All Hail Wendy Mogel’s “Overparenting Anon” List

Folks — Wendy Mogel got the anti-helicopter parenting movement rolling with her book, ‘The Blessings of a Skinned Knee.” Here’s a taste of her fabulous “Overparenting Anonymous” List that I wish I had tattooed (just for the first 20 years or so) on my arm:

OVERPARENTING ANONYMOUS

A 26-step program for good parents gone bad, by Wendy Mogel

I’ve written these steps to provide encouragement to well-intentioned, devoted, loving, intelligent parents who feel powerless to stop themselves from overindulging, overprotecting, and overscheduling their children. Parents who get jittery if their offspring aren’t close to perfect in every area. And parents who have allowed traits like self-reliance, resilience, and accountability to slip to the bottom of their parenting agenda.

1.         Don’t mistake a snapshot taken today with the epic movie of your child’s life. Kids go through phases. Glorious ones and rotten ones.

2.         Don’t fret over or try to fix what’s not broken. Accept your child’s nature even if he’s shy, stubborn, moody, or not great at math.

 3.         Look at anything up close and you’ll see the flaws. Consider it perfectly normal if you like your child’s friends better than you like your child.

4.         Work up the courage to say a simple “no.” Don’t try to reach consensus every time.

5. Encourage your child to play or spend time outside using all five senses in the three-dimensional world. How come only troubled rich kids get to go to the wilderness these days?

Lenore here: That is the greatest question EVER! For the rest of Wendy’s list click here! But first, let me just give you this one more:

14. Allow your child to do things that scare you.  You have to let her take some steps on her own, without holding your hand, if you want her to grow increasingly independent and self-confident. Let her get her learner’s permit when she comes of age; let her choose her own boyfriend.

Read the rest here!

How come only troubled rich kids are sent to spend time in nature, asks Wendy Mogel.

How come only troubled rich kids are sent to spend time in nature, asks Wendy Mogel.

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45 Responses to All Hail Wendy Mogel’s “Overparenting Anon” List

  1. Papilio February 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    Haha, that was a lot of ‘yeah, indeed, yes, of course, well duh!’ etc.
    16: I’d like to know if there’s a *serious* reason the kid suddenly doesn’t want to go anymore, and
    18: Some kids *are* smarter and faster developing than the other kids their age. Doesn’t mean anyone is lying per se.
    25: Eh… That’s probably a losing battle…?

    (I don’t think there’s enough room on your arm.)

  2. Donna February 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    “18: Some kids *are* smarter and faster developing than the other kids their age. Doesn’t mean anyone is lying per se.”

    True to a point, but you have to read it in conjunction with the brag portion. I’ve found that the majority of people who brag about how great their kids are all the time are generally exaggerating the truth or helping the truth along (i.e. by doing the work themselves). Most people I know whose kids are truly achieving great things don’t need to brag to anyone who will listen about it.

  3. C. S. P. Schofield February 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    And please, PLEASE, for chrissakes, if your child is going to college as Pre-Med, Pre-Law, or something similarly cutthroat and prestigious MAKE SURE IT’S WHAT THEY WANT TO DO, not what YOU want them to do.

    My college roommate was Pre-Med because his entire extended family (except for him) had decided he would be a doctor. I hope the hell he didn’t make it because he would have been a lousy doctor, of which there is an overabundance. In the five years I hung around Johns Hopkins Homewood campus, I met TWO (2!) Pre-Med students I would have been willing to allow to touch me. One of them wanted to be an inner-city family doctor and the other wanted to be a Green Beret Medic (they go to third world countries and teach about sanitation and deliver babies).

    The rest of them weren’t worth the oil that will be necessary to fry them in hell. And (so far as I could tell) each end ever one of the little pricks was dead sure that He (or she, but they were pricks too) was going to be an exception to the rule that Johns Hopkins Medical School did not accept students from Johns Hopkins undergrad program.

