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Some Parents Are Afraid Their Child Will Be Ugly--I'm Afraid Mine Will Be Stupid

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August 2, 2011

Last weekend my daughter and I went to a birthday party for one of her friends who just turned three. The party was fine, but as we were visiting with the birthday girl after the party I was amazed to see her write her name–perfectly legibly, mind you–all by herself. My daughter, who is also 3, cannot do that. Heck, I have a hard time even getting my girl to spell her name aloud.

Immediately I went into panic mode. My daughter is behind–when she starts kindergarten she isn’t going to be able to keep up. The first thing I did when we got back home from the party? Went straight to Toys ‘R Us and got my daughter letters, numbers and shapes flash cards for her to begin practicing writing asap. The next thing I did? Cancelled the cable. No more TV until she can write.

I know it seems a little extreme. Okay, a lot extreme. My boyfriend says I’m being that competitive mommy I despise. But I really don’t think this is the competitive side of me. I don’t want my daughter to write better or faster than her friend, I just want her to be able to do it. Period. They are the same age and it terrifies me that my little girl might be falling behind. There are parents who secretly hope their child is something very specific–blond, athletic, bilingual. I just so happen to want my child to be smart.

I actually talked to my pediatrician about it and she also politely advised me that I was over-reacting. My daughter just turned 3 last month and there are plenty of things she can do that her friend cannot.

But I’m wondering if I’m the only parent who gets freaked out when she sees a kid do something her child can’t. Do you trust that your child will develop fine on his/her own or do you make adjustments so your child keeps up with his/her friends? Also, is anyone else afraid of raising a stupid kid? Weigh in in the comments.

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