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Your Kid's Too Dumb for Mine

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Guest Blogger Erin: When it comes to playdates, kids should at least be on a level playing field.

As a relatively new parent, I'm just getting into the whole playdate scene. Recently, I met a mom who invited me and my daughter to come to her house for a playdate with her three-year-old. I agreed, and one Sunday my two-year-old and I made the trek to her house.

When she introduced her daughter to mine, I could already tell that her kid wasn't exactly the "sharpest tool in the shed." She only talked a little bit of baby talk -- possibly because, to my horror, her mom spoke to her in a grating sing-song voice. My daughter, on the other hand, is quite talkative and sociable -- often speaking in complete sentences. The other girl, although almost a year old than mine, acted like a child half her age.

The playdate host and I attempted to get our kids acquainted. My daughter tried as well. She asked her kindly, "What's your name?" and pointed out items in her yard, "You have a slide!" The other little girl just stared at her blankly. Finally, my kid just gave up and began playing with toys. I felt awkward, but the mom didn't seem to acknowledge the huge gap in our kids' development.

A couple hours went by, and the two barely interacted. My daughter attempted to initiate a game or two but the other girl preferred to play with toys my daughter had grown out of long ago. Finally, I hinted it was time for us to leave. The mom enthusiastically said, "Let's do this again!"

Um, how about no?

Personally, I think a playdate should be an enriching experience for my child. Letting her spend the day with someone not nearly at her intellectual level isn't going to be beneficial to her. It's like trying to improve your tennis game by playing against a crappy player. What's the point of that?

What would you do in this situation? Tell us your opinion in the momlogic community

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65 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 20, 2008, 12:59 PM

You realize that your title is , in itself, an oxymoron?

It’s not “kid’s”, it’s kids. Kid’s is possessive. There isn’t a noun in your sentence for the word “kid’s” to be posessive of, so your use of an apostrophe is incorrect in this case. It would work if you said “Your kid’s toys”

And the word “dumb” literally means to not be able to speak.

Stupid would be more of a correct word. Even though it seems as if it describes you more than the child who is only 3 and will probably catch up to her peers.

mama_chita October 20, 2008, 1:05 PM

Well, actually:
The title is okay, because “kid’s” is a contraction in this case: Kid’s = Kid is
“Your Kid Is Too …”

And ‘oxymoron’ is a combination of contradictory words, such as:
‘jumbo shrimp’ or ‘wicked good’


Shelley October 20, 2008, 1:21 PM

Wow. You really are new to this mothering thing. If I were that mom you wouldn’t have to worry about another play date. I prefer to associate with mature, open minded moms who don’t pigeon hole kids as toddlers. I can’t even say anything else. This is just ridiculous.

MommyMe October 20, 2008, 1:48 PM

Sorry, I totally agree with this. My kid is pretty smart and she gets bored playing with kids who are younger than her. Not saying the kids are “dumb” but she does better with older kids. What’s the big deal? Playdates aren’t mandatory. If a kid doesn’t have a good time — as this kid didn’t seem to have— why bother doing making another date?

AK Mom October 20, 2008, 3:04 PM

Don’t give up too fast. You say that the other mom didn’t seem to notice the developmental difference between the kids, it may be that she has noticed and is hoping that exposure to other kids may help her child. It seems that your child may be outgoing, a fast learner, and may even have more hands-on learning available to her; while the other child may be shy, possibly needs repeated lessons in order to grasp new concepts, and may not have enough hands-on learning opportunities.
Let’s say that all that’s true, now it’s time to teach you child, by example, that it’s a wonderful thing to have lots of friends, no matter their abilities. You and the other mom should try interactive games with the kids: dancing, kicking a ball back & forth. Get down on the floor or out in the yard and really play with both kids. Arts & crafts are good too because kids can work independently side by side and the adults can help create interaction. Also, sometimes when kids have friends at their house, and they’re used to playing alone at home, they simply don’t know what to do with a new friend in their own home. So try a neutral place like a park/playground or go for lunch at restaurant that has has a playground. Craft stores like Build A Bear and Pottery Painting stores can be fun too. You could also shorten the length of the play date. And don’t expect too much… toddlers do tend to play side by side before they actually play together.
Over time you may find out that this other child is developmentally behind your child due to a learning disability or worse. Clearly this mom is reaching out for something… Being a friend to her and her child without the what-will-this-do-for-me-attitude will teach your child how to make friends, how to be tolerant and compassionate.

Melissa October 20, 2008, 3:26 PM

Isn’t it interesting that with all of this heated debate, “Guest Blogger Erin” hasn’t felt the need to come back and explain herself or write anything further about her own post? Apparently, she is “too smart” to deal with us, her own readership.

As so many of the other eloquent moms out there have said, you are an elitist, rude snob. You are teaching your daughter to judge others based on first impressions, without allowing people to demonstrate hidden strengths and values. Verbal gifts are one way children may shine, but your playdate may have had other wonderful gifts to share and you will never be able to appreciate them. Likewise, your daughter will go through life missing out on many wonderful people who might offer her amusement, entertainment, enrichment, friendship, companionship, or even love….all because her mommy taught her to only hang out with people who are certifiably smart.

