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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blame the Full Moon... or Rainbows

This blog post brought to you by Day Light Savings Time, Halloween candy sugar-shock withdrawal and the full moon.

Yesterday I volunteered in the Tongginator's classroom... again. When I walked in the door, I noticed that Ms. Confetti looked as if some tattooed, big belt buckled truck driver ran a semi over her body... twice. I didn't know why for the first two seconds or so, but then I figured it out. Pretty rapidly, I might add. Especially when Ms. Confetti asked me, while striving to avoid pulling out ALL of her hair, "is it a full moon tonight?"

Because the children? They were hooligans. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

I have another problem, however. And it's one where I come off sounding like an obnoxious momma. You know the kind of obnoxious I mean: prideful, snobby, braggadocios and all sorts of insufferable-ness (if that's even a word... IS it a word?). But I don't really know how else to navigate this situation, so I'd love a ton of advice, even if I DO sound obnoxious. It's all about Rainbow Words.

, y'all.

Who knew that phrase would strike fear into the hearts of many a momma? Or that such a phrase even existed? You see, the Tongginator's school uses the Rainbow Word system when teaching its kindergartners to read. Every child starts out on the color red and then moves up the rainbow as they learn new words, using the Open Court and Dolch Sight Word lists. Thankfully, the children are pretty clueless about who is on what color, but the parents... oh, the parents.

I believe I've mentioned the competi-mommas before.

A vast majority of the kindergarten mommas seem to know which child is on which color at all times. "So-and-so is on blue!" Or the dreaded alternative, "you know (shaking her head), so-and-so's son is STILL on orange." It's pretty darn disgusting, y'all. I've had moms come out and directly ask me the Tongginator's rainbow color. At first, I would just smile and say, "I'm not sure." But... the thing is... they knew I was lying.

Because the entire reading curriculum of kindergarten is set up so that the parents know whether their child is on red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple. Unfortunately, a lot of the parents forget that the colors other peoples' children are on is pretty much irrelevant to their lives.

Which means I seriously don't know what to do beyond avoiding the offenders... which is, like, more than half of the kindergarten parents. Except it's kinda hard to avoid them at the bus stop. And at the school when I'm volunteering. And in the neighborhood, since five kindergartners live on our street. If I answer with a "we're focusing on the process," I come off sounding sanctimonious. If I give a non-response response, they know I'm pretty much lying. And yet if I actually share the truth, I sound like The Most Obnoxious Mom To Ever Walk The Earth.

Because the Tongginator?

Is not doing Rainbow Words anymore. She's reading Freckle Juice by Judy Blume at the moment. And I don't exactly know how to deal with the competi-mommas who seem set on establishing a pecking order. Because the Tongginator is wicked smart in some areas, but totally delayed in others. And I've always been comfortable with that fact.

I've had to be.

My child is my child is my child. She's highly verbal... and pretty much a total klutz. She's a social butterfly with a huge personality... yet she's also a child who is much less independent than her peers. She's reading on a second grade level... but she can't zip up her own pants. She's the Tongginator. And I love her.

I do not, however, love this competi-momma stuff. I feel ill-equipped. And I'd love some advice. So please, talk amongst yourselves. Whine, kvetch, offer advice, anything.

I'm listening.


Nicki said...

Hi! I've been reading your blog for a while now but was unable to comment - lots of things in the internet are blocked from inside China. Anyway. I found a way! I just wanted to say I completely feel your pain about the whole ranking thing. Here the schools actually post the class rank of every single student in every class, and the comparing is completely out of hand! Plus the pressure on the kids to be in that number one spot is insane.

Heather said...

Trying to deflect the question just feeds the problem, in my experience. It plays like you're trying to be coy. I'd probably give a straight answer with a 'no big deal' sort of tone. "She finished Rainbow Words earlier in the year. Reading is one of the things that comes easy to her." *giant shrug* "There are other things she's not so great at, just like every kid." They'll do whatever they're going to do with the information, but at least you've communicated that you don't give a rat's ass about the competition they've set up.

bbmomof2boys said...

