I don’t know when or why being weird became a bad thing. People use it as an insult all the time. If someone doesn’t like something about you, you’re automatically labelled and put into this little box created by society that’s labelled “weird” because you don’t fit into the societal norm created by who knows who that dictates how we should be. Society has deemed being weird as unacceptable. Being weird isn’t a bad thing. It’s not something to be ashamed of or hide from. Let your weirdness shine bright.
When I started volunteering at my daughter’s school this year and working with the 2nd graders, they always wanted to show me things or tell me things. At one point I responded with, ‘You’re so weird.’ It wasn’t until I saw the disappointment on a sweet kids face that I realized they thought it was a bad thing. I felt so bad. Maybe I should’ve said something different? It was out of habit, to be honest. I hurt that kids feelings that day and although it was completely unintentional, I still feel really bad about it. Why do they think weird is a bad thing? I did apologize to them and explained why I had said that and that it wasn’t a bad thing. It was then I realized they don’t have a parent like me.
I’ve always instilled in my kids that weird isn’t a bad thing. That being weird is okay. That weird is just a label someone puts on you when they don’t like or understand something. I’ve completely normalized weird for them. I even call them my little weirdos. Now when someone calls my kids weird they say, ‘Okay? You say that like it’s a bad thing.’ Honestly, it’s the greatest. They’re not afraid to fully truly be themselves and let their weirdness shine. I didn’t want them to get upset over being called something as simple as weird. I created a hard outer shell for them that won’t be broken by a simple word that’s now a complement and not an insult.
I get it though. I hid my weird, like my really weird self for a long time because I didn’t want to be labelled as the weird girl. How sad is that? I didn’t want to be myself because I was too afraid of what people would think. Having kids changes you though and you don’t want them to go through the same things. You don’t want them getting made fun of for who they are, but you also don’t want to tame who they are. You want them to fully be their true selves and enjoy everything. I took my regret of not being myself because I was scared and turned it into a positive for my kids. I love all the little things that make them weird to others. It’s what makes them so special. It’s what makes them the person they are. It’s fantastic to see them being themselves and not living that same fear I had.
Why are we not normalizing being weird? It’s 2019, being weird is everywhere, but are we teaching our children that it’s okay? By changing one little word from weird to unique, we can change the world. Can you imagine, ‘You’re so unique.’ Oh how things would be so much better for our kids. The new friends they could make. The stress that would be eliminated. The happiness that would emit from them. It’d be amazing. Everyone’s weird in one way or another. It’s what makes you who you are. It’s what makes you unique. It’s what makes you the person people want to be friends with. We all have different levels of weirdness, just some are more pronounced than others. Teach your kids that what makes them weird is what makes them awesome. Embrace the weird and let your weirdness shine bright.