file under loco parentis?

childI may regret posting about this blog post. It’s a touchy subject. The blog post article is called “Your Brilliant Kid?

So I am relatively new to the whole parenting thing and don’t pretend to know everything.  Oddly I do not disagree with everything this woman is saying (and usually I find little common ground in anything she writes about), but the way she says it is almost venomous in spots.

Where I saw this (because I do not follow this blog) also pointed out an op-ed in the New York Times about the achievement gap between wealthy and not wealthy kids. (You can read that HERE.) And wow, I so don’t even want to touch that whole have and have-nots thing.  I am like Malcolm in the Middle on this topic and maybe it is too zen for some of you but here it is:  I figure in this world there will always be people with more money than me  and people with less money. It is what it is.  Circumstances can’t be helped and to me it should be more about working with what you have got instead of lamenting what you don’t have. Life sometimes should be more about finding opportunities versus taking advantage.

Here is a brief excerpt:

Your Brilliant Kid? by Ru Freeman

…. if you think your child is brilliant, shut up about it already.

During the past several months – okay, who am I kidding – during the past several years during which I have lived among the haves (and we are all haves to varying degrees here in Lower Merion, let’s just be clear about that folks), I have had to suffer through dozens upon dozens of social interactions which revolve around the particular difficulties faced by the blessed and the brilliant aged 5-18…It is bad enough when thoughtless parents sit around bragging about their kids, but what is up with the way they inculcate their kids (thus transformed into brats), with the same notion that making self-aggrandizing pronouncements is the done thing? It is good to be (secretly) proud of the achievements of your kids, it is good to (secretly) sing their praises…..And if your kid has overcome some hardship in order to get there, sing it sister! But it is not okay to tell me repeatedly that your child is God’s gift to a sorry universe of Plebeians. It is not okay to pretend that you are really discussing a difficulty they are having “fitting in” when what you really want to communicate is that your child is above par. So above par that perhaps the entire public school curriculum ought to be redesigned to fit the particular needs of your child…..Here’s the rub – if your child is truly having difficulty fitting in perhaps you should consider turning down the halo over their heads. Perhaps you could reinterpret the poker faces of other parents when you start talking about your kid/brat and understand this: nobody can take your kid for longer than five full minutes. They probably already can’t take you, but you’re an adult….. it’s to late for you anyway – someone else already brought you up and they clearly did a bad job.


Ok is she completely wrong in her premise here? No.  There are a lot of obnoxious people and equally obnoxious children out there.  But wow, she’s a little mean.

People are proud of their kids, it is human nature.

And maybe if a parent says their kid is having a hard time fitting in, it is just that.  But what I have a problem with is the underlying current I feel of class warfare.  Enough already, there are far more important things in this world to worry about.

With regard to the comment about public school curriculum, the simple truth is a lot of it could be re-worked.  Face it, even when they are gold-plated school districts with fabulous everything (usually by their own description) what is one thing parents always complain about?  That is  IF your child is  just average, not among the super achievers or super athletes or  super problems they get lost in public school systems. And another truism is a lot of schools talk a good game about special needs but in truth do very little. Or their definition of “gifted”.

So are a lot of parents obnoxious? Heck yes.  But you can’t blame a parent for wanting their child to stand out in some way and be noticed.  Or get help when they need it.  Nor can you blame them for loving unconditionally. And that is not a function of socio-economic status, it is a function of love.

I have been told parenting is not an exact science, and I am learning that.  Unfortunately I am also learning that there are a lot of very judgemental people when it comes to parenting.

Anyway, thoughts are welcome here.


1 thought on “file under loco parentis?

  1. I agree with a bit of what Ru is saying. Problem is how she says it – and how she often says things. For an author I would think she could make the same point even better with some tact. You get more flies with honey and by using and inviting common sense.

    One area where you are bound to ruffle feathers no matter how you say it is by not just criticizing, but just offering suggestions to others on how to parent.

    I see a lot of parenting I absolutely disagree with. Unless I see a law being broken, I keep my mouth shut. Best to lead by example, but if you have alienated everyone, they won’t take bother to notice.

    Some may say I strongly word things, but that’s about public officials who have put themselves out there or about serious issues of public concern. I don’t personally see bratty kids and helicopter parents as fellow citizens as something that directly gets in my way, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, and she does make some good points if you look past the insults.

    Where I will absolutely agree with her is with parents who are intentionally obnoxious about how great their kids are and they know they are doing it. However, I tend to cut most parents slack in this as I just consider their behavior human nature and ignore it. It’s not as if they are intentionally trying to harm anyone. You just choose your friends (and who you friends are who have kids the same age) to avoid what you don’t see as good parenting.

Comments are closed.