This is something that will always be there. If not rainbow words, then dance, then where is she rated in her class, then what other teams does she play for, then what college is she going to...you get the idea. Its never ending, these competi-mommas will always be in competition with you, with your family, with your daughter. I think its their way of making up for how their childhood was?!! Maybe THEY didn't do anything good for their parents to brag about!

So, how do you handle it? You can get snarky and say that she's beyond rainbow words now and walk away. But then, like you said, you have to face these same parents again and again. Just tell them the truth - the Tongginator is actually done with rainbow words. Who cares what they think? Does it really matter where she's at in kindergarten? Really?

Now...if it is truly bothering you then talk to Mrs. Confetti, have her put her name on the last color and leave it there. Then you can say where she's at. Of course, ehn you'll start getting the "shakes of the heads" and the whispers of "oh my...the Tongginator is STILL on the rainbow and hasn't gotten off yet.." heh

Good luck chick - those type of mommas only get worse as their kids grow up!


A Beautiful Mess said...

I think the next time someone asks just let them know she was done with rainbow words a while ago. Celebrate your girls success....you don't have to shove down others throats but if they are asking let them know. She is your girl and your proud of her hard work ( even if it came pretty easily...it shouldn't lessen the accomplishment!)

happygeek said...

I've got no advice.
Really. which from a former teacher is rather shocking as we are rather good at telling others what to do.
BTW, reading in K? Wow. We are still just working on the sounds and shapes of the letters.

But seriously, they compare the rainbow colours each child is on? Some people need to get out more often.

Aus said...

Well good morning! A couple things - starting with English! I love this language because it is alive and dynamic with new words being invented on a very regular basis - and the meaning of other words changing all the time....so "insufferable-ness" is a GREAT WORD!!

Now as to the competi-parents (I'll go gender blind here so that I can be completely PC!) - you have several options 1) you can play and simply lie about what color TN is on - and put her on the top color as well. 2) You can look at them and simply say "I'm not playing your petty little 'my kids smarter than your kid' games. 3) You can look at them and speak the truth - "TN is reading 2nd grade books right now". Or 4) you can educate these idiots by explaining that kids at this age are all over the charts in abilities - some are athletic, some are number wizards, some are readers. You said it beautifully in your post BTW (and I'd have to agree the same was true about ALL of my kids - bio and adopted "the Tongginator is wicked smart in some areas, but totally delayed in others." and I'd finish up with - but I'm really happy with TN's progress.

In the meantime - I'm sure there are a couple of the Mom's that feel the exact same way you do - have 'em over for coffee after the bus leaves and forget about the rest!

hugs - aus and co.

Anonymous said...

There's always the blunt, "I prefer not to compare my child's progress to anyone else's; I think it feeds an unhealthy attitude." Specifically in the children, of course, but HEAVILY IMPLIED in the parents, as well!

Tammie T. said...

We have a leveled lettering system in our district. I am a reading teacher and this comparing is something I have always dreaded. I make little reference to the levels. I work hard to report the progress. My daughter caught on to read early and my son has struggled. A teacher in my building asked me what level my daughter was reading, and I replied, "We prefer not to discuss the levels. I know she is making great progress." That teacher never asked again and she is still my friend! :)
Also, I need to chat with you more about the sensory post. It has not left my mind. Last night when I was reading to my ten year-old he was playing with my hair and smelling it! He asked me to try to go without hairspray so my hair would be softer! :) This is just one example! There is also the clothes, his sheets, pillows, couches.....you probably get what I am saying! :) ttomash@mchsi.com

malinda said...

I feel your pain! I managed to piss off the competi-moms in K and 1st grade when my kindergartner was sent to 1st grade for reading during K -- and nabbed the top grade in the 1st grade class! (Brag, brag, brag . . . I'm worse than the competi-moms!).

Use your W.I.S.E. Up training for this, too!

Blue said...