    *spit*

  4. Emily February 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    >>…..the rule that Johns Hopkins Medical School did not accept students from Johns Hopkins undergrad program.<<

    Why did they have this rule? If I was a completely different person, who wasn't horrible at math, and grossed out by the sight of blood and bodily substances, and I was considering attending medical school, that might be enough to put me off choosing Johns Hopkins. I mean, think about it–saying "we don't accept students from our own undergrad program" is tantamount to saying, "we don't trust our own undergrad program," and there's a lot of inconsistency in that statement. Suppose there's one anatomy professor who teaches classes at the undergraduate level and the graduate level, at the same school (let's say Professor Smith). Suppose a student at John's Hopkins (let's say Sam, which could be short for either Samuel or Samantha), took anatomy with Professor Smith in undergrad, did well (God complex optional), and then applied for medical school at the same school, which would involve taking further anatomy courses with Professor Smith. If the school followed through on rejecting Sam for studying at Johns Hopkins for undergrad, they'd be insulting the abilities of at least one of their own professors, either in preparing the undergrad students for further studies, or in successfully teaching courses at more than one level in the same semester. If they accepted Sam, then clearly, they didn't mean their rule seriously at all, and they were just blowing hot air all that time, so why even have that rule in the first place?

  5. Havva February 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    @C. S. P. Schofield,
    I’ve seen that sort of thing with 3 people. Two spectacularly self-destructed. The 3rd decided that what his parents wanted would parlay nicely into the graduate degree he wanted, so he executed that plan. The first two though was some ugly stuff. Both were highly intelligent young adults with obvious talent that would have done well with a little support. Instead they screwed themselves as a way of getting back at their parents.

  6. SOA February 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I agree with those.

    The one about how your teenager acts toward you or at home is not a good indicator at how they are turning out was SO true for me. I was awful at home. Really rude and always fighting with my mom. But at school I was never in trouble. All my friends parents for the most part liked me. My dance teacher adored me. Teachers really liked me.

    I think teenagers have to vent and rebel to a point and it is better for them to do that at home than at school or work. You can’t let them be terrible at home but you don’t have to expect perfection either. Let a lot of stuff go especially the small things if you keep hearing good reports about your teenager from school and work and church and others.

  7. C. S. P. Schofield February 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    @Emily

    Hopkins’ policy is based on the idea that a student should experience more than one academic culture. The belief is that this is good for both the students and the schools. I’m not saying that this is obviously true, mind, but I think there’s an argument for it. My Father was a Professor (History of Science and Technology), and I grew up in academia. I don’t know how it goes with Med schools, but I do know that it was widely believed that certain Harvard and Yale academics who had stayed in the same school all the way from undergrad to tenure were absolutely insufferable snobs, and on damned little basis too.

  8. Emily February 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    @C.S.P. Schofield–So, it’s a real policy, and not just an urban legend? Encouraging students to experience a variety of academic environments kind of makes sense, but summarily rejecting every graduate of their pre-med program seems a bit heavy-handed. Suppose Sam Hypothetical grew up in East Harlem, volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity, went on a student exchange in high school, and again in undergrad, and wanted to be a Doctor Without Borders? Suppose Sam re-applied to Johns Hopkins for graduate school after experiencing another university on exchange, and deciding that Johns Hopkins really was better? Suppose Sam even cited Professor Smith’s amazing anatomy classes as major reason for wanting to continue to study there? By the same logic, let’s say that another student grew up in an affluent, country-clubbing family, went to a private high school, then John’s Hopkins, then applied to Harvard for grad school, knowing it’d be the same kind of environment, and because there was another chapter of that student’s fraternity or sorority there, so it’d be the same kind of life with different scenery. Knowing that this can and does happen, maybe it’d be better to say, “We encourage you to branch out by applying to other schools for graduate studies besides ours,” than to basically kick everyone out after one degree.

  9. Brenna February 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    I work in a University as well, and as a rule, we never accept grad students from our undergrad program. Gets back to that “well-rounded” criteria. In my department, it gets back to diversity of exposure to different areas of research as well. If you’ve been in one institution your entire academic career, you’ve only ever been really exposed to the research and academic environment there, and that would not be the best preparation for your post grad-school career. Or so goes the theory, anyway.

