My Son told his Mother yesterday, "I hate my job!" He's three and he was as serious as a heart attack. When MLW asked him what job he thought he had, he replied, "You read the book. You should know what I'm talking about!"
It doesn't concern me that he thinks he has a job because, in a way, he does. He's got rules to follow and little chores to do and even when he does something as simple as going poopies, we reward him and tell him, "Good job, Buddy!"
I'm also not worried that he hates his job because, in all reality, none of us like to do most of the things we have to do. I would, however, would have rather he said, "I don't care for my job", just because it sounds nicer than hate.
What I am worried about in this story is that, we think the three-year old is being cute. We don't know where he learned to hate his job or what book he is talking about but the way he is being so serious and acting like such a little man is adorable. The problem is-- he is completely serious, he knows exactly what he is talking about and we better figure out the book he mentioned and re-read it so we can figure out what is going on.
I want M3S to be smarter than his mother and I... I just don't want it to happen before he gets into kindergarten. I get the feeling that he thinks he knows more than the both of us put together already.
I promised myself, way before I had any kids, that I would not be the kind of parent that would, blindly say, my child is smarter (or cuter, or superior, or anything better) than others but, as I learn more and more about him, I am having a harder time keeping that promise.
There was a Mom's magazine in the bathroom with the cover headline, "Is Your Child Gifted?" I didn't want to look but I couldn't resist skimming through the article. M3S, definitely, has some characteristics, like his advanced vocabulary, the tough questions he asks, how quickly he learns things and how easily he relates with older kids and adults, that might be signs that he could fall into that category. The article explained some of the pros and cons of being labeled a gifted child and suggested further testing, but I'm not sure, at all, how I feel about that.
I had the label of a gifted child from a very early age and sincerely believe that it contributed to my anxiety problems. Accelerated learning classes put a tremendous amount of pressure to succeed as a youngster and, ultimately, didn't help that much with college as an art major.
Though I would be very interested to know how smart M3S is, I think it is much more important to have a normal path to adulthood. That is hard enough for a kid, these days, without the extra pressures of trying to be better than everyone else.
It is a little hard for me to accept, but I do acknowledge that times have changed since I was a teenager. I believe, however, that if the kids can have the right values instilled in them, from an early age, they will have the tools available to help make the decisions that will make it easier for them. My Son is only three, though, so I haven't had to put my money where my mouth is yet. I'll give you an update on him in 10-12 years!
This whole thing is a learning experience for me, almost as much as it is him. I hope I haven't turned into one of those parents-- the kid is just so amazing! I am still pretty new to this, being a first time parent, so my obvious bias may be less with the coming of our second baby... unless its a girl! Then, all bets are off!
We'll see in five more days. Buy T-shirts. Peace.