When they ask her level, say, "Why?"
Because, really, WHY? WHY do they need to know? Why should they care? Are they offering to work with your kid if she's low on the rainbow? Are they going to hire a Kindergarten tutor for their own darlings if they're only on yellow? Curiosity is one of my own faults, so I feel completely comfortable telling you to call them out on their prurience.

Just practice in front of the mirror if you are worried you'll look smarmy. Put on your mommy-acting!

autumnesf said...

See - I'd turn the whole adoption answer on them...

"Why do you ask?"

And think about this....at a doctors office this info would be private. Why is it so not private in school that everyones PARENTS, who are not in the class, know about other people's kids. Seems rather wrong.

Buckeroomama said...

I can see how it can be quite a dilemma. On the one hand, you'd want to be sensitive to how others might feel and also to not come across somehow as being boastful (no matter how matter-of-fact-ly you state it); but why should you 'hide' the fact that your child is ahead of her peers in certain skills...and why should you feel compelled to point out that she might be behind in other areas if only to make others feel better?

It's not fair that anybody be put in a situation like this, but unfortunately, the competi-parents never consider this. I think my answer would vary depending on how I perceive the question had been asked. I would first try to give a non-conclusive answer like "Oh, we're happy with the progress she's making" and hope that that would clue in the other parent to back off. If they persist and push, then I would tell them the bold truth and they should just take that however they want it. It's not like you volunteered the info. They asked.

triona said...

I'm with Elouise82 and TammyT: "I prefer not to compare." Personally I try to avoid the competi-parents wherever possible. It's just too cut-throat. Some people REALLY get wrapped up in it, don't they? My daughter (kindergartener) reads like crazy but has problems with shoe-tying. I could care less as long as she's moving forward.

Really interesting post!

Anonymous said...

I think you've gotten so many great comments that mine is superfluous. I'll just say, since they asked, you should answer. "She's reading books now." And then move on.

Will they accuse you of snobbiness? Yes. Will it be true? No. Don't let it bug you.

The Source said...

Unfortunately, it's going to go on all the way through school. Darling Daughter is a junior in high school and we still get these sorts of questions. In fact, last month when most of her classmates were dropping out of the Advanced Placement US History class because it was "too much work and too difficult" I actually had parents wonder out loud "why aren't you taking Darling Daughter out of there, too?" because she's ONLY like 32nd out of 350 in class rank so obviously if their "top ten" student can't hack it, she wouldn't be able to. Amazingly enough, because SHE chose to be in there, she CHOSE to work hard. She came home with a 97 on her report card. Let me be the first to admit that I bragged about that one! As loudly as I could!

The Tongginator is smart and you deserve to be proud of her. Whether she's doing well because she works hard or because it comes easily, she IS reading better than most and if someone asks you, you should just tell them. How they deal with it is up to them.

Football & Fried Rice said...

I haven't read the other comments, so forgive me if I repeat someone! I think you should be able to say with confidence (& humility) that the Tongginator is post reading words. Yes, she is. You don't have to be boastful or prideful - but when she overhears you talking about her success, it will make her want to continue to work hard!

it is also easy for us, as parents, to notice where our kids fall short - AND repeat this to other Moms, especially competi-moms. Trying to "downplay" our kids, etc. i have DONE THIS & I am SORRY I ever did!! i still do it!!! I WISH I didn't!! I think it devalues them and if/when they overhear THIS - it makes them feel inadequate..

Still working on this - and really, truly, want to make my kids feel like I am their #1 fan and no one elses' opinion matters in the world - we are here for An Audience of One!

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

Parenting should come with a 24 hours hotline. . .that hands out xanax or something. Anyway, Kyler did ok in K and awful in 1st grade. Sadly, I didn't realize he wasn't doing well until 2nd grade. (there's a post on my blog about it. . .) Now, he has the highest reading level in his class. I would never tell another parent in our school district this (but for some reason I feel ok telling strangers. . .) anyway, my point is, we celebrate that fact in our home. We brag on his reading to grandparents, etc., but I would never tell another parents that. I've now been on both sides of success in school (as most parents will be at some point), and it's tough. As for your situation, I would probablly just smile and say, "Oh, she's doing great with her reading this year. We're so proud!" and leave it at that. . . Good luck and let me know if you find a hotline for 24 hour parenting advice!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Oh gosh, I hate to say it, but it is only just beginning. This is the first of MANY, MANY competitive issues involved when the kids hit school age. It is always something!!

