Face it. Your kid is weird.
She’s the only one in her class without an Instagram account. She’s begged you for one for a few months now. You always tell her no. You feel bad for it. It seems like all you ever say to her is that simple little sentence.
You fear that she’ll grow to resent you for it. But you know that no is the best answer for now. So your daughter is the only one in her class without an Instagram account. For that, the rest of the class thinks that she’s a little weird.
It doesn’t stop there. She’s been wanting her own phone for a few years now. And again, you’ve been saying no. Her friends have phones nicer than yours. As your daughter’s friends see it, the phone is an extension of the body. To be without one is to be handicapped. Or just weird. And that’s what your daughter is.
There’s this boy at your daughter’s school. You don’t know much about him. But he knows a little bit about your daughter. He’d really like to take her out on a date this weekend. And she would really like to go. But, once again, you say no. This pretty much closes the deal on your daughter’s reputation in her class. She’s one of the only girls without a boyfriend. She’s one of the weird ones.
And then the clothes. Girls your daughter knows dress like some combination between Daisy Duke and an Olympic beach volleyball player. And that’s in the winter. But not your daughter. She has to go through a thorough process of parental examination before buying any clothing and again before wearing it out of the house. She really doesn’t like that thorough process of parental examination. You remind her that the cheapest cars have the loudest commercials while the finest automobiles never advertise. She just rolls her eyes. And goes on to school where she is the weird girl in the weird clothes.
Face it. Your daughter is weird. No skimpy outfits. No Instagram account. No dates. No phone. Her social life is dead. And you killed it while she’s still in the fourth grade.
You should be proud. Her weirdness means that you are doing it right.
More and more, kids today are acting like adults. They play more baseball games in a week than their professional heroes. They have every gadget that they could possibly ever need. They dress like adults. Their parents give them the freedoms of adulthood without the preparation that can only come with years of training and instruction. It’s ironic really. In an effort to give their kids everything, some parents have robbed their kids of something far more important than any gadget or social life.
They have robbed them of their childhood.
But that’s normal today.
The point is not that you make your daughter wear long skirts all the time and wait until she’s 65 to wear makeup or date. Rigid rules do not offer her the protection that she needs. If anything, they put her in more harm. What your daughter really needs is your love. And quite often, love says no. Even when it means that people will think that your little girl is weird.
So the next time your daughter rolls her eyes when she hears you say no, don’t let it get you down. The next time that she complains about being weird, take it as a compliment. All of that means that you’re doing your job right. Keep it up. Keep on loving.
The smart phones belonging to the other fourth graders in your daughter’s class will one day break. The parents of those kids will buy them another. And another. And another.
The budding relationships between the dating fourth graders in your daughter’s class will one day break too. Those kids will find another. And another. And another.
During that time, your weird little ten-year-old girl will miss out on the fun that comes with smart phones and dating. And she’ll miss out on something else that comes along with those things at too young of an age.
She’ll really be weird then.
And that’s probably about the time that she’ll stop rolling her eyes at you and, instead, tell you a simple sentence of her own.