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Old 06-13-2007, 06:30 PM
Location: Tejas
7,504 posts, read 15,982,406 times
Reputation: 5025


wtf is wrong with being a nerd ? Bill Gates sure dosent have any problems with it anymore :S
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:39 PM
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,614,227 times
Reputation: 510
All you can do as a responsible adult is:

a) let him be himself and don't force him to do anything he doesn't want to,
b) teach him to ignore the obnoxious comments and thoughts of others (students and adults) and to always treat people with kindness and decency, despite what they say or do to him.

I never had a problem fitting in during high school, but my younger sister did, so I know the situation. I guess it all comes under the heading "growing up is hard to do." Being a teenager isn't very fun sometimes, but those of us who have grown into adults should have come to realize that image and popularity are not nearly as important as education and humility. With time and knowledge, your relative will find his place in society and see that it really isn't that hard to fit in. It is important to have friends and being yourself is the key. You'll be very surprised who likes him for him.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:37 PM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,934,260 times
Reputation: 3919
I think you should teach him how to stand up for himself but don't get too involved. There is a fine line between teaching him to stand up for himself and fighting his fights for him. Nowadays you can't hit him in fear of a lawsuit (ridiculous) but teach him how to assert himself without being violent.

I was picked on a little during my middle school years (changed in high school). Well one day this kid who was bigger than me (well...fatter, I was fairly tall) started calling me names and pushing me around a bit. My father told me to stand up for myself so I did. I hit this kid so hard across the face that it left a huge scar right near his lip. Well I knew I was in trouble and the principal gave me a long lecture then called my father. Well he came in the office and the principal told him what I did. The first thing he said was "I'm proud that you stood up for yourself". I did get into some trouble with it but after that blew over I was never picked on anymore and gained some respect.

Just coach him on how to stand up for himself. If someone pushes him, teach him to push back. BUT none of this will work unless he wants the situation to change.

But it's true, these nerds that always get picked on during school usually are the ones who make a six figure income.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:15 PM
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,913,806 times
Reputation: 7531
Close relative was/is a nerd - his kids gave him a pocket protector for his birthday (and those aren't easy to find, by the way)....absolutely a band geek, studier, drove an old Packard - no way did he fit in. His brother was the same way - brother is now with the courts system and the guy I actually like is head of a pharmacy division.

It's hard being the outcast - but as others have suggested, he will find his way and his clique...it may not be what we envision, and kids are crueler now than they've ever been. If his folks can afford to give him the outer trappings like the right tennis shoes and jeans and whatever, it will help. It does sound terribly shallow - but let's face it, teens are basically terribly shallow. It will be a few more years before they even resemble human beings.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:56 AM
Location: Happy in Utah
1,224 posts, read 2,943,350 times
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Try pointing out things he is good at, then encourage him to join clubs,etc that relate to those things. No matter what is done, he needs to to know that he is a great person
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:05 AM
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,959,678 times
Reputation: 2620
I was a nerd (still am I guess). It was bad in middle school, but gets better in high school. I think the trick is to help him find other nerdy kids like himself, not to try to make him something other than what he is, because that 1) doesn't really work and 2) says that who he is isn't okay. My situation improved when I went to high school and joined the marching band. Maybe that sounds like a nerdy activity, but I was in it with the other nerds and we had each other. I was in honors classes too, and by the end of high school I barely even had contact with the "popular" kids, either in class or extracurriculars. I was always surrounded by nerds, so it didn't matter at all that I was one! My sister is now in a similar situation and loves marching band to death! My other sister is more the type that wears all the fashionable clothes and doesn't like nerds, and I think it's actually harder for her to find a group to hang out with because she has more social pressures on her and she has friends who end up stabbing her in the back. (Ah, the world of middle school girls...)

I also want to say that my mom always tried to get me to wear more fashionable clothes thinking that would help me "fit in", and it was the totally wrong thing to do. When a nerd comes to school suddenly wearing fashionable clothes, they get it even worse for being a "poser". The other kids still know you're a nerd and it just gives them more ammunition.

I think he needs to be himself and find people who are going to like him for who he is.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:06 AM
Location: alt reality
1,084 posts, read 1,951,106 times
Reputation: 929
I'm a nerd and have been for all of my 27 years on this earth. If fitting in and being cool is something that he actually WANTS to do, then you can try to help him. But if he is a true loner like myself and really does not care about fitting in, leave him alone. He will be fine.

I will say that he does need to stand up for himself. Trust me, you can be a nerd/loner and not get bullied.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:06 PM
Location: Warwick, NY
1,173 posts, read 5,434,068 times
Reputation: 961
The crux of the matter is the question:

Is nerdiness causing him to have low self-esteem or other social problems?

If it isn't, he has good friends, feels safe with his peers, and a healthy self-image, then there really isn't a problem. If you want to help him, ask him if he'd like to go do jock stuff with you. Many times kids who don't do well in sports don't mind admitting and appearing helpless in the gym when they're only around adults they know and trust. A trusted non-parental adult helping him with sports or social issues can be a great thing for a kid and can really help build self-esteem because when YOU say he's doing something well then he knows you're not his parents who kinda contractually obliged to be positive even if their kid isn't quite all that.

I think it's really great that you want to help out but do remember to let him show you his strengths so he feels that the relationship isn't all one-sided. It's important for kids to have adults respect their strengths and talents.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:30 PM
Location: Coachella Valley, California
15,539 posts, read 35,679,264 times
Reputation: 13133
Somebody needs to put this kid in jiu jitsu!!! That's so he can protect himself. As far as the kid being a nerd - well, just let the kid be himself. He may be perfectly fine and happy being a nerd or he may grow out of it at some point. But it is important to just let him be who he is and respect him for who he is.
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:28 AM
Location: Wisconsin
7,109 posts, read 7,924,594 times
Reputation: 5154
I think it would be a good exercise for the "concerned adults" to go back and make a list of the top 5 most "cool" kids from their graduating class and a list of the top 5 "nerds" from their graduating class. Then do a follow up and find out what has happened to the "cool kids" since graduation and what has happened to the "nerds." I think it would be a real eye-opening experience and might get folks to understand that life doesn't end at high school and there are a LOT more important things to learn in school than how to be "one of the bunch."
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