This particular issue hits really close to home for me. Nick was one of the children that would be stuck "on orange" as you mentioned. I hated that everyone knew he had issues with reading and I was very worried that it would crush his self confidence. We had some trying years, but he weathered the storm. A couple years later and they are all on the same reading level so to speak. The kids all develop and learn at different paces, and I wish other parents would understand this and not focus on who is where and who is smarter than who.......

I am not really sure what I can give you in terms of advice, I tended to avoid these conversations when I could, and I actually tried to stay out of the classroom as much as possible. I know that sounds strange, but it worked. I would go directly to the teacher to talk about my child....and MY CHILD ONLY. I really didn't care to compare him to the other children. As you said.....they are all different and might excel in one area, but be delayed in another.

Hang in there friend. You will find a comfortable way to deal with the conversation when it comes up.

I loved Freckle Juice, one of my all time fav Judy B books:)


Andrea said...

It is very frustrating when parents compare. I agree to ask them "Why" - I wonder what their reaction would be.

Sarah said...

Buy ear plugs & just act like you're listening.

Laura L. said...

What a situation! Why have a system such as the Rainbow thingy anyway, if it causes competitiveness amongst everyone? I know, that's not a helpful comment is it? Sorry.
I agree with Elouise82. I'd say I prefer not to compare my child with any others.

Yes, insufferable-ness is a word! You can add ness to just about anything and it works. LOL

M3 said...

Shoot, I'm a self-proclaimed idiot about this kind of stuff, so no advice here. I know you'll come up with a kick-ass response though, and I'll take notes and try to figure out what I'll do when it comes up for us.

Wanda said...

I may be repeating what others have said but I think you should just tell them very casually. And add the disclaimer - "but not as advanced in other things. They'll all catch up eventually". And then I would try and drop it (change the subject) - so the person doesn't feel they have to justify their question.

It's tricky, however, when you live so close to them and see them so frequently.

Let us know how this evolves.

Lisa said...

Oh gosh....while the school is certainly NOT the culprit, its a shame they utilize a coded reading system. Ours did not, yet still the competi-moms found a way...LOL

In our case it was a Mom who "volunteered" to read with all the kiddos, only to then pass along(to anyone who would listen) each childs' skill assessment based on her observation; this culminated one day at pick-up time with her practically stabbing me with her finger and shrieking, "how did Lauren get to the top?!" Cuz, clearly I was at fault for bumping her daughter to the #2 slot?....ugh!..... *sigh*
I "volunteered" too....but I simply helped out in the classroom as needed and my 'observations' never left our living room.

This is hard, with no real right or wrong answer. Avoiding it can be impossible.....confrontation only inflames.....if you had the time you could share what you posted with each over zealous Mama, but alas that's not practical.

So what did I say to crazy pointing Mom? I just smiled ( and yeah, took a step WAY back ) and told her that Lauren loves books and always has. You could side step the color issue by mentioning that T is reading chapter books and loves this author or that one.

Just a thought.....good luck Mama!

Mamatini said...

I was going to say the same thing autumnest did: use your adoption expertise. That "why do you ask" phrase works on many impertinent questions. Then, if they continue the questioning, I lean toward telling them the truth in an unsnarky way. You can't help their reaction to the truth.

This post brought up memories of the first exam I got back during my freshman year in college. I went to a competitive women's college and was still figuring out how I was doing, if I was up to snuff. When the exam came back, I asked a classmate, "How did you do?" She replied, "I did fine."

