We All Birth Geniuses
I was reading a favorite blog of mine. The blogger is a younger mother and her latest post was about her not-even 2-year old child using the potty all by himself. The post wasn't about how to potty train, it was just a mention that her not-even 2-year old child is simply amazing to have grasped this potty thing so soon. Impressive? Yes, actually. Genius? It's a long shot.
But, that's just what we do as parents. We slyly "happen to mention" to anyone who will listen that Suzi is reading her BOB Books at the tender age of 2. Or, "innocently wonder out loud" why Johnny goes up to bat for the first time during a T-ball game and whacks the ball out of the "park". He must be destined for greatness in the big leagues! (Don't you just feel for Suzi and Johnny? It's the names most used when telling kid-related stories.)
But, who can blame us, really? There we are, new parents, given this beautiful bundle of baby and the whole world awaits for this little miracle to explore, to discover. At that very moment, the possibilities are absolutely endless. The slate is clean. That baby you hold is also holding all your own hopes and dreams and second chances. Why wouldn't that little one you're holding be a genius? Seriously, who's going to dispute it?
|Genius at work or kid at play? Does it matter?|
And from then on, your little baby will amaze you, leave you in awe, and even pump up the pride a little in a parent's heart. But, for all of it, can I tell you, and I'm being honest here: you play the part of the fool. Yes, I know that's hard to take, but it's true. Hey, I'm only dishing out what I had to eat myself so don't get all your upset on me, OK? We're still friends, but someone has to say it.
When you place your kids on a pedestal (especially in front of them), you pressure them to perform. You're also making comparisons to their peers and, probably, making others feel insecure and inadequate at the same time. That's not how you win friends and influence people.
If Johnny is destined for the World Series, he'll do it, with or without you acting as his PR agent. If Suzi is reading BOB Books at age 2, well, maybe she'll write the next War and Peace by the time she's 20? But she won't need you to tell the world about it. I'll tell you what she will need, though. She'll need your unconditional love and support in whatever she's good at doing (and not doing). But you don't need a megaphone to shout out her accomplishments. Her results will speak for themselves. And as for the potty-training, well, we all get there some day, now don't we?
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