AIBU to worry that my strangeness and mistakes are rubbing off on the children and making them unpopular?

(156 Posts)
readinglistfun Tue 18-Oct-16 14:13:19

I have never really fit in with most people i know. I have always been happy as i am but i know that people do think i am a little odd. I don't do anything very out of the ordinary but its little things like the fact I don't drink alcohol or the fact i spend alot of time reading, I don;t really watch that much tv. I dont wear much or any makeup etc. In general I just get on with my own thing and not bother about other people but I have been told many times that i'm weird .

I keep making stupid mistakes - today for example there is a party at the school which was called a halloween party. So I let my 6 year old wear a witches dress (she saw it in the shop and wanted to get it to wear). When we got there no other children were dressed up they were just in jeans.

I have a large family of 6 children and up until this point I have never worried about that rubbing off on them and they are all healthy, happy children. Last year my son started getting badly bullied at school for being weird they started to call the whole family the weird "family name".

My dd just started secondary school and she is getting on ok but has been made fun of recently because they recently had a talent show and as she didnt know any popular songs she just made one up to sing. This was clearly the wrong thing to do. She apparently also answers too many questions in the lessons.

My son is now home educated as it got so bad - of course this just adds to the weird label but his anxiety had gone so high that we had no real choice. He is very happy now and thriving. My 3 next children still go to that school and my 7 year old is now getting upset because people are making fun of her for watching my little pony and barbie.

My 6 year old has no friends - this was actually an issue raised by her teacher who said there wasnt much they could do.

Someone recently said to me "wow you turned them into tiny versions of you".

I am just horrified and feel like i have ruined them!

Is it really possible that all my strangeness has rubbed off on them?
I know this sounds like a really silly thread but I am actually really upset.

CondensedMilkSarnies Tue 18-Oct-16 14:20:20

From what you've posted I don't think you are weird . It's ok to read and not watch tv or wear makeup . Do you chat to other parents ? Do your children invite friends to your house ?

Kids can be cruel , although your friend wasn't very kind either . Can you ask her to elaborate ? it might give you more of an idea where this 'weird' label has come from .

OptimisticSix Tue 18-Oct-16 14:22:05

Nothing wrong with a seven year old watching My Little Pony and Barbie or wearing a witches dress to a Halloween party. My children watch those and will dress up any chance they get smile I wouldn't worry so much about whether some random children think you're children are weird, I would teach them that being different is okay. That everyine is different. This is what I tell my children all the time. One of mine has a best friend that frequently tells her she's not girlie enough for example, because she is a bit of a tomboy, but she knows not to worry. You can't be someone else's idea of what you should be, you can only be you.

helpimitchy Tue 18-Oct-16 14:22:41

Oh, god, you poor thing sad

We're a weird family too and it has rubbed off onto the children, but it's no bad thing and it's good to be different. People don't like it and you do end up judged, so you have to develop some confidence in yourself and build up some resilience.

My ds2 has just started secondary and plays the harp - he daren't tell anyone though, not even the music teacher. We don't watch the tv or follow mainstream culture and we have weird pets too.

Try to get the dcs involved in stuff they're interested in and sod everyone else. Life is boring if everyone is the same grin

Electrolens Tue 18-Oct-16 14:24:21

In the kindest possible way op, it may help to stop thinking of yourself as 'weird'. Nothing you say suggests you are particularly different - many people don't drink, enjoy reading, wear little or no make up etc. Try to stop thinking of yourself as 'different' and to socialise you and your family with other parents and children. Do you have other children round to play etc?

scaryclown Tue 18-Oct-16 14:24:32

it sounds like the school is full of clone kids. is it a small town? Being 'weird' is actually normal. Following what other people do in a big grinning pack is sinister..but in my school so few kids were self actualised they all just did what everyone else did. to me, that's weird, its like the human brain that can do so much has been switched off.

Try to change the name to 'the cool.. (family names).. at my school it took about three years for the sheep kids to realise they could gently do the odd thing that wasn't duplicate activity. the trouble is that the economic world likes predictible clone sheep so the rewards for clone kids seem greater for a while.

your kids will have many more resources to draw on than clone kids and will be adventurous and intellectually curious. when they meet other people like them they will form very strong bonds, and because you are never alone with a good book, they'll go on longer train journeys and see bigger things than the muppets who congratulate tgemselves on their supermarket job.

myownprivateidaho Tue 18-Oct-16 14:25:06

little things like the fact I don't drink alcohol or the fact i spend alot of time reading, I don;t really watch that much tv. I dont wear much or any makeup etc.

None of this sounds remotely strange to me! You sound pretty average I'm afraid wink

It's natural that your kids will be like you.

It also happens that kids decide that certain things are the done thing. But that doesn't mean that those kids are right about that! Or that it's weird not to conform. Be careful not to validate these views.

The bullying sounds horrendous. But I don't think you should underscore the view that different = bullied, because it doesn't. Kids can have trends without it being a bullying thing.

Basically you and your kids sound really nice and normal. Just keep going as you are. The bullying you experienced as a child and that your ds experienced are not your or his fault.

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Oct-16 14:26:17

I think you need to ask your friend what she means as that's going to play on your mind.

I would assume costumes would be worn at a Halloween party too.

Your elder DD may just be missing out a bit on 'pop' culture which can be important at school. Maybe a bit more terrible radio.

You don't sound that weird to me.

Millionreasons Tue 18-Oct-16 14:26:18

From what you say you don't sound weird at all.

Re the Halloween costume, no big deal if your child was happy to wear it.

The thing that does sound odd is the comment from your friend. I would explore a bit more what she means.

