Old soul. Wise beyond their years. One of a kind. Have you heard one or all of these phrases to describe your child or a child you know and love? We all know that children don’t fit into a one-size-fits-all mold, and are all truly unique, but occasionally along comes a child that has qualities, attributes or interests that just don’t seem to coincide with other children their age. Whether it is a maturity that seems to extend beyond their years, or a passion for a subject that seems to preclude all other age appropriate interests, some children are wonderfully and delightfully eccentric. This article is not meant to offer parenting advice for anyone who has a child with a diagnosed medical condition, but rather for the parent with a quirky child, whose behavior or personality could be described as eccentric.
Celebrate And Embrace All The Quirks And Eccentrics.
This sounds very simple, but is sometimes easier said than done. It can be especially difficult if the source of the eccentricity is difficult to understand or relate to. If your child suddenly develops a love for Big Band music, while your tastes run towards Pop and Classic Rock, this can be difficult to understand. If your eccentric child becomes enamored with classic musicals, while you would be just as happy to watch a current action movie or thriller, you may wonder what the appeal is. It gets even harder when not one other child you know shares this interest. Try and see your child as independent thinker and praise him or her for developing their own taste and interests.
Realize That Eccentricity Is Often A Trait Of High Intelligence Or Deep Creativity.
The most talented musicians, artists and writers often have a bent towards eccentricity. Likewise, highly intelligent people often have a quirk or two that could be described as eccentric. If your child is very young and seems to lean towards the eccentric side, chances are very high that he or she is highly intelligent, very creative and artistic, or both.
Don’t Make Apologies For Your Eccentric Child.
If you are the parent of an eccentric child, you may find yourself in the position to apologize or make excuses for that child in social settings. You don’t need to explain to family or friends why your son or daughter doesn’t have any interest in organized sports, or why he or she would rather spend time researching the history of a certain animal than sitting in front of the television for hours. The likes and interests of an eccentric child is often a mystery to some people, but it doesn’t need to be apologized for. If people are not open to the fact that not every child fits into a certain mold, but that is not necessarily a reason for concern or judgment, that is their problem.
Expose The Child To Various Activities And Social Situations.
Though the child may have never had a previous interest in sports, group activities or social clubs, never stop making those opportunities available. He or she may suddenly decide that these activities are worth another look at. The more a child is exposed to and participates in, the more well rounded he or she will be. The more opportunity for socializing, the more chance the eccentric child will have to meet other like minded children.
Let Your Eccentric Child Know It Is Perfectly Acceptable To Have Interests All Their Own.
Your child may become self conscious after realizing that most other children don’t share their passions and interests. His or her classmates may find it off putting that your child spends so much time painting, sewing, movie making or researching Math problems. Be sure your son or daughter knows that he or she is a unique and wonderful individual that is free to purse any and all subjects that are interesting and fascinating to them. Show your support by asking questions and expressing a real interest in their passions.
Encourage A Healthy And Active Lifestyle.
An eccentric child can become fascinated by one hobby or interest, eliminating attention to other activities that promote good health and balance. Take your child out for a bike ride or a walk around the neighborhood for fresh air and exercise. Burn off energy and calories at the local park. Encourage a game of kickball with the neighborhood kids. A nice balance of exercise, socialization and a pursuit of personal interests leads to a happy and healthy life for the eccentric child.