    But that said, I love this list. Number 4 in particular. I know far too many parents who spend far too much time trying to justify to their own kids saying “NO”. I frequently fall back on ‘because I said so’, because when it gets down to it that really is the reason. If my daughter asks reasonably, politely, and with genuine interest in listening to the answer (very rare, mind you) I’ll tell her why. But if her only reason is trying to get me to change my mind, it’s generally not a discussion. My job is not to make my eight year old like me. That means she’s going to hear no a lot before she’s grown.

  10. Nicole R. February 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    I love this list – “W.A.I.T.” and “AST” are going to become part of my parent-of-a-teen vocabulary now!

    The only one I really didn’t agree with was not to hire a tutor. (But I was one in college, so maybe I’m biased.)

  11. Donna February 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    I live within walking distance of the state flagship university, and it is the last college I want my child to attend. Finances being what they are, that may be the one she has to attend, but I really want her to spread her wings and leave her comfort zone when she goes to college.

    Undergrad and grad school at the same school are kinda the same. You grow into a comfort zone in undergrad. To then continue on at the same school, with the same professors, just seems like a lack of growth. However, this is a less compelling policy for med, law, vet schools and the like. Those schools tend to be completely separate entities from the undergrad. Their professors don’t teach undergrad classes and the their pre-students don’t actually attend classes in the grad schools, so there seems to be less of a situation of just doing the same thing for a few more years.

  12. C. S. P. Schofield February 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    @Emily;

    For all I know, Hopkins dropped the policy in the 1990’s; I wouldn’t have heard. The explanation I was given (why, I can’t recall; I wasn’t a Pre-Med) was that it seemed to cut down on a certain type of family-driven Pre-Med pest. The kind that created an atmosphere in which one couldn’t leave lab experiments alone lest somebody meddle with them.

  13. Papilio February 24, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    @Donna: You are probably right; it just reminded me of the story of a parent who felt she could never just tell about the funny/new/clever things her kid had done/said (just like all parents are proud when their kid starts walking and talking etc etc and want to share that), because it was considered bragging or lying or both, because her kid was so far ahead for her age.
    Anyway, it was just a minor thingy.

  14. SOA February 24, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    I am on both sides of the issue about bragging about your kid. I have twins and one is at least academically advanced. The other is not and while smart, struggles a lot more.

    I don’t feel bad saying “My son already got all 200 sight words right the first week of school so I guess he knows all the words he needs to know for the entire year already”. Yes, that could be a brag, but it is also the truth.

    But anyone that knows me knows I will say embarrassing things about my kids too or I will point out their problematic behaviors too.

    That is what it is about….just being real. All kids have good things and bad things about them. If all you do is go out of your way to talk about the good things but never mention something negative, then people are going to assume you are trying to look like Little Miss Perfect and putting on a show.

  15. Tasha Batsford February 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    That last one is such a big learning for me.

    My eldest is a super loud, active daredevil and he loves climbing.

    We had a BBQ at the beach a few weeks ago and seeing him scale a nearby rock face scared the living daylights out of me.

    It was so hard to bite my tongue.

  16. Peter February 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    I live within walking distance of the state flagship university, and it is the last college I want my child to attend. […] I really want her to spread her wings and leave her comfort zone when she goes to college.

    Some of that can be your attitude, though.

    My sisters went to a prestigious Ivy League college not more than 10 miles from where they grew up–across the river. My Mom worked at the college. I worked at the college. And, as my Dad said, “Once you cross that bridge, kid, you’re at UCLA. Have fun.”

    That means after helping them move in, that was the last of the parent-initiated contact. No surprise visits to the dorm room to “drop off leftovers.” No calls to see if they needed anything. No offers to do laundry. Heck, not even a call to offer a home-cooked meal. They were on their own. If they wanted to talk to Mom, they knew where her office was, which was sort of handy because when it starts to get cold, it’s nice to drop by Mom’s office and say, “Can you bring in my heavy parka tomorrow?”) No, Mom didn’t drop everything to get them their coat–she’d bring it when it was convenient for her.

