors appointments to their friend’s houses (and somehow trying to feed them in your “free time”), it’s easy to forget to say what we feel.
Let them know that being different makes them who they are, and you wouldn’t want them any other way. And be specific about what you love about them. Tell them “I’m lucky to have such a compassionate kid” or “I’m so proud of how hard you’ve been trying on your math homework.”
Take some inspiration from this video. In the words of Kid President, “Boring is easy. Everybody can be boring! But you’re better than that.”
Your kid makes the world awesome… make sure they know it.
Let them be them.
Does your child think puke green is the best color on the planet? Do they tuck their dress into their overalls and think they’re ready for New York fashion week? Do they dream of having a pet tarantula?
So what? Let your kid be their true self. Their interests are what makes them who they are. Don’t try to shut them down. Celebrate their quirks.
So paint their bedroom puke green. Let them wear the overalls and dress combo (I’m not sure how this works practically, but chances are it’ll be in style at some point anyway, so why not now?). Don’t get the tarantula, though… tarantulas shouldn’t be allowed to exist, much less live in spaces where people live, as we all know.
Teach the difference between making a mistake…and being a mistake.
It’s important that we remind our kids that we all make mistakes. Yes, even you, their seemingly perfect parent (perfect in their eyes only, that is).
And just because they’ve done something wrong, that doesn’t mean we love them any less.
This song from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood is a great reminder that none of us are mistakes. And that “I think you are just fine as you are.”
Get a haircut.
Getting a haircut at KidSnips is a great way to reinforce the message that your kid is amazing just the way they are. We let them pick out a fun chair to sit in and give them attention and affirmation from someone other than their parents. And we’ll treat them with respect for who they are – whether they are shy or outgoing, whether they sit very still or they’re very squirmy, whether they’re happy to be there or scared to be there.
The truth is, we work with lots of shy, scared or squirmy kids at KidSnips—and we love every minute of it.. Our stylists have even had some extra training on how to work with kids with special needs, and we know that getting a haircut can be especially scary for some of them. We always do our best to make your little one as comfortable as possible. You can read more about the steps we take to do this here.
And don’t forget, April is a great time to schedule an appointment because we’re donating $1 to Autism Speaks for every full-price, weekday haircut.
So call to book your child’s haircut, and we’ll let them know how awesome they are—and donate to other awesome kids like yours.
Note: $1 donation with any full-price weekday haircut will be made to Autism Speaks through April 30, 2019. Not valid with any other offers.