For fun, I am stepping away from the adventure into writing and answering a question many parents may have wondered at some point or another: Why do our kids think they are smarter than we are? After sitting through an episode of Team Umi Zumi with my 5 year old, I think I had an epiphany into the answer to that question.
Here is how it went down (or the scene set up): It’s early morning and the daily dose of SpongeBob has yet to be filled. There is an antsy 5-year-old at my side, asking for the umpteenth time if SpongeBob will be on next. Okay, I am getting tired of answering the question so I engage my child in this mathematical and pattern based cartoon. First they ask which number is greater than four; possible answers are 1,3, and 6. She eagerly and enthusiastically answers, “six.” She then looks at me and asks what I think it is. To foster a sense of pride I tell her, “three.” She’s convinced I’m wrong, but I remain resolute because I’m being a good mom and allowing her to be correct. And she is and does her, “nani nani nani,” bit.
Next question and it’s a pattern, so I’m curious if she’ll know the answer. This time she asks me before she answers and I’m curious to see if she’ll agree with me even I say the wrong thing. Naturally, I give the wrong answer and she scrunches her nose at me and gives the correct answer. I am impressed…she is not so impressed with me when they give the correct answer. She turns to me with serious, slanted eyes and easily states, “this is why kids are smarter than their parents. You can’t even do patterns.”
Now I’m the one with a scrunched nose and twisted face. Could it be?
As parents does fostering a healthy dose of intelligence allow our children to grow up thinking they are smarter? How many of you parents have allowed your child to win a game that you would have easily won? Scrabble? Word games? Drawing games? Card games? Have you ever let them beat you at Candy Land? Shuttes and Ladders? Hungry Hungry Hippo? Have you ever answered wrong just so they could be right? We do this because we love our children, right? Because we want to instill a sense of accomplishment in them. When in fact what we are doing is instilling in them the fact that mom and dad are so dense they can’t even win a game of Candy Land, let alone answer the correct pattern question on Team Umi Zumi. And this flows into the tweens and adolescence and we sit around one day when they stand by the door all pouty and whiney when we say we know better than they do and they laugh at us. I bet they’re thinking, “Yeah right! I remember that episode of Team Umi Zumi.”
The opinions expressed here are only opinions and meant to entertain. If you agreed with the opinion then this was written by Tania L Ramos…if you don’t agree, then this was written by a superior five year old who can solve patterns better than her mother.
Tania L Ramos has written two books: When I Thought I was Tough, and two time award winning, “Be Still,” now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Nook and Kindle. The five year old is working on a dissertation comparing time space continuums and time space paradoxes in regard to inertia.