I am not a cool person. Never have been. I sat with the misfits at lunch in high school and even played make-believe in the playground rather than cheerleader when I was in grade school.
I’m a nerd, straight-up, and I’ve been happy with that most of my life. But things have changed–I have kids now. I don’t want them to struggle with being a nerd like I did. So, How do I raise kids cooler than me?
How do I raise kids cooler than me?
- Clothes. I guess its simple to start with the obvious, easy stuff. I can buy my kids the clothes at the stores in the mall and let them make choices based on what their friends are wearing. But if their friends aren’t cool, I’m in a bind.
- Hair. Hair is like a BIG DEAL. It can’t be super-slapped-together-weirdy all the time. It needs to be whatever the current trendy haircut is. So that will mean staying on top of the trends and taking the time to help my kids do their hair every day. Every day.
- Friends. I need to teach my kids how to make friends that will last, and that will help them on this path to coolness. It has to be about the whole group feeling cool and walking that line. But it will also mean keeping my kids from picking that group of friends that crosses the line into “mean” territory. Because that’s not cool.
- Behavior. I guess I need to also teach my kids that being cool is about an attitude, a way to carry themselves and interact with others. A lot of times, I think other kids will think you’re cool if you act cool. Let the world argue with me, but that’s how it appears to me.
- Most important: Self-Esteem. I don’t know how to make this stronger in my kiddos than it was in me. I mean, is it like the force, where you’re just born with it or not? Or is it a muscle you can build-up to be stronger and stronger. Doesn’t matter. I’m going to build that self-esteem with thick and heavy praise.
But is it really about being cool? Is it really sitting at that table with the jocks and cheerleaders–or did they feel the same way inside that I did? Did they think I was cool? Some of them did. I’ve talked to them.
And it’s so weird. They thought I was the cool kid, the one that dyed her hair crazy in junior year. The one that drove a “classic car” (I thought it was a junker).
The one everybody called friend regardless of which table they sat at. Maybe I don’t want to raise kids that are cooler than that–maybe I’d like them to be THAT kid. The one everyone calls friend.
Maybe that would be even cooler than being cool. I don’t know, but it’ll be fun to find out.