Last night, we were hanging out with a group of friends when my boys started running through the yard. One of my kids was holding two frogs they had just found. Another one of my boys was almost naked (which happens a lot), and was wielding a plastic sword. Our toddler was chasing them and flailing his arms like he was trying to take flight. The scene was pretty comical, and on the surface, pretty "weird," but I think our kids could benefit from a little more "weirdness."
Let me explain...in our culture, there tends to be a huge amount of pressure on both parents and kids to conform to a mold that isn't always healthy. I think we may need to rethink our parenting philosophies. Here are five reasons I genuinely want my kids to be a little "weird."
1. "Normal" isn't working
A few years ago, a pastor named Craig Groeschel wrote a book called "Weird," and the premise was that our culture's "normal" values are: Debt, divorce, depression, materialism, promiscuity, selfishness and a bunch of other unhealthy stuff. He challenged us to create new trends which may go against the grain, but would ultimately create healthier, happier and holier lives.
2. Kids are born an original masterpiece, not a carbon copy of someone else
God wired each child with masterful uniqueness. We should help our kids discover who they were born to be instead of squeezing them into a mold they were never meant to fit.
3. Being a good person is much more important than appearing like a good person
One of the most dangerous and toxic lessons we can teach our kids is that appearance matters more than reality. Character is a matter of being the same person in both public and private. It means doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. If we place too much emphasis on appearances or "fitting in" without teaching the more important issues of integrity and authenticity, we're doing a huge disservice to our kids (and society as a whole).
4. Our kids are much more important than our egos
Let's be honest, most of the time when I get frustrated with one of my kids for doing something "weird," it's simply because my pride is wounded and I'm afraid of what people might think of my kid or my parenting. Obviously, it's important to teach our kids manners and common courtesy and those sorts of things, but we also need to swallow our pride when their self expression doesn't line up with our own.
5. Let's face it, we're ALL a little weird!
Have you ever met a truly "normal" person? Me neither. How boring and sad it would be. Let's stop acting ashamed of the quirks that make us (and our kids) so beautifully unique. "Normal" people never change the world! Remember, God make you (and your kids) and He has never once made a mistake.
This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.