Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Kid's a Genius!

Yes, he must be a genius! What else could he be?

My second-born son just turned 11 years old this week, and every day he lets us know exactly how much more he knows than anyone else in the world.

Obscure facts about any member of the animal kingdom? He knows all of them. I'm sorry, did you just try to correct him? Don't bother, because he is always right. Always.

The best way to fix a broken appliance? I am so relieved that I do not have to call a repairman, because our son can just talk my husband through the job. Are you questioning his knowledge of electrical systems? Please refrain from doing that as he is always right. Always.

One of his younger brothers is not pulling his fair share of cleaning up their bedroom? After my second-born reads his brother the riot act, he then proceeds to let me know how I am screwing up in my discipline methods. Did I correct him? You betcha! He got to stew in his self-righteousness and in the bathroom for 3o minutes. But, he's still always right. Always.

My sweet boy has always had very good self-esteem and self-confidence. I wish I could pat myself on the back for that, but I think it was an inherited trait (I am looking every which way but the mirror...). Up until lately, his self-proclaimed infallibility has been an annoyance to his siblings and a reason for my husband and I to chuckle behind his back. But, I am becoming more and more aware that we need to nip this attitude in the bud... well, maybe it's already bloomed a bit.

After some brainstorming, my husband and I have come up with several ideas (please keep in mind that we took the "Malcolm in the Middle" parenting class)...

Idea #1: The basic "writing lines" discipline. "I will not put myself above my parents. I will not put myself above my parents". The problem with this is it's inherent non-creativeness and ultimate ineffectiveness.

Idea #2: For every "fact" he produces, he must also produce four pages of proof, double-spaced, complete with a bibliography. The problem with this is very apparent... I have no desire to correct homework.

Idea #3: So, he likes thinking he always knows the best method of doing something? That is wonderful news, because I have a good-sized bag of dirty cloth diapers just waiting to be rinsed and laundered. I think we're getting closer to a solution.

Idea #4: That dear boy is fairly certain that we, his parents, do not really have a handle on this parenting-thing (thank goodness, they have ONE perfect child!). But, in order to be certain, we should really run our methods by the "resident expert", don't you think? So, every time he lets us know that another sibling is misbehaving, his father and I will give him the consequence his sibling deserves. After all, we should not waste our time giving a child an ineffective consequence, and our second-born can let us know if we are "making the right choices".

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner, folks! Just wait until that kid gives me another "lesson"!

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