    They can be close by and still be on their own.

  17. hineata February 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    Hmm…liked almost all of them, especially number 1! My two girls are going through the ‘Daughter of Sam’ years right at the moment, little ‘darlings’! Hoping it won’t last for ever :-).

    @Papilio and Dolly – am with you on no. 18. I work with ‘gifted’ kids, as well as normal kids. Some kids do do things early. I have a seven year old right now who’ll be doing high school math in the next year or so. Why shouldn’t his parents be able to share that with their friends, in the same way that they share that he struggles with writing? One of my own girls started school at five being able to read well and do addition in her head, the other was eight before she was anywhere close to reading or doing fairly ordinary sums. Not bragging to talk about either one, just the facts.

  18. Donna February 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    @Peter – I wasn’t thinking about parents. I went to that same college withing walking distance. I also moved into an apartment as soon as I started college and never spent another night under my parent’s roof until in my mid-30s with a child of my own (and then just to bring the baby back for a visit). While I did get invited for dinner occasionally (as I still do), I also went months between even speaking to my parents unless we ran into each other out and about and I can count on one hand the number of times that any of my parents were ever in any house or apartment I lived in during college.

    It is the fact that your life is otherwise completely unchanged. It is too familiar. You eat at the same restaurants, shop in the same stores and go to the same clubs that you did in high school. College should be about experiencing someplace new, not the same old stuff you’ve experienced for the last 18 years (and I didn’t even live in this town my whole childhood).

  19. fred schueler February 24, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    this list is very premised on working inside the conventional school system

  20. Donna February 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    My question is why are you talking about your child’s sight word mastery and reading levels to other people at all? Teachers? Definitely. Family and close friends? Maybe, but only if they are really interested in your child’s progress. Most of your friends, family, acquaintances, classmates’ parents and other people who truly don’t give a crap? No.

    I don’t hide my daughter’s achievements. If asked, I will answer truthfully. If it is germane to the conversation, I will say it. If if I have a question that requires revealing such information about my child, I will ask it. Otherwise, I save the “my kid is the best reader in the class” comments for people who really care.

  21. Emily February 25, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    @Peter–My undergrad university was nine hours away by car in good traffic, and more if buses or bad traffic were involved. The university I went to after that was three hours away, and then later on, I lived in Australia for two years, so that was halfway around the world; pretty much as far from home (Canada) as I could get. Anyway, I would have loved it if my parents had ceased parent-initiated contact when I left for university, at least for a little while. Sometimes, my mom would get anxious if I hadn’t replied to her e-mails for a few weeks, or she’d ask tons of prying questions that I didn’t want to answer, or she’d call out of the blue when I was busy, or heading out the door, or just having some quiet time. Another thing she’d do is send links to about fifteen job ads at a time, starting in about January (for the summer), and then get upset if didn’t/couldn’t follow up on all of them, because I was busy with university. When I was living in Australia, she was more hands-off, because the distance made phone calls prohibitively expensive, but I remember her deciding I must be depressed, because I hadn’t written back in a while. The worst was when she recruited my brother to ask me that. She got all worked up, and she got my brother all worked up, and I was perfectly fine, but it was course registration week, and I’d just switched programs, after a lot of thought and reflection. So, maybe I should have been more open, but that’s just me–I like to think things through on my own before I share them with others, especially my parents. University is a good place to do that, but it’s harder if parents expect their offspring to maintain the same level of contact that they did while they were living at home, or close to it. My parents weren’t the most helicopterish by any stretch–there was my friend at Bishop’s, who visited home almost every weekend, a girl in my studio at Western, whose mother tracked her every move through a GPS chip in her cell phone, and I’ve heard/read stories about parents who call their kids at university to remind them to wake up, go to class, do their assignments, and wear weather-appropriate clothing, and even call the people in charge at university to try to change/dispute bad grades, resolve roommate disputes, and other things that university students ought to be able to do for themselves. My point is, just like you can be just a few miles away, but still on your own, it’s also possible for university students to be living far away, but still under their parents’ thumbs.