I think there is an issue if your dc are unhappy eg your boy who is home schooled.

Not sure what you can do really as you say you are happy how you are.

fourquenelles Tue 18-Oct-16 14:26:50

You sound amazing. You have raised 6 healthy and happy children. So what if you plough your own course rather than follow the herd. There are a lot of judgemental people out there who are very insecure so take exception to those who are different even in small ways. You do not make "mistakes". I would have thought a Halloween party would have been fancy dress too!

Try not to let the small minded little people get you down (easy to say, harder to do). Channel your inner Caithlin Moran!

OhWotIsItThisTime Tue 18-Oct-16 14:27:10

You sound lovely! Your friend and kids' classmates sound rude.

You can't be something you're not. Make sure the kids do a club outside of school. Either a sport, or cubs/brownies. It'll help show them that there are other friend options, outside of school.

myownprivateidaho Tue 18-Oct-16 14:27:18

Idont agree with describing people as "clones". Kids/teens/adults can follow trends AND be perfectly well rounded individuals. Completely agree with electrolens that an us/them mentality is not helpful or in most cases accurate.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Tue 18-Oct-16 14:28:34

You sound normal.

I'd be more worried about the school claiming they can do nothing about your child having friends.

readinglistfun Tue 18-Oct-16 14:28:38

Condensed it was my sister that said it. She didn't mean it in a nasty way but at the same time she tends to speak the truth!

One thing she pointed out as odd was that I have printed out some Halloween display things from twinkl which I signed up to for my son - I laminated them and stuck them up around the house. So now we have 30 numbered ghosts and a giant haunted house on the living room wall.

My children have friends around when they manage to make them. My 6 year old has not made a single friends since starting school. We tried doing a birthday party for her and sent out invites but on the day no one turned up. It was heartbreaking .

My other children do have friends who come round but tbh they seem to still be the outsiders .

KayTee87 Tue 18-Oct-16 14:29:17

I think you sound like a lovely family and people that I would want my son to grow up to be friends with.

IrenetheQuaint Tue 18-Oct-16 14:30:08

Calling the other children 'clone kids' is not terribly helpful. It's natural for children to want to fit in.

OP - don't panic, you and your family sound lovely. I was a weird kid with no knowledge of popular culture myself, and I worked out that it was really helpful to learn just enough about pop music, TV, fashion etc that I could take part in conversations and not stand out the whole time, while continuing with my personal interests. In my teen years and as an adult I've found lots of friends who like the same things as I do, the hard bit was getting through primary school and the first years of secondary.

readinglistfun Tue 18-Oct-16 14:31:08

Electro we do have people round and I do chat with other mums etc - we go to groups and things.

In fact one of the children and MUMs that were calling us weird was quite happy to let her children hang around my house when it suited her confused

harderandharder2breathe Tue 18-Oct-16 14:31:29

Do your DC have hobbies? Mixing with others who share their interests will give a foundation for a friendship and make them feel "normal"

I know lots of self proclaimed weird kids... they're all within what I consider the realms of normal I think they like the weird label or maybe just taken ownership of it. All lovely kids!

Ethelswith Tue 18-Oct-16 14:32:03

Yes, it's rubbed off - they have you via both nature and nurture so it's bound to. That doesn't mean it's a problem though.

The unifying thread through all this seems to be a total lack of awareness of popular culture. If the problems this is causing are weighing too heavily on you now, then perhaps one answer is to tackle it all together.

From your POV, it's an anthropology project, to allow your DC to pass unnoticed in strange tribes. Don't for heaven's sake let them realise it quite so explicitly! Resources to study would include the entertainment section of "This Week", maybe the Radio Times (even if you don't actually watch much, read the articles), try a lit criteria project (with your elder DC) for one month of Corrie, get a subscription to First News for the younger ones.

And ask your DC for ideas - where do they feel most at odds with their peers, do they want it to be different and if so how?

readinglistfun Tue 18-Oct-16 14:32:28

The children do beavers/cubs/scouts once a week which they enjoy and they go swimming once a week.

myownprivateidaho Tue 18-Oct-16 14:32:42

Ghost decs for Halloween is obvs normal! But I think at 6 you have to help things on a bit friends-wise. Maybe organise a play date with another mum?

LittleBearPad Tue 18-Oct-16 14:32:43

But decorating the house for Halloween isn't that odd. In the US it would be expected.

I do think you need to ask your sister what she means

gleam Tue 18-Oct-16 14:33:09

I would take steps to help them fit in a little more.

So your dd at secondary - encourage her to watch popular music/TV shows so she knows what people are on about. Buy her the music etc.

If she doesn't want to and doesn't care what anyone else thinks, then brilliant! But if she does, I guess she'll have the teen equivalent of small talk ready.

AuntieStella Tue 18-Oct-16 14:35:36

"In fact one of the children and MUMs that were calling us weird was quite happy to let her children hang around my house when it suited her"

I think I can dispel this bit of confusion. Friendly people like spending time with all sorts of people, whether they think they are like-minded or if they are different and you can try different things with them and see if you like it (always, sometimes, never). Friendly people can also be tactless (as they are unrelated qualities) and so might actually say what they are thinking. But that doesn't mean they don't appreciate the variety of life. And that includes you - the people that in practice they do spend time with.

mycatstares Tue 18-Oct-16 14:35:37

Your not weird!! I was expecting much worse than what you wrote, you sound very normal!

Kids can be cruel, if your children weren't picked on for being 'weird' they'd be picked on for something else. It's just that crappy part of childhood.

I'm very weird (think healing crystals and incense burning) but it's good to be different and all thatwink.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now