You are limiting your own daughter. That, is not mothering. Teach your daughter to embrace the world and give her wings to be open minded.

Oh….and respond to people who respond to your writing, or don’t claim to be an author.

Liz October 20, 2008, 4:12 PM

I have a child who seems to be developmentally behind in her social skills, however with each playdate that she has with children who are “Normal” or “Advanced” she improves greatly.
Only recently she has started to interact with other children, but that only developed because mothers with the so-called “Normal” or “Advanced” children were open minded enough to allow their children to play and interact with my daughter who in turn has started to understand the concept of playing and interacting with other children. It really is a shame that there are mothers out there who are so narrow minded. As mothers and humans, we really should try and teach our children to see the best in every situation.

Jennifer October 20, 2008, 5:01 PM

Your an idiot.

I don’t even know were to start. I bet you annoy all the people you are around and your kid is probably not as smart as you think. I can’t stand people like you.

People that make statements like this are usually clueless to the fact that their kid is socially retarded.

Anonymous October 20, 2008, 6:35 PM

Technically, both people commenting on your title are correct. “Kid’s” can be a contraction for “kid is” Even though I don’t believe that it’s an acceptable contraction in formal writing. Meaning: I wouldn’t write it in a blog on the internet, especially while claiming superior intelligence (whether, for myself or my child).

And I believe the poster above was speaking about that when she mentioned “oxymoron”. Your sentence structure (all throughout the blog, not just the title), is condtradictory to your implication that you and/or your child are posessing superior intelligence.

RealMomsHaveCurves  October 20, 2008, 8:26 PM

Get over it people. It’s obvious that this blogger is being tongue-in-cheek. If we say we don’t want people to speak baby talk with our kids, then it’s at least a little understandable why this woman wouldn’t want a kid who isn’t as developed to play with hers.

Donna October 21, 2008, 6:40 AM

OK ladies- give me a break…my kids are older than yours 11 and 15. They both excel in academics. They get along well with all types of people including younger children(even toddlers and babies) and adults. Looking them in the eye while having a conversation. It is ok to want to find children that are equal to your own, while still playing with this child. It will teach your child things if you talk with her about feelings etc when you leave. You do have to find others though at her level. When they are in high school you want them to excel in school and if their friends do not, you will have a problem. All of you other moms putting this one down…your all bullies!

Brenda October 21, 2008, 7:49 AM

Wow…bullies? Ok, I’m not going to let your son/daughter play with my child, because I believe my son/daughter is smarter and therefore deserves better. Who’s the bully?
As for the “author”, I’d be ashamed to lay claim to anything as insulting as this.
Children are people, and all are individual. Sure some might walk, talk, crawl, run, play, or even have an imagination before the child next door of the same age, but that doesn’t make them smarter, that makes them human.
Let your child be a child. Stop trying to make her into a mini adult. Teach her thoughts of love and understanding, so she can recognize that everyone in the WORLD is different.
“If we all liked the color red, what a boring world this would be.”
We are individuals with different needs. While the mother of this 3 yr old is mature enough to know your words are hateful and cruel I’m glad this 3 yr old doesn’t.
I have 6 grandchildren, ranging in ages 18 months to 6 1/2 years. The 18 months were born 17 days apart. One crawled before the other, but the other didn’t crawl at all. Does that mean that one is “better” than the other? NO. It means simply that each of them are an individual. Having their own personality and their own maturity table. I don’t love any of them any different, even though I’m loving 6 different people. Being different doesn’t make you a bad influence, but being ignorant of anothers feelings sure as heck does.
Shame on you

lavortiz157 October 21, 2008, 7:55 AM

I don’t mean to sound like the negative one in the bunch but I feel the same that she does! They don’t HAVE to be @ the same learning but @ least be able to hold off a few hours playing! If like in the case of erin, the kids don’t interact @ all then I probably won’t be back unless my son really wants to!
And everyone is talking about how they would allow someone to post something like this on a public site, you just have to realize that not all parents think alike! I could actually benefit from something like this considering that my son is only 8 months and not yet been scheduled for a playdate!

So for those ladies that feel Erin is a snob or ignorant, you need to look @ yourself first before judging because A LOT of mothers think the way she does.

lavortiz157 October 21, 2008, 7:57 AM

I don’t mean to sound like the negative one in the bunch but I feel the same that she does! They don’t HAVE to be @ the same learning but @ least be able to hold off a few hours playing! If like in the case of erin, the kids don’t interact @ all then I probably won’t be back unless my son really wants to!
And everyone is talking about how they would allow someone to post something like this on a public site, you just have to realize that not all parents think alike! I could actually benefit from something like this considering that my son is only 8 months and not yet been scheduled for a playdate!

So for those ladies that feel Erin is a snob or ignorant, you need to look @ yourself first before judging because A LOT of mothers think the way she does.

Lisa October 21, 2008, 8:03 AM

Is this a joke?