  22. hineata February 25, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    @Donna – no argument really with that. My issue is, when people ask about how other peoples’ kid, as they often do at school gatherings etc., then they should be prepared to listen to the answer. In my wee seven year old’s case, for example, some other parents ask and then assume the parents are boasting and/or pushing this kid. They aren’t, and these days they tend to keep quiet or give offhand answers.

    Now, if he were a brilliant rugby player, everyone would be happy to hear about his accomplishments….

  23. Andy February 25, 2014 at 4:42 am #

    @Peter Why would anyone living 10 miles from school move to dorms? I do not get it, 10 miles distance is even bikeable distance. At least in here, dorm rooms are limited and you do not have the right to move there unless you live far away and you have to keep good academic record to keep that right beyond first year.

  24. Bob Davis February 25, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    Regarding “bragging” about one’s children: I wouldn’t bring up the subject, but every now and then, someone would ask, “Do you ever wish you had a son?” and afer a few minutes of telling the inquirer about my two daughters’ accomplishments, they would say something like “I guess not.”

  25. Andy February 25, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    @Donna People sometimes just talk about school just like they talk about whether, clothes, sport, food or even toilette training. Most of the time it is just that, people fulfilling their need to communicate and talking about stuff they think about are happy about or are sad about.

  26. Donna February 25, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    Andy – Dorms are not particularly limited in many schools the US. Several of my friends lived in the dorm in college, despite the fact that they lived much closer than 10 miles. I thought it was ridiculous, but some didn’t. Today, many colleges require freshmen to live in the dorm. There are exemptions for living at home, but freshman can’t do what I did and move into an apartment so the only way away from mom and dad is the dorm (I understand that you just have to say you live at home and rent an apartment, but some people are rule followers).

  27. Donna February 25, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    Andy – None of my child’s classmates, my friends or I have ever found the need to discuss the number of sight words our children can spell correctly or at what grade level they read in casual conversation. I don’t even know this information about my best friend’s children, nor do I care to. We don’t lack for conversation and do sometimes talk about school, but random bragging is not something we do. As I said, if the accomplishments are germane to the conversation, we will bring them up. I told a classmate’s father that my child could already add and subtract several digit numbers in kindergarten as part of a conversation complaining about the new math program, but I would never have just walked up and announced it on the playground.

    I don’t see any reason to talk about specific sporting accomplishments either, unless they are unique. I love to hear “my kid scored his first run last night,” but don’t really care to hear a constant “my kid is the star of the baseball team and they can’t live without him.”

  28. Donna February 25, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    hineata – in my experience the people who ask about your child at school events are as interested in the real answer as people who ask how you are when they bump into you on the street. Maybe things are different in New Zealand, but in the US the proper answer to that question is “fine,” “good,” or something similar, not a litany of your complaints or accomplishments. When someone asks about my child, my answer is “she’s doing great.” I may throw in some specific things about her as a person, but my answer is never “she reads beyond a 5th grade level, does multiplication and was just tested for the gifted program.”

  29. SOA February 25, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    Donna: Well for family they care and want to know. For friends, that is just what we sometimes talk about. We talk about amount of homework, how the kids are doing, things they are good at, things they struggle with, etc. Since I will just as likely talk about how said son gets on yellow or red a lot they are not going to see me as a braggart because I will say negative and positive things about him. I actually ask how my friends kids are doing in school and generally want to know and care about the answer. Because I love their kids and them and have known them for years and generally want to know. I assume they feel the same about mine.

    I also sometimes might post something on facebook about it but again, I will also just as likely post about one of them getting in trouble.

    The only parents that bug me are the ones that seem to go out of their way to say “Oh Emmet is on the All stars team again and scored blah blah runs and won the science fair and look what a Good Dad I am I teach Sunday School blah blah blahb labh” but never never never say any

  30. SOA February 25, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    sorry got cut off mid sentence..

    but never say anything real or negative or honest. That bugs me because it does look like you are just trying to be perfect. and you are not fooling anyone.

