23 Feb Six Ways my Six-year-old is Smarter Than me…And it Will Only Get Worse
My six-year-old often outsmarts me and makes me questions my intelligence.
Can I blame mom-fog-brain? Or old age? Is not being able to think clearly—while multi-tasking—a symptom of motherhood? That was rhetorical.
This is tearing at my ego and increasing my self-deprecation. I have tried to be present and fight off this malady, but I keep being defeated.
Here are six ways my six-year-old has outwitted me (no, he is not a savant or a member of MENSA—just your happy, playful, competitive six-year-old with a
lot few sprinkles of anger):
One of the apps we play together is Stack the States. Part of the game is to identify state flags. I don’t remember learning or memorizing all 50 state flags, do you?
I like to blame my limited retention on the small image and my eyesight, but really his visually-stimulated and sponge-like brain are what give him the advantage. I’m a halfwit.
Now that he is getting older, my six-year-old is becoming more independent and showers alone (cue: raise the roof arm-pumping). The only problem is his towel ends up on the bathroom counter or crumpled on the towel rack because he can’t reach the hooks behind the door.
One of those adult-height, reusable, damage-free hooks fell off the other day. I then saw it was put back at a level accessible to him—parallel to the door handle—instead of up high as design standards suggest. This seemed so smart and ingenious—he solved his own problem. It really was so obvious, but it didn’t come to me first.
What is the biggest…? Who is the strongest…? What is the fastest…? Why is he so obsessed?
Here is one interaction when my son made me question my mental prowess:
“Mom, what place has the least amount of people?” asks son in the backseat.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe a small island. Let’s Google it when we get home,” replies mom in the driver seat—she should be focused on driving, not kid jeopardy.
“Really, Mama? Antartica has the least amount of people living there, nobody really lives there.”
I should have seen this coming, he was obsessed with Antartica. I am disappointed I went straight to Google as my support system. I really wanted to get into logistics about continents and population measurements to save face, but that would be ignoring the fact—he one-upped me.
My son attends a Spanish immersion elementary school. I thought it would be years until he passed my fluency. I don’t have a degree in Spanish nor do I use it often, however, I thought I knew enough to have the upper hand on this one. No (that means ‘no’ in Spanish), that didn’t happen. Now I get my accent corrected and I am scrambling to translate as quickly as he talks. Me duele la cabeza.
I should have really been more prepared for this one. I am not very musical—I can’t even whistle and my humming is unmelodious. He has a better ear, understands rhythm, and he knows vocabulary related to music more than I will ever know. I now find it a challenge to help him practice because I have no idea what most the notes, lines, or squiggles represent when they are all put together. I have to admit I cannot learn as fast as him, this is treble-ing me.
It is not just these Cenozoic (thank you son) shark creatures, there are a lot of other creatures I don’t know about. Whether he learned these facts from Wild Kratts, Shark Week, or a book—even worse, something I read to him—he retains more detailed information than I do. I wonder how long he will remember these facts—I already forgot them.
Now, with this realization, I exploit my offspring’s superior memory-laden-brains. My kids have become my walking post-its. I give them pieces of information to tell me later: “remind me when we get to the store to buy…,” or “after dinner remind me to…” This part of the growing brain is advantageous because I misplaced my post-its.
My kids still have a long road to mastering critical thinking skills. I will accept that they are learning and retaining information faster than me. I will love them despite this—even if it makes me question my sanity.