Sunday, August 21, 2011

How NOT to Raise a Child

This is probably going to be a multi-part series. I may have to split it off into a separate blog.

TOPIC ONE: How NOT to Choose a School

I am feeling angst because a very close family member disapproves of the school where I am sending my son.  From what I gathered of the conversation, I should be sending him to a school full of Asian or Indian kids, because their performance is so much better than that of American children. I love our school because it is diverse, the teachers are kind, and my kid is happy there. Are these the right reasons? Also we don’t want to move to a fancy neighborhood so my son can go to school with a bunch of kids raised by tiger moms. No offense if you are a tiger mom, but I have sat next to you at little league games and you guys really stress me out.  

This shirt is for tiger moms to wear as a warning to others. Now people won't have to give up a perfectly good seat on the bleachers to avoid you when you start screaming at your kids. 

In my defense, I stated that our selection of neighborhood and school was carefully thought out and I would appreciate her not treating our educational choices as haphazard decisions. However, in retrospect, we did choose our house because the lot has nice trees. Also, we drove by the elementary school down the road and didn’t see any police tape, chalk outlines, or obvious drug trafficking, so we assumed everything would be okay. Apparently, it is far from okay. According to the school ranking system, our school is only RECOGNIZED. A really good school would be EXEMPLARY.  Even though we are still one notch above those poor souls who are only ACCEPTABLE, it was a rookie mistake to choose a house because it has nice trees.

This shirt is for those of you who are recognized. You worked hard to achieve this, and it would be a shame for people to not recognize that you are recognized.
This shirt is for those of you who are acceptable. If you are not acceptable, wearing the shirt might help you out for a while, but I can’t guarantee how long the illusion will be maintained.

Personally, I work very hard to achieve ACCEPTABLE in my own life, and it is not as easy as one might think. Maybe it is not the school my son goes to, or the house that we live in. It could very well be me that is lacking in what it takes to be RECOGNIZED or EXEMPLARY.  I asked my son when he was two years old if he wanted to be a child genius, and he said ‘no.’ Maybe I should have pushed harder, but that ship has sailed. Now he is like every other slacker American kid playing with his Nintendo DS instead of learning to play the viola. This is not because of the educational system. It is because of me. There it is everyone… it is not the fault of the wonderful teachers at my son’s school, it is not the rating system, the problem is me. He could have cured cancer if I didn’t buy him Super Mario Cart.

And NO… if you are EXEMPLARY, you do NOT get a damn shirt. Don’t even ask.


  1. There are plenty of amazing people who come from humble beginnings (JK Rowling, Oprah) and lots of screw up who had all the golden opportunities ( any Kardashian, OJ Simpson). Something tells me your son will be awesome, even without viola lessons.

  2. Maybe you should just take him out of school altogether. That will give her something to complain about!

  3. So, if you went with homeschooling could you make up your own rating? And then print a T-shirt that says "Exemplary Ratings are for losers"... or "You only wish you could be as Awesomesauce as my SuperMegaAwesome Student" (Would that even fit on a T-shirt)?

    Anyhow, I imagine your relative will be shocked when your son tells her he's decided to become a Minister in the Church of the Giant Metal Chicken and that s/he will be smote by the Knock Knock MutherEffer of said Church's large and in charge deity.

    It MAY be time for my medication now...

  4. Tell this relative that you are seriously thinking of "non-schooling" and that may just shut them up. It never ceases to amaze me the way some family members think they have the right to tell you how to raise (and educate) your child.

  5. I think I can blend all of these ideas into my very own homeschool with cool t-shirts. Since the rating of said school will already be ultra-amazing... I can make all the children play the viola while I drink vodka. Thanks everyone!!

  6. Three things:
    1.) These are the exact right reasons!
    it is diverse, the teachers are kind, and my kid is happy there. Are these the right reasons?
    2.) Good for you, then! You are a good mom!!
    >It is because of me.
    3.)You are FUNNY!!
    >And NO… if you are EXEMPLARY, you do >NOT get a damn shirt. Don’t even ask.

    August 21, 2011 5:00 PM

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