Kids who have an understanding of how and why their feelings are what they are are much more likely to talk to us about what's happening, and they have better skills to work it out.
In my research, I've interviewed a lot of people who never fit in, who are what you might call 'different': scientists, artists, thinkers. And if you drop down deep into their work and who they are, there is a tremendous amount of self-acceptance.
The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.
Maybe stories are just data with a soul.