Sometimes parents annoy the shit out of me. I probably annoy the shit out of other parents as well so I’m not going to deny my annoying tendencies to post thousands of pictures and videos proudly displaying my son and his inherent cuteness. I’m probably the most annoying of all! But I’m not here to talk about me, I’m here to talk about you…or maybe not you…but definitely some of you who are bound to lay your eyes on this.
What REALLY annoys me is when parents brag about how smart and ahead of the game their child is. My husband is even guilty of it and I have to firmly remind him why he shouldn’t do that. He’s gotten much better. If you scroll through my Facebook and Instagram you will never once see ME refer to my child as smart or the best or way ahead of the game…you’ll see a ton of other people say it about him, but never me. Why? Because I don’t want to give my child an ego. I want him to always strive to do better because he works so damn hard at it and that’s what I love so much about him, his drive. I also don’t want to compare him to another child because every single child learns and develops at their own rate. Every. Single. One. No child is better than another because you think they are the most intelligent creature God ever created. I also know what milestones are meant for, and they are certainly NOT meant for bragging.
A child is not born smart or ahead of his milestones. And smart is really just a relative term. Also, a child who has the means to build on their foundation, with the help of his or her parents and caretakers, is vastly capable of being ahead of these “milestones” doctors set which are simply the least or expected things a child should be able to achieve by a certain age before becoming concerned about developmental delays. They are simply measurement tools to ensure there is nothing going on that can’t be physically seen. They are in no way shape or form a stepping stone for parents to rub “smarts” in everyone’s faces. Your child can crawl, (s)he’s so SMART! No, your child doesn’t have a physical disorder that would prevent them from crawling, you are lucky to not have to intervene…smarts have NOTHING to do with it, human instincts to crawl and being physically capable does.
Your child may be smashing all these milestones really early, mine did too, but some don’t develop that quick and some have certain conditions that don’t allow them to smash them like we were fortunate enough to. These developmental milestones are in place to look for signs that your child doesn’t have a condition that would involve intervention and further medical diagnostics to determine what is going on. Hello…this is how they discover when babies are hard of hearing! Get off your high horse and stop giving your child an ego so early…they are working hard to learn everything all at once, instead of bragging why don’t you work with them to develop into kind and well mannered human beings who work hard to achieve both your and their own goals in life. The world needs more humbleness and less showboats. I don’t know when or why medical diagnostics on well visits turned into a competition of smarts. I’ll take it all back if you can show me your 4 month old doing long division, but I won’t hold my breath waiting.
And if you are on the other side of the fence and think your child is not intelligent, step back a second. Toddlers and children love to tease us old folk. If you want something so hard in every breath of your being, your child will pick up on it and tease you with it. If there are no diagnosed developmental delays, chances are your child is messing with you. They are all sponges and will only do what they want to do. You just have to find a way that makes it fun for them…playing is learning, too.
Now if you excuse me, I’m going to continue praising my child for his hard work and not shout from the rooftops he is so smart.
Also, for those who use the term “smart” to their child, this is a very good read on why you shouldn’t use the “S word”.