I was floored. What do I do with that? What's "fine"?? Is her definition of "fine" the same as mine?? And that is how the next 4 years went. Students didn't share grades, they weren't posted publicly, and that left everyone to essentially compete with themselves, recognize when they were doing their best, and judge for themselves what was "fine."

I think that kind of internal competition and evaluation is much more effective and useful, and it has served me well ever since. And I hope (I am trying!) I am raising my girls to be similarly motivated.

Anonymous said...

If you think the truth would cause problems, pick a color & tell them that is the color that T is on. You could phrase it in a way that is not a bold-faced lie - something like "She has completed green words." As you said, it has no relevance in these competi-moms lives, so who really cares what you tell them. I don't feel that you have to point out to others that the Tonginator is delayed in some areas, just to make those competi-moms feel better. That is none of their business & you don't want that coming back around in the classroom somehow.
Honestly, I do outright lie to strangers about one thing - my girls are twins & every once in a while, someone asks how far apart they were born. I have no idea. I stuttered & stumbled over the question a couple of times, explained the truth a couple of times (usually to the well-meaning stranger's embarrassment), then I finally decided that it really doesn't matter what I say - not to anyone. So I made up an answer that I stick with. It could be true, could be a lie. Truth is, I just don't know. Posting anonymously because of the info on my girls above. I hope you understand.

Myrnie said...

For what it's worth, I know I might come across as a "competi-momma." I lack the social ability to have rational conversations, and so normally end up either befuddling or offending my peers :) If I ask what level your kid is on, it's my desperate attempt to make conversation!

But no- I would NEVER gossip about another child, while shaking my head. Every child is so different, and I think it's ludicrous how worried people can be about "delays." Who really cares if a child is 6 months or a year behind her peers? My daughter had 10 english words at age 3 1/2- the rest was her own made up language. So...she likes to understand things inside and out before she'll jump in! Now, a year later, she gabs all day long. She reads the bible. She's doing A-OK, and so is every other blessed child I know!! :)

Dawn said...

I like the adoption question answer: Why? Then, if they continue to pursue more of an answer, I'd tell them the truth: Reading is one of T's strengths - she is reading easy chapter books. Then, smile politely and find something to busy yourself with in another part of the classroom, bus stop, etc.

My two are in middle and high school and I can tell you from experience that it gets worse. You should see the stampede (of parents!) for the admin table on the nights that updated GPA and class ranks are distributed at the high school.

Carla said...

I feel your pain, and what I really hate is when I offend a friend by being like a "competi-Momma" by asking them how they dealt with XYZ in reading...and...ummm...there child was NO WHERE near that. Oops.

I think you can know who is the competi-Mommas and who would be hurt. With the competi-Mommas asking, in a snarky nosy kind of way, I'd truthfully answer, "Well Tonginnator is reading Freckle Juice right now and loving it." I wouldn't go back and say that she struggles in other areas. I had a Mom who did that, and it didn't help my self-esteem when it got back to me from the parents talking to their kids about things I wasn't good in.

Patricia/NYC said...

I soooo sympathize...I mean, let's face it, I live in Manhattan...where the competi-momma is a FULL TIME OCCUPATION!!!!!

ALthough I am NYC thru & thru I am the "anti-competi-momma!" and darn proud of it! ;)

Patricia/NYC said...

OH! I forgot to add...IMO, I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with the response: "Hey, they're learning & it's all about the process right now" (& then add in your head: SO THERE!! )

discombobulated said...

No advice. Just an opinion, though unsolicited. This makes me sick. It makes me sick because from personal experiences, I have and will always root for the underdog. Yes, we need to foster the "gifted" because they grow up to be our leaders, but school is for learning. Any child who comes into kindergarten already knowing how to read HAS BEEN TAUGHT BY MOM AND DAD. That child was taught sooner and isn't necessarily brighter. I think it's disgusting and only a matter of time before the children figure out what the colors mean.

Anyway, I like the others' advice. A simple, "my child is not on the rainbow anymore" should suffice, for the moms with nothing else to do, but compare their children.

thegypsymama said...

