Valorie Burton: It's almost clich, every child is an individual and that maybe true, but parents need to help develop those personal identities. One simple way to nurture individuality is for your kids to make a personal banner. Each child in your family chooses pictures of their favorite animals, places or games and creates a banner with those things on it.
When your children are little, their banner may have tea sets or horses or ship, but as they get older their banner can reflect not just what they like, but who they want to become. It can be a true reflection of a teenager's personality and creativity, and even their career pursuits.
There are many other ways you can cultivate individuality. One-on-one time with your children is really important in this process. Let your child choose a special activity that encourages interaction and conversation with you and your spouse. It could be a ball game, a nature walk or trip to the zoo, but it's important to let them choose. Avoid going to the movies or somewhere where you can't talk together. The idea is to allow time for plenty of interaction to share your feelings and your interests.
It's our job as parents to help our kids get from point A to point B, and show them that they are valued and they can succeed.