Worried about non conformist DS (11), called "weirdo" by other kids

(29 Posts)

DS1 has always been his own person. He seems immune to peer pressure, does not care about being cool, and has his own, absurd, sense of humour.

We had a friend of his to play yesterday, and I overheard him ask DS " everyone thinks you are WEIRD, in our class" to which DS replied " so what?".

Even his teacher says he is an "odd" boy with a Monthy Pytonesque sense if humour, which the other kids don't get. He laughs at his own jokes...

He seems to genuinely not care what other kids think and just pursues his own interests.

Do any of you have kids like that, and if so, how did /do they fare at secondary. ? Bit worried on his behalf. He feels emotions strongly but does not show them. He is also bad at reading other people's emotions/feelings.

His two best friends are autistic, they make up the current year 6 group of " odd bods" ( not my words but my friends!). But they are going to different schools.

How do these kind of boys turn out?

(PS, I don't think he is weird at all, I just know that is how he is perceived IYSWIM )

So, come and tell me great stories about your. "Weirdo" kids please!

hickorychicken Fri 21-Feb-14 08:00:35

I wouldnt worry, he sounds quirky and different which goes a lot further than following the crowd grin
Embrace it smile

TheBookofRuth Fri 21-Feb-14 08:02:01

I have no helpful advice whatsoever but I just wanted to say I think he sounds brilliant. I love a genuine eccentric with the confidence to march to their own drummer. grin

LadySybilVimes Fri 21-Feb-14 08:04:02

My brother was a bit like this, but he found high school easier than I did as he genuinely didn't care about what people thought. He had a small group of friends and just hung out with them.

I think he sounds great! We need more individual thinkers in this world.

Thanks. To be honest, I think he is a great kid, but it is a bit of a shock sometimes seeing or hearing how others respond to him. Hence the worry about secondary school.

Within our family he is defo very " normal" but that is because a lot of us are a bit odd, I guess ( I think we are normal, but am aware enough other people think we are a bit unusual).

I just worry as to teens it is all about peer pressure and conformism, no?

Sounds like ds3, currently in year 4.

After ds2 who is desperate to be liked by everyone I find ds3's self assurance quite unusual. As an example I was talking about the girl he sat next to at school & he said 'I don't think she likes me much, which is a shame for her as she has to sit next to me in almost every lesson'.

His best friend at the school (now moved abroad unfortunately) was quite obviously autistic - by which I mean it was noticeable to me as soon as I met him (my eldest is severely autistic).

I'm a bit worried about secondary school for him. He is also very different at school (nearly mute & well behaved) compared to home (very loud & opinionated).

I asked him whether he had any problems at school. He thought for a bit & said 'yes I can't find my RS book'.

I'm hoping he gets into the grammar ds2 is at as I think he'll be fine there in the quiet boys set (& he wants to do Latin - he loves history) but I don't really have a second choice school for him. I think he is quite likely to get picked on, but I'm not sure he'll care & when ds2 was being bullied he had a go at the bully - twice his size. Just in a 'why are you being mean to my brother? It's not nice' type way.

Oh & he says things like 'when ds2 gets a girlfriend he'll be trying to impress her when really you should just be yourself shouldn't you mum?'

Hm - he's quite happy alone, doing his own thing - spends a lot of time talking to his cousin on Skype, rarely wants to see children from his class outside school.

They sound similar don't they? Glad to hear there's another out there!

HerrenaHarridan Fri 21-Feb-14 08:18:44

I was like this at school and still am today.

I never could bear the cliquey 'in' thing and would go around collecting all the waifs and strays. I had a huge group of friends spanning all years because I welcomed (actively sought) anyone who seemed lonely.

In everyone's life there are some hard times but having seem what some of the 'in' crowd went through to try and stay there, well I feel blessed.

It's stood me well into adult life, I couldn't conform to a standard working environment and has to set up my own business doing something I love and devoting myself to it.

Funnily enough it still involves rounding up lonely people and helping them not to be lonely. smile

DS2 is quirky, non-conformist, extremely gifted and has Asperger's.