Totally second what Heather said. I would do the "she's finished the rainbow words, and is reading Judy Blume now, but still can't seem to master her zipper."

I've always enjoyed the one upper, one downer combo. Kind of evens things out for the Competti mamas so they can exhale.

La-La-Liene said...

I swear, you and I need to get together for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Take your pick.

I'll admit that I'm a bit of a competi-momma but not with the parents of kids in Eriks class or even the other kindergarten class in his school. It's more of an inner thing. Call it smugness I guess that I'm proud my child loves learning. If people ask, I do tell them that he is reading or doing simple math. Not quite to the Freckle Juice level yet, but we're getting there. If a parent tells me their kid is not reading, I suggest the Bob series books because that's how Eriks started and they came highly recommended by my SAHM/home-schooling SIL whose nearly 8 yr old daughter is reading at about a 6th-7th grade level. And just like the Tongginator, he's ahead in some areas - reading & math, and behind in others - letter writing/penmanship mostly. And he's one of the talkers of the class although thankfully that has waned because we told him the next time he got a note home saying he was talking too much he'd have to write sentences. He didn't believe us until he had to. So far no notes home about talking since.

Eriks attends private school and one of his classmates lives directly across the street. I don't believe there are any other school families in our neighborhood. I could be wrong.

Sharie said...

All I have to say is GOOD LUCK!

Soliloquy said...

You smile and sweetly say, "Why do you ask?"

Deb said...

I guess I feel lucky to be a working, ignorant Mom at the moment! :):):) I know my(our)days will come though....probably sooner than later!!!

pickel said...

Take her out for ice cream and let everyone know it. :) And make sure they know you couldn't go several weeks ago when she got off because you were sick. :)

Annie said...

Good for the Tongginator!! Lizzie is the same! So incredibly smart in some ways and still so behind in others!! I think you just smile and state the truth as matter a factly as possible!! I think they will eventually get the hint that you are not going to play and you will eventually find those parents that don't play those kinds of games either!!! Oh and again, way to go Tongginator!!! Hehe!!

Kristi said...

I have no brilliant advice to offer here, but man oh man did I learn a lot in the comments! I've bookmarked this post under school advice so I can come back to it when I need to. And I'm thinking that when I have a problem that needs solved, I'm gonna pass it to you to post so I can get input like this from your commenters!

Janet said...

I have a friend whose kid is SO smart. He is truly brilliant and she feels the same way. Other parents say things to her and she tries not to say that "J is doing this and this" because, quite frankly, "J" would put them all to shame. So she tries to avoid ALL topics like that. She says that other parents must think she is ashamed of how her child is doing. She is actually VERY proud of him but is scared to come off like a know it all. It must be so hard. My only solution? Homeschool. KIDDING.

Anonymous said...

Hi there -
I have one at each end of the spectrum. Thankfully we have not run into that competition among parents, but I am sure it is coming. The answer that I have been practicing, though, is "You know, I will have to look that up. I pay attention to whether she is enjoying the process of learning instead of class ranking since learning is a lifelong process and I want her to enjoy her life." Of course, the one time in my life I have an answer, no one asks me the question. Glad to read so many neat responses!

Dita said...

Sorry, TM...I'm old school when it comes to competeti-moms. When they see me, they walk the other way.
WonderBoy is a great conversationalist, a wonderful vocabularist but a painfully slow reader. His ability to focus is basically on par with a Tse Tse Fly, however, nothing gets by him, not an ant on the floor, a conversation in the hallway behind a closed door, a kid breaking wind at the next desk. He drinks it all in and acknowledges it. That's just him and I love him for it.

No mother has EVER tried to even compare their kid with mine at school...perhaps its my kill 'em with kindness smile and wry sarcasm.

However, if I were YOU and my kid was READING on a 2nd grade level in Kindergarten, well...I wouldn't really be able to contain myself and I'd say:

You want the TRUTH? The TRUTH?
You can't HANDLE the TRUTH!

Aunt LoLo said...

I got nothin'...but I love reading all these answers!

