Is Your Child A “Nerd”? 6 Ways To Embrace and Protect Smart Kids

Mar 03, 2017

I thought I knew what to expect when I Googled the word “nerd”. Apparently, fashion, style, and attractiveness play a bigger role than I thought.











Google:

Google

  • a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.
  • a single-minded expert in a particular technical field.

Wikipedia:

Wikipedia

  • a descriptive term, often used pejoratively, indicating a person that is overly intellectual, obsessive or lacking social skills.

Dictionary.com:

Dictionary

  • a person considered to be socially awkward, boring, unstylish, etc.
  • an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit.

Merriam-Webster:

Merriam webster

  • an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits.

Oh, and can’t forget UrbanDictionary.com’s top definition:

Urban2

  • One whose IQ exceeds his weight.

Sound like your kid?

If they happen to fit the description of this label, it’s imperative to empower them in either redefining who and what they are or embracing the world’s label.

But let’s be honest here, it’s hard to be…well…different. So, how do you empower your kid to love who they are, and are not, and stand in their beautiful nerdy truth?

  1. Check your own judgments and fears at your bedroom door. Before the world shapes, the home creates. If your child can’t feel safe, accepted, and empowered in their own home, chances are they’ll have a more challenging time finding their lane in the world. All of this starts with you, the parent. Get real with yourself about how you view nerds, and any fears or concerns that you have about how the world will view your kid.

  2. Pay attention and ask questions. Just because you think your kid is a nerd, doesn’t mean that they think they are, nor does it mean that they’re uncomfortable in their nerdacious skin. Pay close attention to how they process their interactions with others and find out how they view themselves. What do they think makes them special? Have there ever been any times when they felt different than others? During this conversation be sure to share your life experiences as well. Chances are, you might be weirder than your kid and no one ever told you.

  3. Learn what they like and create a village for them to thrive in. There’s no cookie-cutter way to raise a kid but there is an old recipe that has yet to really fail: figure out what your kid likes and find as many opportunities as possible to feed that interest. That doesn’t mean don’t challenge them or push them out of their comfort zone but do help them find their tribe and create their village. There’s already a drum inside them beating away, give them a path to march on proudly.

    Tip: Find nerdtastic role models and get your kid-inspired!

  4. Get on their level. Their nerdiness is not a problem and their problem isn’t the world’s lack of acceptance. Their lives answer a question that the world has posed. Meet your kid wherever they’re at and see what questions about life they might help you answer. This requires you to dedicate uninterrupted time with them and to actually become a kid again. Hopefully, you never let that youthfulness go but if so, stop it—you’re not fooling anyone. Adults are just big kids with bills and way more fears.

  5. Don’t sympathize, empathize. Things are going to happen. Your child is likely bound to be teased, rejected, ridiculed, bullied, etc. or fail at something as a result of their nerdacular lifestyle and humanness. We’re not here to help them feel sorry for themselves. We’re here to help them process their emotions by putting ourselves in their shoes and walking the hard road of ridicule with them. Above all else, we’re here to keep them moving forward toward the awesome life that they’re going to create for themselves, and reminding of that every step of the way.

  6. Talk that talk, walk that walk. Empower your kid by empowering yourself. Live your truth, own your weirdness, stand up for yourself and do it all in plain view of your child. Be an example—concrete proof—of the power that they have running through their veins just by being your offspring. Be their advocate, protector, and defender, but also show them how to be that for themselves.