  31. Donna February 25, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    SOA – I guess I just see it as there is way to do all those things where it is natural conversation and a way that just seems like bragging to me. My friends and the parents on the playground after school, talk about how our kids are doing in school in general terms, but would definitely view a lot of specific details as bragging. “M is really doing well in reading this year and she really enjoys book club with Ms. Sitler” is viewed much better than “M’s reading level is off the charts and she just finished Moby Dick” (I did actually mention Moby Dick because I thought it was funny, not because I was bragging). And both statements would be an exaggeration. My daughter’s reading level is “off the charts” for elementary school but they only level it up to 5th grade so not some great feat and she did read Moby Dick but it was the children’s abridged version, not the classic version.

    The truth is that I care about my friend’s children and how they are doing in school, but I really have no interest whatsoever in how many spelling words they spell correctly, what level reading book they are on or how many multiplication tables they know. Want to brag a little when your kid wins the school spelling bee? I’d love to hear about it. Want to tell me every week how great your kid does on the spelling test? I’ll pass.

  32. Warren February 25, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    Love number 14.
    Too many parents go by what scared them as a kid, or even an adult to set limits for their kids. Too many parents also transfer what they liked or disliked onto their kids.

  33. marie February 25, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    Can I just thrown in a p’tooie for those parents on Facebook who post “Twelve years ago today I was having the worst contractions of my life and little did I know that God would bless me with little Precious who is so beautiful and accomplished and so one-with-God and such a fabulous cellist.”

    It isn’t just keeping it real or telling the truth or being honest with your emotions. It is BRAGGING. And it’s odious. Even if you talk about God.

  34. SOA February 25, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    To us it is natural conversation…..

    Now my neighbor was so annoying I had to hide his posts because every single post was about how perfect they all were and he threw some homophobic rants in there too.

    There is a difference between bragging and just making conversation and all I can say is you know it when you see it. Since a lot of what goes on with us is struggles because my son had yet another meltdown at school, I don’t feel bad mentioning my other son got another writing award. I should be able to say something positive now and again. I should be able to mention the positive with the negative.

  35. lollipoplover February 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    I always equated overparenting to overaccessorizing, like Johnny Depp or Mr. T with one too many bracelets or necklaces. There comes a time with extracurricular activities when it’s all too much and the focus (and enjoyment get lost. My mom always said to look in the mirror and take one thing off. When I feel stressed or overextended it helps to drop something, or take a *break* from the schedule to teach them how to be bored and entertain themselves. Go outside (or inside)and find something to do. I

    @Marie- I see those posts all the time and want to gag. Just once, I want someone to post something like “12 years ago today, after a hellish labor 10-hour labor where it felt like I squeezed a watermelon through my nostril and threatened to kill the nurse if she didn’t find the anesthesiologist STAT, we welcomed Junior into the world and he has made it complete hell since and is currently in juvenile detention.”

  36. Donna February 25, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    I guess my friends and even the parents on the playground after school every afternoon are just not focused heavily on talking about our kids at all. We generally talk about other things the vast majority of the time. If we are talking about parenting, it is more a school policy that is bugging us or something similar and not really our kids in particular. We may briefly give a funny anecdote or mention something cool or frustrating our kids did, but then we move onto another topic. We’re not into talking about every award or spelling test result or problem and anyone who tried to consistently move the conversation in that direction would be considered annoying.

  37. SOA February 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    That is what we do too Donna. We talk about all the homework the kids have to do which is a lot. I mentioned we got out of having to do the sight words every night with my son because he already got all of the right and so we got out of doing that homework task for the entire year. So it was brought up in conversation that way. Or someone asked me what I thought out preschool prep DVDs someone got my kids and we used. So I told them I think they worked because at least my son knows all the sight words already and that is what those DVDs work on.

    Just parent talk. Like I said it is one of those things where you will know it when you see it.

  38. marie February 25, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    “preschool prep DVDs”??

