Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Competitive parenting

We've seen and heard it all before at the school gate, but there appears to be a phenomenon where lots of my friends congratulate their children on Facebook.  Nothing wrong with that.  It's nice to be proud of your little sprogs, but it's beginning to make me feel that my little and large sproglets are on a hiding to nothing.  Really, it makes me feel a bit sick in my mouth when I open up my FB page of a morning and has found that my frenemy, Giselle has posted on her wall

"Well done, Sproglet!  Winning the overall champion of Mensa!"

  I mean, really?  Isn't that boasting and not congratualting? Your child is 5!! He doesn't  even have a Facebook account!  I know, I've looked.   Now I can understand being proud. I can understand writing on your childs wall, but I can't understand why you don't realise that I know, that you know that I know it's just plain competitive and it makes me feel inadequate. But that's what you want, isn't it?

Pre kids, I was one of those people who'd turn off when at dinner parties, parents would tell the gathered group how clever, beautiful, amazing Morticia was.   I swore that I'd never bore those who didn't know my kid. I still don't.  Now it's all gathering around the school gates, comparing reading books, class tests. There's one mum who has a notebook. I'm pretty sure she's jotting down everyone's scores so that she can accurately place her child in the class. I've seen her whip it out and jot stuff down as she walks back to her car. Or maybe she's noting down what I was wearing that morning? Eek!

My kids are clever (not mensa level) my kids are sporty (not international level), my kids are very, very funny; but I don't tell them that.   I don't want them thinking they'll be able to take on James Cordon a comedy battle! My kids are quick witted and astute. They know how many beans make five!
"A bean, a bean, a bean and a half, a half a bean and a bean!" They shout when I test them. See...clever!

I remember a teacher discussing Bart at a Parents Evening many moons ago.

"He won't be a high flier" she said "He's very immature"
He was four!!  Of course, her experience proved her wrong.  He is a high flyer. His  head's way up in those clouds...and that's the way I like it.


I'm not knocking you if you like to boast..but be honest.  We should all pre tag our comments with #boastalert. In that way we're being open and transparent about our emotions..and I won't get all worried that I didn't spend enough time with them on Algebra or algorithms.

When the 11+ results came out last month, Mimi sat in the car with me while we opened her results letter. I looked at her sadly and she punched the air with a "YES!!!"  We high fived, then did our victory seat wiggle.

You see, I know what my daughter wanted.


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