Unsurprisingly, he didn't have any close friends at primary school.

Secondary school has been so much better. He has friends and is much happier.

Iseenyou Fri 21-Feb-14 08:25:02

Fiscal yes there is a lot of peer pressure and conformism at secondary school, but sometimes you get someone who is so quirky and self-assured that they are happily accepted. I think as dparents the role is a tricky balancing act - on the one hand you want to support them to be 'who they are' and never make them feel you want them to be different - but on the other hand it can help if you can encourage them to have some more 'mainstream' interests or talking points. Is your ds into minecraft? That would give him something in common with a huge number of his fellow yr 7s! Is he interested in any sport? Again a useful way of socialising - if he's not into team sports would he like to try a martial art - there may well be a club at school that he could join in yr7?
In the long run i agree with other pps that it can be a huge advantage not to care what the crowd thinks!

Bunbaker Fri 21-Feb-14 08:30:45

DD doesn't follow the crowd. She posted a cartoon picture on FB the other day depicting a load of girls putting makeup on and one sat in the middle reading a book, and wrote something like "the one with the book is me". She got a load of snarky comments from the "make up girl" supporters saying that not all girls who wear make up are thick.

They had missed the point completely - maybe because they were too thick grin

He sounds very like my little brother. His ability to not give a fuck stuff about what people think of him actually really impressed his peers. He was seen as really cool (despite having none of the clothes/attitude usually associated with that).

Despite the fact he was 4 years below me in school, I had kids whisper "That's master strong's sister" as I walked past in the corridor hmm.

He is still just the same now. Very eccentric, very cool, very lovable.

Herren interesting. I always say ds3 is like my grandmother - she was a real collector of waifs and strays (used to work in the bus station cafe & would bring people home for dinner, bath and bed before sending them on their way the next day). We call ds3 our moral compass as he has a very clear sense of right and wrong & will intervene if he sees something he views as unjust.

I suppose I had friends from different groups at school - was never part of one group - but I definitely worried more about others opinions than he does.

lljkk Fri 21-Feb-14 08:48:11

I should be asking OP for advice. How did you manage to raise a lad with such terrific self-esteem in the face of horrid peer pressure. What are your secrets?!

I want to applaud OP's DS with his "So what?" reply. What a brilliant lad!

DD had a few similar Nicknames in primary. She got saddled with "geekgirl" back on yr2. Now in yr7 she started going out with the most popular boy in the yr group who is, by all accounts, far "weirder" than her. Literally away with the fairies and has even the yr11s eating out of his hand. They both have entourages of other kids who follow them around, too.

Ledkr Fri 21-Feb-14 08:52:52

My dd is 12 and very mainstream and popular.
Her and her mates have a friend who sounds like your son and they love him. He comes to our house and is lovely.
He seems very popular in his own way.
I think kids are more socially accepting these days as they are exposed to more unusual personalities in the media (watch hollyoaks) he will be fine.

Saintlyjim, they do sound similar!

Iseenyou, yes he is into Minecraft! Which is good. I read in an interview with the creator that there are no instructions for the game as the whole idea is to get kids in the playgroubd talking and swapping advice! Especially geeky awkward kids smile

Lljjk sounds your dd is doing just fine !

It is indeed about a balance, and I embrace his quirks whilst introducing him to bits of mainstream and pop culture (BGT, though he prefers nature programs or Grand Designs, haha )

The other day he was playing violin and he said how much he likes Schubert and I said it makes me very happy to hear him play....

Then I thought Stop! You are like the mum in. " about a boy!" Haha

Lots of haha in my post. Am not normally this cheerful in the morning....ahem

Tiredemma Sat 22-Feb-14 07:47:26

My DS2 is very different to his (male) peers and this does sometimes make him a sitting duck for torment.

Fortunately he is not fazed by this at all and has a lovely bunch of female friends.

He is very much into drama/acting/singing/dancing- whereas the boys obv prefer football etc.

His older brother (age 13)- is very popular in his peer group, I would worry about DS2 at Secondary School if he didnt have an older sibling there to look out for him.

