The other day I’m riding in the car with my kids. My son and daughter were joking around in the back seat. I’m not sure what they we talking about, but my son says to my daughter “you are so weird” and was laughing at what she was doing. My daughter immediately stopped what she was doing and she turns to my son as says “I’m not weird”, she was a little upset that he said this about her. I immediately jumped in with my two cents. I said “there is nothing wrong with being weird, we’re all weird. I’m glad you are not normal, normal is boring”. I told her this meaning ever word of it. I’m glad my kids are weird. I’m glad my wife is weird, it’s one of the great things I love about her. I plan on raising my kids to be intentionally weird and to not give a care to the fact some may not like it or like that I’m raising them that way.
I’m a geek (of course) and my wife is a nerd. There is no way we could raise a so called “cool kid”, and even if I could I wouldn’t want to. Now just because we are happily raising weird kids does not mean I want them to stand out or not fit in to social norms. I feel you can be yourself but still know how to be pleasant to be around. Just because I know who I am and enjoy being me doesn’t mean I don’t need to act normal in social settings. If you were to talk to me at a party, I would like to think you would go away from our conversation thinking “he’s a nice, pleasant guy, easy to talk, he’s even pretty funny, maybe just a little strange…”. Just because we don’t spend all our time and devote our lives to fitting into a “normal” mold doesn’t mean we can’t act and behave like a nice normal human being. The same goes for our kids, I want them to be themselves but also be sweet, loving, friendly kids other kids enjoy being around.
Teaching my kids to be goofy, strange, funny and weird is the easy part for me. The hard part is helping them not to care about “normalcy”. I imagine this is a struggle for all parents even parents who want their kids to be normal. How to not let your kids get wrapped up with trying to fit in with the crowd. This is, I feel one of the bigger struggles of raising kids today. I think the best thing we can do as parents is continually reinsuring our kids that they are awesome the way God made them from a young age and continue that into adulthood. My parents were always willing to tell me how proud of me they were. They of course helped me to see my flaws and things I was doing wrong, that’s part of being a parent. We just need to make sure we back up everything we tell them they are doing wrong with two things they are doing right. My kids have asked my while they are getting in trouble if they are bad kids, the answer is “not even close, you are a great kids who does bad things sometimes”. Not unlike there father and mother. I’d like to think I’m a good dad who makes plenty of mistakes.
In short, be proud of who God made your kids, flaws and oddities. Be sure to tell them monthly, weekly, daily, hourly of how proud you are of them. Tell them how awesome you think they are, because you know 98.7% of the time they are!