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My Kids Think I’m Weird. And I’m Here for It!

From morning dance parties to my dry sense of humor and from my obsession to shopping at Whole Foods to how I love walking them to school even when the weather isn’t ideal, I give my four kids plenty of materials when they are looking for reasons their mom is weird. 

And at least once a day, one of them will straight out tell me that I’m weird – victory!

Why do I celebrate being “weird” in the eyes of my kids?

It causes them to take notice.

I love when my kids tell me, “You’re weird” because it means that they have to take a second, process, and respond. It breaks them out of wherever their minds are to acknowledge the present. It means that they are acknowledging that something about the current moment is different. Something to notice.

It gives them things to remember. 

We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at our house, but I did give each of my kids “Love cards” on February 14. Inside, I told them that I loved them and then listed five things I love about them. For each of them, #5 was “because you are you,” and the other four were unique to each child, with two being silly inside jokes like appreciating my son’s shaggy dog hair and two being a little more serious like appreciating how empathetic and caring he is. When the first first opened the cards, they quickly read them and threw them to side in favor of the accompanying chocolate. And, I’ve caught them each rereading their cards and sharing the content with others. Something to remember. 

It makes them smile. 

I hate the movie Lilo and Stitch, but I can do a really great “Stitch voice.” Last year, while prepping for my son’s Bar Mitzvah, anytime he wasn’t in the mood, I practiced his speech with him using that voice. It broke him out of whatever grumpy place he was in…and we moved on. I keep that “voice” in my back pocket for when we’re on a hike, and the kids are done or we’re waiting for a delayed flight. Something to bring about a smile. 

It shows them I care.

Every night while I put my oldest to bed, I try to touch his head while I recite the Shema to him. It’s kind of a little game that we play, and he’ll inevitably ask something like, “Why do you always want to touch me?” followed by, “You’re so weird!” But, even on nights that he goes to sleep after I do, he asks me to put him to bed. He knows that showing a 13 year old that you care is hard with the hormones and mood swings. And my way is by being weird. Something to show I care. 

It gives everyone permission to be authentic. 

I love 90’s music. I do. I know all of the words to almost every hip hop or pop song that came out during the decade. And while my kids will never truly appreciate this totally useless knowledge, we have created a space where I can loudly (and terribly) sing to 90’s music while I do dishes or get ready for dinner. And my son can employ his “system” for keeping his clothes organized. And my daughter can like blueberries today but not tomorrow because they’ve softened just a little too much. And we can all be us, no matter how “weird” that makes us. Something to promote authenticity. 

Now, professionally, you probably don’t want people thinking you are weird, and you certainly don’t want that to be the reputation of your school or organization to be the “weird place,” and you DO want people to notice and remember you…and to make others smile and show them you care…and live your values (authenticity or others) and give others permission to do the day. 

Whether we’re talking about a work culture or giving a tour to a potential family, how can you bring in your own style of “weird”?

What can you do for others to take notice?

People get dozens, if not hundreds of emails a day. How can yours stand out as helpful or informative or important?

What can you do to be memorable?

Families may be looking at numerous schools. What makes yours unique or special?

What can you do to bring a smile to someone’s face today?

People carry so much with them on a daily basis, whether it be something at home or something happening in Israel. What is something small you can say or do to be a bright spot?

What can you do to show someone you care?

Studies show that people (whether it be students or adults) perform better when they know someone cares about them. How can you show those around you that they matter?

What can you do to create a culture of authenticity?

Being appreciated and accepted for who you are is so empowering. How can you show up authentically and encourage those around you to do the same?

90's dance parties while wearing a Rudolph nose might not be your thing. So what is?

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