I absolutely LOVe that he is quirky, different etc.

nooka Sat 22-Feb-14 08:00:16

My dd was always very keen on being loved and put a lot of work into maintaining friendships but then went through a period of some fairly nasty behaviour from those she thought were her friends. The main outcome of which is that she stopped caring nearly as much what anyone else thought about her. She was very surprised (and confused) that this led to several of the more popular/nasty girls to try and hang out with her.

ds has never really cared at all about other peoples opinion, in fact he quite obviously likes to wind them up, which brings its own issues. Last year he decided to be a brony and I'm sure one of the reasons was essentially to provoke a reaction that he could then leap all over.

At high school it's actually been much easier for both of them because there are so many more children there that finding a few with a similar mindset is much more likely, and for my two a couple of good friends is all they need really. dd happily describes herself as weird, a geek, nerd etc, and likes to post and wear stuff about how great that is. ds has also calmed down a bit. They both seem happy and are doing well.

nooka Sat 22-Feb-14 08:01:52

Oh yes the other reason why I don't worry is that my two totally look out for each other - the year dd had friendship issues was the year ds moved on to high school, otherwise he probably would have waded in to the fray.

KristinaM Sat 22-Feb-14 08:20:56

I am watching this with interest as my most non conformist child is only 8. He is very happy in primary -he is the geeky but cute one. I think it helps that he's seriously into minecraft and does make the effort to play football occasionally , even though he's visually impaired.

We have a child in high school now who is only slightly quirky. She chooses other slightly quirky friends, and is able to fake being "normal " when's she's under pressure. She's at a very large high school,so there are lots of different social groups and clubs, there are plenty groups which are cool kids free zones .

So I'm hoping that when very non conformist child goes there, he will find fellow geeks in the computer games club or the orchestra /whatever.

Bluestocking Sat 22-Feb-14 08:35:59

I work at a university and always love meeting a slightly more grown-up version of a boy like your DS! They often seem much more tranquil than the more conventional students as they are not striving to conform, and they tend to have very solid friendships based on common interests rather than on booze and "banter".

morethanpotatoprints Sat 22-Feb-14 08:42:26

Hello OP

Yes my dd is like this and we have 2 older dc who are nothing like her at all.
She is 10 now, very gifted, and H.ed now, but not because she is different to the crowd.
It is much better to have a child like this than one who succumbs to peer pressure and has to follow like a sheep.
I too say embrace it, encourage his interests, and celebrate his differences they will be what sets him out from the crowd in later life.

jonicomelately Sat 22-Feb-14 08:48:16

Ds1 has a friend just like this. He's very quirky and has a different way of thinking to other children. He never joins in with the others but always seems ok. Ds says his friend is happy. They seem to get along really well and DS is really protective of him. He's immune to all the crappy social pressures the others have. He doesn't seem to give a crap about much in all honesty and DS and I envy that sometimes.

Bunbaker Sat 22-Feb-14 09:32:59

"I think kids are more socially accepting these days"

Sadly, that isn't DD's experience. One thing I notice from most of the posts is that the quirky child has siblings. DD is an only child and doesn't have a sibling to help her feel less socially awkward all the time.

I have always encouraged her friendships, but it usually seems to be the case that she invests far more in friendships than her friends do.

Nice to hear from others with kids like this.

DS likes violin ( but not going through the grades as he gets sick with nerves, literally sick, as in throwing up).

My other DS loves football and is popular, it is such a different world.

sicily1921 Wed 05-Mar-14 16:25:34

bunbaker she reminds me of my DD with the book thing and investing in friendshops, I hope she finds some good ones ( still waiting for my DD)sad

Op your son sounds lovely, hopefully he will stay strong and be happy being himself

sicily1921 Wed 05-Mar-14 16:26:44

opps meant friendships although a friendshop might not be a bad idea!

aprilanne Wed 05-Mar-14 17:06:12

my youngest son has his own unique sense of style .does,nt like joining in and is percieved by most an odd ball .he has aspergers .not that i am suggesting your son has it but it may explain some strangeness ...to be honest if your son is happy who cares what others think .

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