December 01, 2010 — TLC for Your Family #22 – Giving Thanks for Self-Acceptance

TLC for Your Family #22 – Giving Thanks for Self-Acceptance
December 01, 2010


In addition to being thankful for my precious family, this Thanksgiving I was thankful for self-acceptance.

It’s my belief that humans sometimes value acceptance more than anything else, given the highly interdependent, social species we are. And if we’re unaware, we’ll sometimes even choose to do things that don’t meet our most basic needs, solely to get that acceptance. Consider the teenage girl, starving herself to be accepted by her peers.

How can we avoid doing things that don’t meet our needs, solely to get acceptance?

One way is to find a community of people with shared values – online or locally. Finding a niche community, filled with others making choices like ours, can meet our needs for acceptance.

Another way is to work on self-acceptance.

Empathy for self and others can support us in our quest for self-acceptance. For assistance with that, we can turn to Nonviolent Communication (see my Family Communication page).

Research can also help. To the extent I’m moved to make choices that are not accepted by most in my culture, such as child-led weaning, research confirming its value can help me offset the lack of community acceptance with self-acceptance. And such research inspires me to lead, to help meet other people’s need for acceptance.

Empathy and research both helped me gain more self-acceptance this Thanksgiving. For example, since last Thanksgiving I have found much more self-acceptance for the fact that:

  • I am primarily a stay-at-home, unschooling mom, though I was trained as a lawyer;
  • Singing is one of my biggest passions, again despite that legal training;
  • And my 6 year old son is still breastfeeding.

As I was surrounded by extended family from other parts of the state, I couldn’t have enjoyed a much greater sense of self-acceptance. A few of us played guitar and sang together, for the first time. Someone asked what I was up to and, for once, I started by saying, “I’m mostly focusing on being at home with my kids.”

On accepting that my son is still breastfeeding, I have come a long way, and I have a more I’d like to work on. Research on the topic of older children who still aren’t interested in weaning has helped a lot (see my Extended Breastfeeding and Benefits of Breastfeeding pages). Realizing what a gift I am giving my son has helped me hold these last moments of breastfeeding as dearly as I did the first, treasuring the closeness we have. With a little more self-empathy and practice, I think I’ll soon be ready to share and lead more in that area too.

I hope you found something, or many “somethings,” to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

In any event, until next time, I’m wishing you and yours “Happy Family-ing!”

Tiffany Clark
Discover What Might be Possible in Your Family Life!

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