Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Your Child is Not a Genius

            After Brandon’s blog post about 2nd grade, I thought I’d dumb things down a little with a statement that not enough people seem to understand.
            Your child is not as smart as you think they are.
            Now let me preface this by saying I love children, and for the most part, they love me. Maybe it’s because of my creativity and imagination for playing, or the silly responses I give their questions. Maybe it’s my genuine friendliness that I try to convey with everyone. Or maybe it’s because I can still turn a refrigerator box into a race car with the best of ‘em. But I do love them, and I look forward to one day having my own 2.5 children (per US population).
            I also look forward to 18 years of vile bodily fluids, stupid questions, and poor life decisions. I know I gave my parents plenty of each.
             What I don’t understand, though, is the celebration of mediocrity that's become so commonplace with parenting. I’ve had to experience this lately with relatives, and you know you’ve seen the same thing a million times before, too: “Oh, look what little _____ did today. Isn’t he so smart for his age?”
            Ask ANY parent, and they’ll tell you their child is smart for his age. He can walk. He can figure out how to get into a cupboard. He can shit himself and roll in it. Isn’t he so smart for his age? Yes, he’s a goddamned genius. Can I leave now? This house smells like baby shit and feet.
            You should be proud of your child. I truly mean it; you should celebrate their achievements. But I’m continually amazed at how much we laud our children as being ‘ahead of the rest’ for really just being on par with the rest. A 2 year old child learning a few words isn’t the act of Einstein’s reincarnation, it’s nature’s way of telling you, congratulations, your child is not autistic. We applaud a child for being curious and getting into the cabinets, but that’s just a part of being a kid, is being curious and getting into shit. What’s more, which child is smarter? The one that gets into the cabinet, drinks the Drano, and kills himself, or the stupid child that can’t figure out how to open either? The smartest don’t always survive. Chew on that, Darwin.
            I find it amusing when parents commemorate bathroom functions as being exceptional. We celebrate if an age appropriate child can pee in a toilet and deem them tiny geniuses, but I assure you, this is nothing special. I peed in a toilet 4 times last night (I was drinking) and even had about a 95% accuracy rate (I was drinking). Do I get a cookie?
            What you never hear about are the stupid children.
“This is my Timmy. He still can’t figure out that the square peg goes in the round hole and he always falls off of his tricycle. He’s kinda dumb for his age, don’t you think?”
“My Jenny’s not very bright. She’s still pissing herself and looks at the toilet like it's an alien lifeform. She’s a really slow learner, don't you think?”
“Yeah, this is my Billy. He’s 24 months old and only knows a handful of words, most of which are swear words he picked up from daddy. He can't tell me what he wants, he just cries all the time. Isn't he stupid for his age?"
If only.
            Again, I like kids, and I’m looking forward to raising mine and applauding mine for their accomplishments and achievements, but I just wonder, having nothing more than 4 dogs and a cat right now, will I disregard this and be the same naive way? Will you hear me addle on and on about how smart Bryan Jr. is because he can spoon food into his mouth without spilling most of it or stabbing himself? Will I too boast about my child's mediocrities?
            I hope not. I hope I’m a fair, modest, and earnest parent who celebrates achievements when they’re appropriate. I hope I can be both celebratory and realistic. But that’s so far away, I can’t really say one way or another.
            So on that note, I'm out. I really want to figure out how to open this tasty looking Drano that I think might be really colorful fruit punch, and I think I just soiled myself again. (I’m kinda stupid for my age, and my parents are 99% certain I have a learning disability)


Mood: Painfully optimistic
Beer: Fat Tire
Shower: Uncomfortably cold

PS After Brandon's last post with the tag 'Dumbfuckery,' I must admit I feel compelled to label all future posts with 'Dumbfuckery.'


  1. Yeah I don't understand why people think that all their children are smarter than a 5th grader. I mean come on, yes there are smart ones but there are not so smart ones too.

    Everyone thought that I was smart and yeah in a way I was, but I was so socially retarded that I could barely speak to anyone. And in life we all need a balance.

    People who know how to interact with others as well as do tasks or figure out problems succeed. You don't see people like bratty adults, who sure knows how to interact get very far because they don't seem to realize that the problem that they are in keeps getting her in trouble.

    And lets not forget the nerds/geeks who are so intelligent but barely get along with people who are considered part of their class, let alone the rest of society.

  2. Bummer that the shower was cold, bro. Fat Tire is a quality beer though, so hopefully that helped you reel it in after all of your anti-stupid rage haha

  3. What about kids who think they're advanced? My son has been that way his whole life.

    Son: I'm smarter than everyone.
    Me: Why all the mediocre grades in school then?
    Son: Cause my teachers are idiots.

    Honestly, I kind of like it, I don't think you can teach confidence like that. It's a gift.

  4. Love that picture, real smart. take a picture, dont take the electrical cable out of your kids mouth :)

  5. Rusty,
    I've had that exact same conversation with my kid. He's such an Asshead sometimes.

  6. I'm still waiting for my 5 year old to figure out how to tie his shoes.

  7. Like every guy thinks he's an above average driver.

    P.S. Captcha is on for comments

  8. i'd agree with you, but i used to be the same way throughout my childhood... fuck it, i still think kids are god's way of punishing you for sex

  9. It's definitely one of things pervasive in our culture that probably leads to all sorts of things in a roundabout way, like every teenager thinking that they are going to be the next justin beiber. Or hell, even the fact that Justin Beiber is a household name.

  10. Good stuff but I hate kids and they usually feel the same way about me.

  11. that child is going to eat the cord! hahha

  12. Parents are only willing to tell you the truth about their stupid kids after their first drug bust/dui/teen pregnancy

  13. im lovin you blog bro keep it up and ill keep supportan yuh

  14. Don't forget how the owner of these brood spawn miraculously turn from the burnout loser they were in high school into somehow heroes just because they vaginally-pooped out a fetus.

  15. i agree with you, most of them think that they are extra smart

  16. Agree with you on this one, nice post =]

  17. That's actually really true.
    I like the whole "which child is smarter" scenario. it really does make you think.
    i gotta say, my parents aren't actually like that, and always expect me to do even better than i am.
    I'm not sure if that's brilliant or not, but i do appreciate it, even if it does annoy me to hell sometimes.

  18. What I can't stand is how every single thing is the cutest and smartest thing ever to new parents, whose children are the only ones to have ever existed, and no other parents get it the way they do. Congratulations! Your son figured out how to put his arm through a shirt hole! Holy crap, everyone! Little Susie pressed the 'On' button for (various appliance)! Dear Gods! Junior formed a complete sentence! I'm so amazed that my child isn't a retard! Or my favorite (when telling a story about how one of my sons misbehaved when they were toddlers) : 'Oh, my kid is just so totally amazing and perfect that he/she has never or will never do said atrocity'.