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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Over the Rainbow (Words)

Oh my goodness, y'all... thank you so much for the many words of advice. I've held this topic so close to my heart this week because we've been studying the Book of James with our church small group this fall. And this week's lesson? Was on taming the tongue (James 3:1-12).

So how do I avoid gossip... and sarcasm... and discouragement... and dishonesty... and all of those negative behaviors that come so naturally to me, especially when dealing with the dreaded Rainbow Word Competi-momma Situation?

The simple answer, of course, would be to just walk away from it, but of course we all know that "simple" is not always easy. Y'all helped me immensely, though, so I thank you for sharing your insights and advice. There was such a great amount of wisdom and experience, in fact, that I'm hoping y'all were able to spend some time checking out what others' had to say. I'm pretty sure that's an unrealistic hope, however, because - although I ALWAYS read comments left at Our Little Tongginator - I rarely have time to read comments on other people's blogs, even when I really, really want to. And I'm guessing that many of y'all are in a similar boat. But there were so many tidbits of wisdom in the comments from yesterday's post, I needed to at least encourage y'all to stop in and hear from some experts. Every single commenter gave me food for thought, but I wanted to highlight a few ideas that lingered in my mind for quite awhile, just in case that extra 15 minutes is impossible to find:

... 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 ...

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

... 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." ...

... 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 ...

... See - I'd turn the whole adoption answer on them... "Why do you ask?" ...

... I've now been on both sides of success in school (as most parents will be at some point) and it's tough ...

... I went to a competitive womens' 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 ...

... 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 ...

Thanks so much, y'all, for sharing your wisdom and humor with me. I don't know how this will play out in real life. (Wouldn't it be funny if not one single person asks me this question again? I mean, now that I'm better prepared for it. Heh.) But I feel like I learned a ton from y'all and can't thank you enough. Keep it coming if you think of anything new.

And - just so you know - yesterday's comments community? It's a major reason why I blog.

20 comments:

Stefanie said...

I KNOW! I read your post yesterday and hit 'post a comment' and after reading the comments, felt like I had a WHOLE lot more to learn and a WHOLE lot less to say :)
Amen to "a major reason why I blog"... isn't this community awesome??

bbmomof2boys said...

You have a great and smart bunch of blogger friends!

Taming the tongue - need to go read that! My tongue is pretty sharp though it has dulled some over the years.

Hugs,
Carla

Aus said...

Thank you - I'm flattered! When you have a sec run by the blog - we are waiting for Fedex to deliver the LOSC as I type!

hugs - aus and co.

Football & Fried Rice said...

I read the first couple - need to go back ;) It is a very tough thing - one that's not going away for a while!! Thanks for posting the 'good stuff', TM!!!
XO,
Sara

Wanda said...

Yup, it's a huge reason why I blog too. (And...ummmm....I often do read all the other comments - great wisdom there. Wish I had even more time.)

Thanks for always opening our eyes!

Dawn said...

It's always great to receive advice from other moms in the trenches!

Be blessed!

goodfountain said...

I went back and read the post and read all the comments. Great! I struggle with this too because Charlotte is reading way beyond Kindergarten level, but she has an autism diagnosis.

I know you're not necessarily seeking advice anymore, but I just wanted to share what I'm doing. I'm not apologizing anymore. I'm not saying anything about her autism when it comes up about her high reading ability. I figure - the kid's got enough challenges with social language, I'm not going to take away from where she's doing well.

(Oh and I am very appreciative all of a sudden that C's teacher doesn't do RAINBOW words!!)

Bangs said...

Wow!! Great comments. I have child on the opposite end of the reading spectrum from Tongginator. She is in grade 4 and is reading at a grade 2 level and has a IEP. (She does very well in other areas.) I am not sure she even knows her level as we talk about progress and trying to get her to enjoy reading books. Most of the advice and comments could also be used for our situation and I learned a lot. I am not sure if I did such a good job of dealing with snoopy outsiders in the past. But, like you, I am ready now.

Dita said...

And thank goodness you BLOG, TM or it would be really lonely on this side of my screen.

Great topic. Awesome comments. I read the comments, TM. I'm just nosey like that.
Another reason I'm always late for work!

Sharie said...

I DID read all the comments and learned SO much!!

Mamatini said...

I keep coming back (and reading the comments) because you always post such interesting and though-provoking topics for discussion, TM!

Annie said...

I know what you mean!!! I have gotten so many wonderful and helpful comments on some of my posts!!! Great community!!

Patty O. said...

I loved reading the other comments. So enlightening. And please, let us know if and when this comes up. I would love to know how you respond and how the other mom takes it. I could learn a lot!

Alece said...

i love how much support and help and true community you received (and continue to receive). and me, too --- it's why i blog now. it wasn't why i started but it's why i continue.

3 Peanuts said...

I am glad you got such good advice. Bloggers are GREAT from that. I do like the why do you ask response for lots of inappropriate questions but I seem to forget it when I need it!

You WILL fact this again...I guarantee it. Just wait until the school award ceremony!

mumma to many said...

Isn't interesting how some want to compare and being one who can't achieve like some of my 10 siblings I flounder.
Parents don't ask as much here however I do watch as my son 14 compares himself to his sister 6 and then knows number 3 who is 2 will out strip him with success in languages, etc and we often say it is because they have the best big brother in the world and what is success for him and me might not be success for Emily.

We are all good at something and he often says Emily will be at all things and I say so will you if you have the desire!

Life has success at different levels. And is percieved differently by others.

This is always changing.
And this snapshot of where our children are is important only for that parent not for every parent.

Take care my friend!

Hugs Ruth in NZ

jen@odbt said...

{raising hand} me too! That's what I love about this blogging community. Thanks for sharing all the wisdom.

anymommy said...

Exactly to all the commenters here. I appreciated your post and the comments so much.

Mahmee said...

Ain't the 'Soul Sistah Circle' grand?! I never would have made it this far without you all.
Competi-mommas clearly need more vacation time, another bottle of wine, less wine, self-esteem training, a hobby...you get the idea. Being a 43 year old first time mahmee of a 3 year old, I run into this stuff all of the time. I gotta say...based upon what thoughts run through my head when I hear this competi-momma hoo-hah, I should just have 'piss off' tatooed to my forehead.
Sorry....you know me...I'm full of faults and blunt to boot.
You're a great Momma TM...you should be as proud of your girl as you want to be...don't ever doubt it!
M.

Mei-Ling said...

"I prefer not to compare my child's progress to anyone else's"

Get back to me on that one in, say, 10 years from now when your Tongginator is bringing home progress reports in high school that compares the student's scores with the class average. ;P