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My Kid Is Smarter Than Your Kid

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Disclaimer: This post is only for mothers whose children are geniuses.

My Kid Is Smarter Than Your Kid

Flying Solo with Two Carry-ons: So now that I have the attention of EVERY mother out there, I will begin by telling you that I get it. Every parent thinks their kid is a genius. Your kid says "Mama" ... genius. Poops in the toilet ... genius. Shoves a pea up his nose ... okay well, maybe not the smartest genius, but nevertheless, a genius. Yet despite knowing that every parent thinks their child is Harvard-bound and will surely one day become president, I was still shocked by the things I saw and heard during my daughter's first year in preschool.

As if it wasn't bad enough to hear moms brag about their little Einsteins to everyone they met, I would see them drilling and grilling their preschoolers, trying to prove their kid is smarter than all the others. One morning, I witnessed a mom quizzing her daughter with flash cards, while another was sitting on the bench across the way showing off her 3-year-old daughter's reading ability. That was just the beginning. One mom even confessed to me that her son would cry at night because she made him write his name five times before going to bed. And two of my friends were in competition trying to one-up each other by seeing whose son could count higher.

Soon I began thinking that I failed my daughter. She couldn't count to 200, and she couldn't write her name. Did I make a mistake by naming her Gabriella? (Note to self: next time, name her Ava. She'll only need to learn two letters, and if she spells it backwards, she'll still get it right.)

As the days and months went on, I found myself drawn to the dark side. I finally succumbed under the pressure to prove that my child is a genius. Sadly, I became obsessed. I actually went online and found a kindergarten readiness test and tested her.

I gave her a three-step direction: pick up the green crayon, walk to the kitchen table, and place it underneath the table. I had her organize things in groups of color, shapes, and sizes. I even gave her the ol' apple or coin test used in the Middle Ages (you think I'm kidding? Go look it up). Oh, and by the way ... she chose the coin. So if we were living in the Middle Ages, off to school she would go. Needless to say, my daughter passed everything I gave her with flying colors. So I was confident that she could successfully enter kindergarten at the age of three.

The next day, I walked onto the play yard with my head held high. That's when my friend, who has an older daughter, asked me if my daughter could swing herself on the swing. Really? Are you kidding me? Apparently, that too is a prerequisite. Oy! What are they doing to me?! I completely started freaking out because my daughter wasn't able to pump her legs on the swing. She told me not to worry, and reassured me that by the time kindergarten rolls around, all kids can pump their legs. Phew! What a relief!

Most of you -- not you overachiever mom types -- but the rest of you will be happy to know that after that day, I gave up my quest to prove my child is a genius. I am totally over it. I don't care if she goes to Harvard, and I don't care if she doesn't become president. I just want her to be a happy, loving, and self-confident child.

This past September, my daughter did in fact start kindergarten, and she can pump her legs on the swing, just like the rest of her classmates. And in case you have any doubts, my kid IS smarter than your kid ... even though she was the kid that shoved peas up her nose.

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
michelle December 8, 2009, 9:14 AM

Um, yeah. I was tracked into special ed in first grade, couldn’t write my name properly till second grade, and got suspended in third grade for hitting another kid. P.S. I ended up going to Princeton. I didn’t get into Harvard, though. Mom totally should have flash-carded me. :)

Monica December 8, 2009, 12:17 PM

I think moms feel insecure if others don’t recognize their kid as smart. We might feel as if its something we aren’t doing as the reason why our kid isn’t a genius and that it reflects on us as a parent. Some people are idiots. For instance, when my son was two he wasn’t quite talking yet. It wasn’t that he didn’t know any words or didn’t say anything. Its just that he didn’t talk especially around strangers. And what words he did use didn’t come out clearly. So I had to translate and I still do. People made the assumption that I “wasn’t working with him enough at home” or “maybe he’s “autistic”. Of course most mothers would feel bad if someone tells them they think their child is autistic or feel offended because they feel that they are making a comment about your parenting thinking that ” you don’t read to your child?”. But honestly while its a little offensive, I know my child enough to know that its nothing wrong with him and that while he wasn’t speaking like a scholar he would in time speak when he felt like it. Now while he still remains somewhat silent till he warms up to you when he is at home he yaps like a chicken. He still has issues with soundings but I was assured by a friend who is a speech therapist that he will in time and he’s perfectly fine. The point is that you don’t have to show off your kids smarts and grill them in order to show that you are a good parent. If you know your kid and realize his /her strong points thats all that matters regardless of what some idiotic person may think. While there is nothing wrong with flash cards ( I got flash cards for my son to teach him how to read) and writing your name before bed, its not necessary to push our kids until they want to cry. Learning should be fun! We also need to stop comparing our children the others. Just think about what message we are sending our kids; that they are not good enough if they don’t know how to count as fast a Susie or read as fast a Johnny. We need to stop killing our kids self esteem.

Anonymous December 8, 2009, 10:14 PM

overachiver moms turn intoo soccer moms

Jose December 9, 2009, 1:15 AM

Poor kids, sound like mental child abuse.

mom of 2 December 9, 2009, 1:26 AM

This is exactly why I refuse to hang out with any parents that think our kids are a competitive sport. I do not remember once my parents forcing me to write my name or flash carding me, or any of that other crap. They did what I do with my child, work books. My kids 5 and 3 love them and will finish an entire workbook in one sitting because they enjoy them. They play learning games on the computer because they enjoy them. The only thing I am guilty of is making my daughter re-write her name if she gets lazy and writes it very sloppy. Other then that they may think their kids are geniuses but I think by the time they hit middle school they are all pretty much on the same level so who cares who is smarter in elementary school that crap won’t get you into college.

Malice December 9, 2009, 4:18 PM

This is a good article! My daughter is three and can do way more than me when I was her I don’t brag and I don’t force anything on her. Sure she enjoys flashcards and writing her name. I don’t like it when people show off their kids or force them to learn Nazi style. Kids pick up things really fast! Make it fun not military work.

PhotoJoe December 12, 2009, 12:22 PM

Parenting is not a competitive sport! Do your best for your children and don’t fret about what milestones they reach early or late (unless we’re talking about developmental delays, then that’s between you, your child, and your pediatrician.)

Enjoy every child for who they are, not for what they can do before their peers.

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