Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Genius Argument

I belong to a community of message boards (The Bump) and today's heated argument was about whether your child is advanced or super-duper smart.  I have always felt Jack was a little behind based on what other posters say their children are doing.

Back when I first had Jack, I was on these message boards a lot.  I eventually had to stop posting.  Mostly because of my PPD and constantly comparing my child to the other kids.  I was jealous of all the moms whose kids slept through the night, had no problem nursing and on and on and on.  I am not sure what made me start posting again.  Maybe I have finally found my groove feeling like I have a good, healthy, normal kid.  Maybe it was boredom.

At any rate, some of this comparing has come back recently.  I see a lot of posters saying their toddlers can count to 10, say the ABC's, etc.  I think to myself "Wow, Jack can quack like a duck and that's about it".  My child says quite a few words but not pronounce most of them correctly, understands most of what we say, repeat some things, say some animal sounds when prompted and point out body parts.  If I compare that to what other kids his age are doing, he is behind.

Today, someone pointed out that they felt most posters who brag about how smart their kids are probably embellishing the truth a little.  Huh.  You know, I have often felt the same way. 

I know most people want to think their kids are smart.  I for one think Jack is smart in some ways but not all.  He is certainly not well advanced when it comes to speech and language.  He was pretty advanced in his motor skills and still is.  He crawled fairly early (not super duper early), walked early, uses utensils pretty well, drinks from a cup, etc.  I am not deluded and think that my child is a genius.

You know what kid is smart?  My nephew.  When I was visiting in May, my nephew was 18 months old.  At that time, he could name all kinds of things.  He could say fruit, shoes, what's that?, nose, dog, etc. etc. etc.  I commented to my sister several times about how smart he was.  And you know what?  She never once claimed he was a genius.  I think people with smart kids know it and don't feel the need to broadcast it.  People who claim their kids are smart probably just feel like they need to prove themselves.

There are all levels of smart and all children develop at different rates.  Just because my 21 month old doesn't recognize colors yet or count yet he isn't stupid.  In the reverse, if your child does, that doesn't mean they are a genius. 

I am not sure what the point of this post is.  Maybe that the comparing in my head should stop.  Because it will never get anywhere.  I need to accept that my child is fine and developing at a normal rate.  And I am never going to claim my kiddo is a genius unless he can solve world hunger by the time he's 2.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I know exactly where you're coming from. I do think that Ella is a little advanced in some areas (communication) and a little lacking in others. They do say girls pick up on verbal things faster and boys are more motor skilled. I do not compare my kid to anyone else. Although, my cousins wife likes to spread that her child is a GENIUS to anyone who will (or won't) listen. Some (Most) of the things she says are laughable especially when she tells you this kid (who is 10 weeks younger than Ella) has this amazing vocabulary, amzing this, amazing that, "her pediatrician says she's at an age of 2 years 4 months and she's only 13 months old" it goes on and on, and then you meet the kid and at the time she would point at something and say "da" and they'd say, OMG, she just said Dolphin, Mammal, supercalafrgilisticexpialodocious, insert fun word here.
    I just let it all roll off my back, that isn't how I want to raise my child and I don't worry, kids learn at different stages and they always will.
    Ha, I will complete my novel now. =)