Amber October 21, 2008, 9:03 AM

It is normal for children to “seem” less social and intelligent at first because they are reserved and shy in the face of strangers. You have not given the three year old enough of a chance to show her “real” intelligence and personality. So as not to turn out as judgemental as you are, you need to expose your child to all sorts of different types of people and encourage friendship. This is vital to your own child’s emotional well-being. Read the latest article on MOMLOGIC about Casey-Anthony and how to try to avoid turning children into a sociopath:
Also, every parent raises their child differently. Every child is different and needs different parenting. You should not judge how this mom parents her child as you are not aware of this child’s individual needs and personality. I have a feeling that if you keep at it, your daughter and the other girl will learn to play and interact well together. Meanwhile your daughter will have learned how to be adaptable to different situations.

alexandra October 21, 2008, 9:11 AM

I didnt feel like this mom was really concerned about her child picking up the other child’s habits. She thinks that it is a shame that this child is not as smart as she thinks she should be. Well the world doesnt revolve around you and what you think. Instead of running off and telling everybody how horrible the mother is for talking to her in a “sing-song” voice, maybe you could have spoken to the mother about different techniques to help her child develop.
Do you even know this woman or child’s background? There could be some developmental delays! and maybe your child is a smart mouth not as smart as you think. Sometimes our children pick up our attitudes and she is probably treated too much like an adult. Let’s learn to tolerate others more…this child and mother didnt seem disrespectful so why would you be?

Sharon October 21, 2008, 9:19 AM

Erin & anyone else who may be wondering about playdates…
You really shouldn’t decide based on one playdate IMO. Kids (people) are all different. Part of playdates is the interaction for the parents as well. Maybe you can help this mom to raise her expectations a little, she may be holding her child back and not realize it, or maybe if the child is in daycare either she wants time w/o other kids or is lacking because of the kind of care she is getting (either from her parent/s or whereever). She may have been having an off day, it may be because you were on her turf, maybe she has other traits you didn’t see. Maybe you can plan (if you want to try again) to do a wholly interactive play date…involving the moms as well, maybe go to a park, playground, children’s garden, nature preserve w/ animals or zoo. My children are 18, 16, 14, 11. When my oldest was born another woman & I attended a mother/baby exercise/stretching class offered through the hospital when they were newborns (3 days apart) we became fast friends & would get together with the kids; just hang out, go to parks, or Once Upon A Child shopping right from the start. It was fun to discuss being moms, married life, breastfeeding, parenting aspects, the similarities & differences between my daughter & her son… We are still friends though we’ve each moved! Around my daughter’s 1st bday we moved a couple of hours away, we went back for visits (yes I’m a SAHM) & started attending LLL right away because I knew I’d find other moms & kids quickly (ps there are ALL kinds of LLL groups!) anyway, some of us started hanging out some times, then we formed a playgroup. Originally the children were approx. in a 6 month range, the mom’s age range was almost 20 years apart…all first children. We started doing all sorts of things many I didn’t know anything about being new to the area, and some that I suggested. Things ranged from free play at houses or with activities; McD’s w/ playgrounds; those big indoor playgrounds (do they still have those); holiday parties (for any dumb holiday), activities at libraries & nature centers or park programs (free’s always good); local museum of natural history (has animals, a play area, hands on zones, special events, planetarium); parks (little playground types, large city/co. parks…nature w/ trails, duck feeding, historic farm, nature programs…;zoos; bowling (yeah, they stunk!); swimming pools; mini golf; we did outdoors fingerpainting, clay, tie-dye (and then would wear the shirts for outings to spot them easier), there were boys, girls, only children, up to my 4, shy & quiet, outgoing, rambunctious, crafty, studious, odd… I think it was a great experience for all the kids!

Sharon October 21, 2008, 9:45 AM

Oh just a thought for anyone judging a child especially: consider Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison…2 great minds who as children were greatly underestimated! :-)

This will sound snarky so I don’t like to say it but if it may give someone food for thought…
If someone feels this way are they intending only to have one child? Because a second child will be whatever/ whoever they are, they may not be smart, plus they will be younger than the 1st child and obviously not at their level… I hope that made some sort of sense. ;-)

novaceleste October 21, 2008, 10:56 AM

While reading your story, I was taken back because of how selfish and predigest your words were. I have a firm belief that every single person in this world has something to teach, as well as learn, from everybody. I have a 13 year old son, and my daughter will be 12 next month. We have always been around alot of people, kids and adults, different colors, and different backgrounds. Now, what I’m about to write about, isn’t a “feel sorry for me” story. In 2003, I was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Which means that there is now relapse, I just keep going downhill. After grieving over my job in the flower shop I used to work at, realized that this is a time when my kids learn; tolernce, selfishless, and also a time when my kids can learn how it feels to be different. I have to do chemo treatments every 2 months. My kids volunteered to step up to the plate and do what ever they can. Both of them know how to cook, clean, laundry, and lots of other jobs. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t always think about what is best for your daughter, with interacting with the other little girl, she could learn valuable lessons, especially not being predigest. And the other little girl can learn from your daughter as well. I just have to say, that reading your story, kinda made me think that you are searching for a clique for your 3 year old daughter. I have 2 kids in middle school and they are friends with more kids than just the “cool clique”, or in your case, the “smart kids clique”. Being in a clique, is the same as alienateing others

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