Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Raising an "Uncool" kid...

Stepped outside to walk the dog and I felt a blast of cool air like I haven't felt in forever!!! I think maybe the weather will start to feel more like fall...at least, I hope so. I need to get some of those arm and leg warmers for biking, though. It's cool in the morning, but after being out there for an hour or two it starts to get hot. The arm and leg warmers can just be pushed down, you don't have to disrobe when you get hot.

I just read an article about parenting (by author Marybeth Hicks) that talked about raising an "uncool" kid. That raising them to have uncool habits will help prep them for the "real show", adulthood, not having them peak during their teen years. It was kind of interesting. Some of the suggestions were:

1. Raise an eccentric kid...not too eccentric, but enough to enjoy old movies, old Frank Sinatra songs, and have "uncool" hobbies like playing chess, stamp or coin collecting, etc. Teach them dialogue from old movies and use them as inside jokes ...the lifeblood of the uncool.
2. Raise a kid adults like-teach them a firm handshake and to make eye contact with grownups. When they can have articulate, meaningful conversations with the parents of her peers, they'll lobby for her to be included in parties and outings. Uncool. No kid wants to hang out with a kid her parents suggest.
3. Raise a reader...recreational readers, a little uncool.
4. Raise a real friend. Make sure your child knows that true friends are consistent, kind, accepting and affirming. That real friends are rare, but they're out there.
5. Raise a team player-sports teach kids coach-ability, reliability, fundamentals, and sticking with it, even if nobody passes him the ball. When he scores a goal or basket, do the "dance of joy" on the sidelines. Parents of cool kids don't do this.

There were more things, like teaching your kid to have a relationship with God, sheltering them from the dreck of TV that's out there, being a homebody (but not a loner), and being smart. Very interesting. It's hard to convince a 14 year old, though, that this time of their lives is not the most important...seeing this for practice for the real thing in adulthood just doesn't come very easily for Hannah. I do think that being an only child gives H a little bit of the uncool perspective. She's very independent, comfortable around adults, enjoys hanging out with us (most of the time, anyway), and loves our music and old movies.