October 19, 2017

How to Raise a Unicorn: a Guide for Parents of Creative, Sensitive Children.

First, what the hell is a unicorn?

Dyed whipped cream in a to-go coffee cup. Yup.

Pooper of rainbows? Okay. (You say that like it’s a bad thing.)

Over-used, meme-infested cliché? Nope. Too far.

Truthfully, we’re nowhere close to over-talking the profound value of being unique, magical, and special in this world. If anything, we need to get excited about the gorgeous rainbow of modern unicorn qualities—imagination, sensitivity, creativity, empathy, intuition—wherever we find them.

Why not start with our youngest magical creatures?

That creative, sensitive little hand we’re holding. The one attached to the munchkin who saves the bug we want to squash, is afraid of the Disney movie we want to watch, who seems to feel (and cry about) every freaking thing in the universe.

I know it’s hard.

I was that mom, constantly apologizing and explaining and cringing and waiting for the emotional shoe to drop. We get confused, embarrassed, exhausted. But we also love those little glitter-covered, tear-stained wrecks, and we want them to be happy.

From our parental perspective, being too different (too emotional, too expressive, just over-all too much) makes our babies vulnerable. So we say all the things we were taught: “That’s just the way it is. He has to fit in. She has to toughen up.”

Again, nope—just no.

Reality check: the unicorn’s time has come.

Humanity is undergoing a huge shift. Old paradigms are falling apart, and we are in desperate need of people who perceive and respond differently than we’ve been taught.

We, as parents, need to saddle up and fly our “Unicorn Champion” flags. We need to ride the rainbows. Be done with that awful, unempowered feeling of making our kids be less (less creative, less hyper, less precocious, less emo, less whatever) and help them change the world.

They’re going to anyway. The question is, are they going to have to work as hard as we’re working now to learn self-love and self-worth, or can we just give it to them?

I hope we can all agree that these unicorn children exist and that we need to support them, but how?

Here are four ways—and while they’re not always easy, remember that we didn’t get these magical creature in our lives by accident. We can do this.


1. Believe in magic.

I’m not kidding. When we’re floating in space and literally made of stars, how can we not believe in magic?

What we think determines our choices and our choices create our lives. Believe in the magic of your unicorn child. When we support their creative interests and passions—buy the supplies, check out the books, allow the intensity, be genuinely enthusiastic—we’re supporting them as whole beings.

Creative self-expression is the force responsible for every beautiful thing we see and every bypassed horrible thing we’ll never have to. Make creativity physically and emotionally safe with your presence and your approval.

2. Be gentle.

Don’t ask unicorn children to change based on their environment. First of all, they often can’t. More importantly, they are here to be themselves—so let the world change. And use your amazing grownup power to move it along.

Create a home and lifestyle that feels good to unicorns. Advocate and volunteer at your child’s school for similar changes, or homeschool. Don’t accept that things must be painful in order to be “normal.” These kids have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just like everyone else.

And as parents, we are allowed to be gentle. It’s okay to be the one who does it differently.

3. Celebrate all the feels.

We get tired dealing with all our unicorn’s emotions, right? Imagine how they feel.

We can add a lot of unnecessary stress to emotional ups and downs by putting value judgments on them. No feeling is good or bad—they’re all just feelings. Unicorns have this rich, rad inner life and the ability to care deeply about so much. They go through the whole range of human emotions easily and often—no actual drama required—and that’s a beautiful thing.

Commit to being fine with feelings—your unicorn’s and your own.

4. Love and grow yourself.

This is the only way. Unicorns can feel when we’re out of integrity—with them or with ourselves.

They can sense when we don’t believe in what we’re doing, when we’re giving up too easily. They also watch us being too hard on ourselves and will turn right around and do the same thing. When we dream, when we create our own lives, they do too.

Observe well-cared for unicorns doing their thing and you’ll know what joy and flow look like. They’re born to be expressive, wonderfully sensitive leaders.

If we choose to, we can be out there in the cosmic breeze learning, centering, trusting ourselves, and leading with them. And basking in all their precious, creative, rainbow-colored love.



Author: Lisa Dulany
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis

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