You think my kid is ‘weird’… I get it.

I love descriptive words. They are a great way to be creative and add flavour to a story or conversation. Why I don’t love is when anyone thinks it’s okay to use adjectives to describe how they feel about my children or their actions. The word I despise the most is ‘weird’. It seems crazy that anyone would think its okay to refer to my child as ‘weird’, but believe me it has happened on more than one occasion.

I know what you’re thinking… I am super sensitive when it comes to comments about my children. Your damn I right I am. I think any mother would agree that we go to bat for our kids every day, and advocate daily for their well being. So, when someone says, ‘oh, that’s weird’, or ‘he’s kind of weird’ or ‘that’s not normal’… in reference to my kids, I get annoyed. I really don’t think that anyone is saying it to be hurtful… I’m just saying it’s not helpful in the slightest.

Now many of you may have not experienced this, but if you have a child that struggles with anxiety you probably have a specific ‘word’ or ‘phrase’ that bothers you just the same. If you’ve had a chance to read about my son’s first dentist appointment or swimming lessons, you’ll know already that this post is largely in reference to comments made about his anxiety. And while he is slowly overcoming this struggle, it has not been without many raised eyebrows and unwarranted comments.

What I want to know is why everyone thinks that my son is so ‘weird’ for being afraid of some of the things that we as adults fear. He doesn’t like kids running at him or in a small clustered pack all around him. ‘That’s weird that he wouldn’t like soccer.’ Really? Why is it so weird that he doesn’t want other people crowded in his personal space pushing and shoving?

‘That’s weird that he won’t participate in swimming lessons.’ We tell our kids over and over again how dangerous water can be and how they need to have a life jacket on and be within arms reach. Yet my son’s behaviour is labelled ‘weird’ for not wanting to participate in a pool with no floatation device and a bunch of strangers.

James with Santa

This may be the moment James began to fear Santa.

‘I wonder why he’s so afraid of the bus? That’s just weird.’  Every time we get in the car we tell our kids to put their seatbelts on. We also enforce how important it is they never go with strangers. Hmm…. and you wonder why my son is afraid of the bus? I think it’s more normal than anything else that he would be reluctant to ride a school bus with no seatbelts and driven by someone he doesn’t know. I’ve asked him before why he is scared, and he will flat out tell me that he is afraid that if the bus is in an accident that he will fly through the windshield and that I won’t be there.

And last but not least, ‘It’s weird that he’s scared of (Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy etc.)’ Seriously? I think if I didn’t know that these were indeed imaginative figures, I too would be scared of them. Just for the record, all these mystical beings sneak around the poor kids house at night while he is asleep. That is scary enough.

So, next time you have a descriptive word on the tip of your tongue ready to fire off at another mom… just take a moment to think of a helpful comment instead of a random adjective. What we as mother’s need, are words of encouragement that help us through our children’s struggles, not make us feel bad about them. Tell another mom to keep up the good work… even if they have a ‘weird kid.’  🙂

Comments

You think my kid is ‘weird’… I get it. — 4 Comments

  1. I just went and read your swimming story, and I’m not sure why other moms would think your son is weird for not wanting to get in the pool at age 3. My 4-yr-old daughter has been taking swimming lessons for the past year, and other little preschool activities off and on, and there’s often some little one who’s not ready to separate from mom quite yet (more often in swimming, because, hey, splashy, deep water!). I talked to a mom one time who told of being the only mom dancing with her daughter the first few weeks of ballet class! I thought that was great…don’t know if I would have braved the embarrassment.

    I do hesitate to try to help a mom having trouble with her kid, though, because I never know whether a stranger intervening would help or just embarrass the mom or distract her. I tend to try to be encouraging if I get an opportunity…like a “been there, done that” comment so the mom knows she’s not alone.

    • My point exactly, why anyone would use the term ‘weird’ when referring to a childs fear of swimming classes… but it’s happened more than once unfortunately. I to am sometimes hesitant to intervene a situation to help a mom. What I love about your comment is that you try to be ‘encouraging’, and I think that’s all that we need to do. A little encouragement can go such a long way, especially if a mom is struggling. Thanks for your great comments!