Tuesday, 7 October 2008

"My child is so clever."

I state here and now this is not about my kids. That I know of.

Having read this post if you EVER hear me say such stuff about Princess Curly-Wurly or DestructoBoy please (metaphorically) slap me upside the head.

Please note it is not my intention to offend people. But if it happens, tough. This is my online not-so-secret diary and I shall say what I choose.

So my rant? Here it is:

I exist in a mostly middle-class universe. This is a market town. There is a low crime-rate. We have a museum, an art exhibition space. There are many shops selling fabulous things, not least the deli which sells all kinds of weirdo cheeses, oils and other things we didn't even know we needed.

This town up here on the Hill (and some of you flatland dwellers may recognise this syndrome from your area as well) is also home to the most clever, talented, intelligent, skilled children ever in the history of the universe. No, really, it is true. Just ask their parents. It would seem that every child in the local vicinity was an early talker, walking from minutes old and has an untapped IQ of 752.

Even when said parents are informed that their own beloved darling is falling behind or (GASP!!) actually just normal they refuse to believe it. You see, 'Clemista only acts up at school b/c she has such a high level of intelligence that she is bored. Her skills are not being channelled effectively.'

Or perhaps 'Clemista' and her ilk are simply unfocused b/c no-one is making them actually listen to the grown-up in charge b/c 'one doesn't like to stifle creativity in a child so clever'.

Well, let me just say as one who has to deal with those 'so clever children' on a regular basis - you are making mine and your child's life difficult. And when I say your child may have some issues relating to his peer group I don't mean it is because he is precociously intelligent and mostly interacts with adults. I mean your child has been babied and is in fact emotionally immature!

It seems to me to be a peculiarly middle-class thing too. I don't know why. Maybe we all want our little 'Clemistas' and 'Henriques' to be fabulous and cannot accept the fact that like us, their parents, they are just ordinary.

Hmmm.... who knows.


  1. LOL Trashy.

    I think I live in the working class antithesis of your town! 50% of the parents around here are more likely to expect their children to be awarded an ABSO rather than an academic acolade!

    What I find really sad is the necessity for booklets to be sent home with instructions on how to read (or the worst one...play) with your children. How can people not know that? A tragic commentary on the state of the world I think.


  2. We call them Helicopter Parents* and, sadly, both of TBG's brothers are the worst! One was given a pamphlet "Seperation Anxiety: How to let go of your child" and the other drives 4 hours roundtrip to bring his precious daughter home from COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY every weekend so they can do her class work TOGETHER!!!!

    *early 21st-century term for a parent who pays extremely close attention to his or her child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. These parents rush to prevent any harm or failure from befalling them and will not let them learn from their own mistakes, sometimes even contrary to the children's wishes. They are so named because, like helicopters, they hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach, whether their children need them or not.

  3. I wasn't very old when my mum told me I was 'average' ... just as she'd been before me and my children would surely be after me. Kind of knocked any 'Clemista' out of me right there and then. But hell, she was right!

    We can't always be there with and for our kids - sometimes it's not possible, sometimes it's not appropriate. Best, therefore, to teach them how to 'do' life from the safety of home and family.


  4. Ahhhhh parenting! Bloody difficult thing to do - but I'm fairly confident I'm not doing it that way! Locket xx

  5. Oh how I recognise that type of parent... we live among many of that type here too (not in this house I might add!)
    G x

    PS I've just discovered I have ten followers....

  6. Oh Trashy - I am with you there sweetie!

    I know of several parents who insisted their child be added to the Gin and Tonic (.... sorry... Gifted and Talented) register when they are only averagely bright and working at the appropriate level for their age. I find the worst ones are those whose children are rude and obnoxious because the parents won't let them socialise properly with other children!!!

    All we can do is our best and I am all for encouraging your children but not pressurising them!

    April xx

  7. It does seem like everyone has a genius child these days. Surely they can't all be?!!

  8. parenting is a minefield and you can only hope you are doing it right! won't find out til its too late!! i always told mine to try their best and that would make me happy - we can't all be geniuses - think how awful that would be!!##x

  9. Astonishing too how many parents don't get that by the very definition of average, half the kids in a class are gonna be below average in their abilities...

    Here it's not quite so bad as we have a good percentage of working class parents (who tend to approach things differently - which is not to say some of them aren't blind to their children's faults).

  10. aha ! that's why my mum constantly tells me I am a nutter...No Clemista's here.
    I'm nearly 40 do you think she'll stop soon?

  11. Working in a school, I have come across so very many Clemistas. They aren't half so bad as their parents though! The majority are fine but just sometimes one comes along and rubs you so far up the wrong way you could just smack them! (The parent, not the child, that's just not right and proper)

    One of youngest son's best friends happens to be one of these children - just like his elder siblings. How fortunate for these people to have so many geniuses in one family.

  12. You go girl!

    Don't these parents just drive you mental!! Wonder who'll they blame when their little darlings grow up to be something as ordinary as a check-out chick/chap or worse - a crack-head?!

    My children are of course superbly brilliant with IQ's well over 752 and perfect in every way - just like their mother :-)
    [just excuse me for a moment while I take my tongue out of my cheek and remove my head from my own backside] lol.

  13. Oh, but my children are highly intelligent ;)!
    We had one parent at our school who kept insisting that the school give her daughter work from the grade above as she "wasn't being challenged". Apparently they were doing an extra hour of work at home every night, on top of homework. The poor girl is only 7!
    On occasions when I'd be helping out on the class, I'd see the poor girl getting quite upset if she got something wrong. I suppose she thought there'd be hell to pay at home if her parents found out.
    I agree its a middle class thing. Must be a fear of mediocrity. I think it speaks volumes about the parents' own feelings of inadequacy.

  14. PS: What's an ASBO? I heard it on Ladette to Lady too.

  15. I am only at Grade one in this house, but that crap also goes on in kinder too!! Personally I know my children are exceptionally bright.
    They know how to pinch the lolly jar when I'm not looking.! Thats bloody clever, I have ears like a listening device..he he

  16. ohhhhhhhhhhhh missus trashy, even tho i lives in a flatland yankee river town, i *SO* knows exactly what yer on about!!! may i add MY favorite part of this which is: "your so called rules cannot possibly be expected to apply to my so clever children!!!" it's vicarious living at its most obnoxious...sigh