28 November 2011

Don't brag about your little genius

...well, at least, don't do it with strangers.

I realize that every mother would view her progeny as gorgeous as they are brilliant, but I ask that you refrain from voicing that skewed opinion unless you are among an audience of close friends and family.  There are really only a limited number of possible outcomes and they all seem bad to me.

Let's say your child really IS a genius.  Well, who like a braggart?  No one, that's who.  And what if you're yammering on to the mother of a child with developmental issues that severely hamper age-typical cognitive milestones?  Now you sound incredible insensitive.  On the other hand, what if you're extolling your mini Einstein's academic prowess to the mother of a child who is also gifted?  That mother has the good sense to keep her mouth shut while you, conversely, sound like a blowhard. 

Let's say your child ISN'T a genius.  Oh, I don't know...let's suppose that you are professing the strides your child has made to a psychologist who is cleverly disguised as a full time stay-at-home mom.  And we'll suppose that this former psychologist has had years of experience administering huge batteries of assessment tools and diagnosing children from both ends of the intellectual spectrum.  Yes, folks, you will end up looking like a boastful idiot. 

Chances are, any given child is average because that's simply how the normal curve falls on the graph by definition.  And average is a good thing, trust me.  I know many, many people who would wish average upon their children.   But if you go on and on about your average child at our first meeting, it will only leave me questioning your ability to gauge your own child's abilities.  It also will leave me wondering if you will place undue pressure unto your child.  And that just scares me.

Okay, so those of my 3 readers who have been here before know that I myself go on and on about my own kids: my excuse is that you know me!  I share far more here than places like Facebook because no one is forced to read this text.  You only come here if you choose to, not because some computer algorithm decided to drop it onto your news feed.  Also, while I only suspect A2 has a good handle on how he processes novel stimuli, I know A1's cognitive scores, and I have empirical evidence to back my bragging!

Unrelated photos of A2 at his last day of PALS, his mommy-and-me class from 2 weeks ago:


Amber Riley said...

Ohhhhh, i know moms like this and it KILLS me...."Normal" is so rare and so WONDERFUL i just don't understand why parents are not happy with it.
My goal with my 3: Raise 3 independent, productive citizens who can take care of themselves and give back. Is that too much to ask?!!! That would be my perfect "normal." :)

Lam said...

So well said, Amber! How come it takes me full paragraphs to say what you so eloquently phrase in 2 mere sentences?