If it was me, I'd say, "Oh, she finished it a while back." And just leave it at that. LOL

Patty O. said...

I would feel the same way you do. I hate it when people get all competitive, but I never know what to say to nip it in the bud. I like the ideas of saying, "Oh, why do you ask?" I would probably change the subject, but that seems like the easy way out. I also like the idea of saying that you don't want to feed into all the competition. I think that is a great way to educate people. There may actually be moms out there who have been sucked into the competition, but who might see the light by your good example. I know, I for one, have often been sucked in and didn't realize until after a conversation was over that I didn't like the direction it was going in. Not sure if that makes sense.

And good for T!!! That is so awesome--and I like your perspective. All kids are good in some areas and not so good in others. heck, even adults are like this and it is good to remember!

Saint Louis Family Robinson said...

First: can't zip her pants! LOL! Sounds just like our house!!!! You crack me up! Thanks!

On to the serious stuff: As usual TM, this is a great post - thought provoking!

I gotta go with Mamatini... some level of internal competiveness (just enough to keep you on your toes) is a good thing! But the external 'keeping up with the Jones' is not. Now, the tough part is: teaching our children the difference between the two.

I really don't know how to deal with competi-mommas... my personality is to walk away (I do that with adoption stuff too). But I think turning it back onto the busybody with "Why do you ask?" is a good way to go.

I wish I had my husband's knack for stating the truth in a way that when heard no one believes it and when he states the bizarre people tend to believe it. He always keeps people guessing. If he was the stay at home parent, he'd have the moms in our subdivision in constant gossip mode about our family.

*Peach* said...

I just want to say that I feel for you. My pet peeve is competitiveness, totally hate it. And I don't have much tolerance or ability to play along with those who are like that. Sometimes I think our educational system breeds people who can't think for themselves and are just out to please anyway, and it hurts the kids who are different and need a different way to learn.
I grew up making top-notch grades but was doing it to mask huge self-esteem issues to "get points" and acceptance. Even if my son wasn't delayed, I would want to somehow hopefully teach him that grades are not the most important aspects of himself, life, or happiness. Somehow. But wanting to do that and knowing how are two different things. I have so much to learn as a mother.

3 Peanuts said...

I dealt with a similar situation with Harry in a former school. He entered kindergarten reading fluently (thanks to Montessori pre-school). I answered honestly (and still do). But humbly....so I might say....
"Reading is his strength so he is finished the rainbow system but I am sure by the end of the year they'll all be on the same page."

And in fact, the truth of the matter (that these competi-mommas ought to know if they are so smart) is that early reading is NOT an indicator or intelligence or later reading ability. All of the research indicates this. Just as we all learn to walk at different times, we all learn to read at different times. And a lot of those reading differences equalize by 3rd grade. Although there will still be better readers by then...it just might not be the early readers.

Okay getting off my soap box now. I love to brag on my kids in my own home (or my blog) but I think it is SO obnoxious for parents to compare children's ability in those settings. God made us perfectly and wonderfully exactly how HE wanted us to be!

Anonymous said...

See, this is why I Don't Play Well With Others because I won't play the game and I guess I have made it abundantly clear without using words that I think the game is stupid and I haven't much truck with the gameplayers. *looks sheepish*

Apparently I have very expressive facial contortions.

My bad.

mommy24treasures said...

oooh you have already received so many answers.. I really loved Half Gaelic and 3 Peanuts answers, I probablty would answer very similiar.

CC said...

And the kids can be so competitive too. The Flash comes home DAILY to tell me if someone beat him at running or if he is still the fastest in the class. I'm so glad that he's fast. I'm so glad that he's proud of himself. But what is he saying/doing to the other kids???

Cavatica said...

I'm just reading through and thinking "oh, I can't wait."

Michelle said...

I am very late in reading this, so I don't have any good advice to add. There's already some great advice listed. It is so hard when parents compare their children to other children. Everyone learns at a different pace, but like many people already said, they'll equalize sooner rather than later. In my opinion, it's the effort that counts.