    As in prep for preschool? Are you pulling my leg or did you mis-type something?

    If you are pulling my leg, you are very, very funny.

  39. hineata February 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    @Donna and Dolly – sounds like our playground chats are similar :-). Yep, Dolly, it is a case of ‘know it when you see it’ when it comes to chatting vs. bragging.

    With ‘Junior Whiz’ that I mentioned above, Mum is a very ‘normal’ human being, (if such a beast exists) and doesn’t brag about her kid….culturally that doesn’t happen with the group she’s from anyway (parents don’t brag, they discipline and put down, aunties and extended family brag, which worked well in the village but sucks nowadays, but that’s a whole other story :-) ), but it’s gotten so that someone will tell what their kid did in class, and say, ‘How is ….doing?’ and she can’t tell the truth because this kid is advanced enough that any mention of something looks like a brag – which I think is unfair.

    But never mind, that’s just a personal bugbear of mine (and it doesn’t help that this kid is my current favourite pupil – naughty teacher to have favourites! – as well as being extremely bright, and therefore a challenge to keep moving forward, he also has these big soulful eyes and looks like a lost puppy!)

  40. hineata February 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    @Lollipoplover – amen! I have one of those currently, except that we don’t have juvey or borstal here anymore, so I have nowhere to put her, LOL! Also I had lots of lovely drugs at the birth, and got the Cut anyway, so can’t whine about labour pains :-).

    Are there any private borstals, or is that what boarding school is for? :-).

  41. Donna February 25, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    “but it’s gotten so that someone will tell what their kid did in class, and say, ‘How is ….doing?’ and she can’t tell the truth because this kid is advanced enough that any mention of something looks like a brag – which I think is unfair.”

    I agree that is unfair. If you want to discuss what your kids are doing, you need to be prepared to hear that another kid is doing better. And if I have to listen to someone ramble on about all little Precious’ achievements, I’m definitely going exalt her/him with my daughter’s achievements. That’s when I can bring out “M just finished reading Moby Dick, but reading 2 grades higher than grade level is nice too.” Hmmm, maybe that is what they mean by lying. It’s from those of us who don’t want to hear bragging so we just make stuff up to bug the braggarts.

    What the heck is a borstal?

  42. hineata February 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    @Donna – the ‘lying’ thing – probably true, LOL! I mean, I could tell you about my 13 year old who has just completed the formula for interstellar propulsion – but then I can’t even lie about that in proper scientific language, so maybe won’t :-)!

    Borstal is/was a live-in place for your really out-there young crims (usually 13-18 I think). They did school and everything there. Sadly, they sometimes had to place the impossible-to-foster kids there too. One of my great friends when I was 11-13 was one of those kids, and she used to come to school with us. Really sweet kid, had a very hard life but still remained sunny and upbeat. I hope things got better for her, but she got moved on when they started to phase out the borstal (on the edge of our town) and we lost touch.

    Talk about off-topic, naughty me!

  43. SOA February 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    Preschool prep is just the name of the DVD company. They are movies that are cute cartoons that teach kids letter sounds, sight words, etc. My MIL bought them for the kids and so I figured might as well let them watch them and they ended up liking them and it taught them something too.

  44. OPMom February 27, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    I love, love this list. I shared in on Facebook, I’ve printed it, I’ve hung it in my kitchen, I’ve even used highlighter. I’ve read it 1/2 dozen times. I have W.A.I.T.ed (not my natural angle of repose), and been rewarded. I have received compliments about my house-devil/street angel with a “that is so nice to hear, thank you for sharing that” “Honey, Grandma passed on how lovely you were last weekend, I’m so proud”. Instead of “oh, you should see how she behaves here” and “why don’t you have such manners at my table??”. And made sure my daughters picked up their laundry before they picked up their ‘gifted and talented’ challenge math packs. Family, then fractions, babies…Thanks Lenore.

  45. Warren February 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    Got to be a woman thing…………for the most part when men get together the extent of talk about family usually consists of “How’s the wife and kids?” and that is about it.