I’m sure if you are a parent, you have realized by now how unique each one of your kids is. To me, it’s astounding how I helped create these amazing human beings who are unlike anyone in the world.

Sometimes, I falsely assume my two are a miniature version of me or my husband. In fact, my daughter is often referred to as my “mini-me.” We do have a lot in common, and sometimes when I look at her, I feel like I’m looking at myself. But more often than not, I’m blown away by her beautiful individuality. I have so much to learn about this kid!

She’s different. Her teachers tell me she’s different. In fact, when she was in pre-school, they told me I should worry about her. She wasn’t performing like the rest and seemed to be lost in a different world sometimes. But I knew better than to worry. She thinks differently, but she’s smart. She’s strong and independent. She’s a great storyteller. She’s artistic.

I knew she was artistic the day I walked into her room and she had done what some 18-month-olds do—she had taken off her diaper during nap time and proceeded to make the most elaborate creation I had ever seen.

She had made beautifully intricate scribble drawings all over the walls, her bed, her dresser, the floor, the door, her toys, her dollhouse, her clothes, her books . . . over every single object in her small room, using the only material she had on hand: a seemingly endless supply of–poop. I responded with rage as I threw her in the tub and yelled—a lot. It had officially made an already bad day the worst day of my life.

But as she sat there in the tub while I questioned her in disbelief, trying to illicit from her some form of deep remorse, she just looked at me with her big brown eyes in a perplexed way—not a single regretful tear in her eyes. And then I couldn’t help but smile. That’s when I realized how disgustingly beautiful and amazing her creation was. This was no ordinary poop-fest. It was ART!

Since that day, of course, I’ve made sure she has plenty of materials on hand: paints, canvases and brushes. And she paints me beautiful pictures all the time.

It seems to me one of the biggest parts of parenting—besides surviving each day—is figuring out and discovering who our children really are and encouraging them to become who they were meant to be.

Sometimes, who we want our children to be may be different than who they were meant to be. So what happens if they don’t fit into the little box that we have planned for them?

Instead of potentially dragging our kids through life unconsciously trying to turn them into someone else, or  into someone we wish we could’ve been, why not spend some time learning about, celebrating and developing our children’s individuality?

How are you helping your kids discover their strengths so they can make their own mark on the world? How are you helping them develop their God-given talents?