Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Kid Is Smart, But He's Not a Genius

As moms, we can see our kids in that sweet-pea-apple-of-my-eye sort if way. So much so that we can tend to see them through rose-colored lenses, exaggerating their strengths and talents so much that we may be doing them a disservice. (Or just flat out lying on Facebook.)

Lately, I have been so proud of my boy. He was placed in the highest reading group in kindergarten and since getting his glasses has jumped 5 units immediately and then a unit a day thereafter.

 I am so proud - he is a fantastic reader. I have been so proud that I took to social media to brag about him. Now, what I said was true and I am very proud, but here's the thing - he's still 5, he's still a kindergartener, and he's still learning. He is smart but he's not a genius. 

After my post a friend suggested getting him tested for a gifted/honors program at school. I asked his teacher about it and she said:

"Well, the deadline for testing has passed already..."

And then, bless her sweet soul:

"But that program isn't just for reading, it's for all around academics and problem solving."

I had to laugh at myself! It was as if she was saying, "He's a high reader but he's not a genius. Pump the breaks, lady." 

This is why (Well, one of the reasons) I'm so thankful for teachers. They see our kids as just that...KIDS. Not the center of the universe. Since he's my first born, it's easier for me to get wrapped up in thinking he's smarter than he is.

Isaiah's teacher has been so great for him, she has gone above and beyond to work with him and the other students in class. As a classroom volunteer I have seen the strides each kid has made in a matter of months. 

And while every accomplishment they make and every goal that's met should be celebrated, it also should be expected. Why? because we're raising these little humans to one day be big humans and that is simply how the world works. There are things exoected out of you. You don't get a cookie for every good deed or work assignment you complete. 

So if you're proud of them, be proud. Brag a little. But be realistic. If your child is successful at their grade level, be proud. Don't exaggerate. And, for goodness sake, don't overly celebrate what is expected of them.

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