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No matter how far along I get in life, I'll always refer to myself as "That chick that grew up poor in the drug-filled streets of Port Arthur, Texas." Always a bad ass!

Right now, I'm going through a top-down transformation. I'm starting with my hair - taking it from processed to natural; and so far I'm loving it. Get updates on my process on newtonatural.com.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Getting My Child to Act as Smart as She Is

So, I've gotten feedback from a co-worker having a similar problem, which caused me to give the issue of Being Smart But Not Acting Smart some more thought. At the time I began blogging about my daughter's piss poor attitude and good grades, I was more than a little annoyed with this chick {still am}, and could not see the larger view of what's going on here.

Here. I'll internalize a bit.

When I was 3, I learned how to read. When I was 5, I began writing books about what my life would be like. When I was 8, I entered into a talented and gifted program that I participated in until I graduated from high school. Of course, I almost did not graduate because I skipped so much school that they wanted to hold me back due to excessive absences.

My Mom was furious when she realized what I'd done. "What the hell?!!" she asked; or let's be honest, screamed.

Here's the real: I was smart. Way too smart. But girls, especially Black girls, are not supposed to be smart. So, until I decided to suppress my thoughts and my little proper speech, it was really hard to fit in.

I worked so hard at trying to fit in. I just took on the full armor of ignorance: smart ass mouth, know-it-all attitude, rebellious as hell.

I gained some instant popularity by pretending to be dumb. And I was actually really good at that, too. And got more praise from my peers for it. They loved to see me get into trouble, skip school, and miss out on opportunities. I had to become an adult to realize why. This is just too big for a child to fathom.

Kids that don't have it going on want to believe that you suck too, so they can believe they have a chance in life. They won't try to improve, but if they see you decline, they will feel like they have.

Let's bring it home now. How do you help your child get it?

-- You love her. Those kids that are encouraging her to be dumb don't.

-- Getting good grades is easy for her because she's smart. Not everyone else has that knack for learning.

-- Being smart, over the long-term, will help her get further in life than the bad attitude.

-- And, dammit, if she does not pull it together, you're going to put a size 7.5 Adidas in her rear because you know what the deal is and you will not stand by and allow this bull to fly.

Well, contrary to all indications of my potty mouth, I have to turn to prayer. I don't really know what else to do, but I've learned that prayer fixes all things. I've learned that me and God is greater than the world. I'm not a child psychologist or a family counselor so I'm not going to give it to you like that. Pray. Logging off because I'm going to get a little knee time in myself.


  1. I empathise with your daughter (and maybe you?) At my high school, we got a mark for attitude for each subject as well as a mark for acheivement. I was always a straight A for Achievement and yet D's and E's for attitude. I remember comments like 'Maxine needs to cultivate more respect for the efforts and opinions of others'. When my mother confronted me, I said 'But their efforts amount to nothing and their opinions are based on ignorance'. I still remember the utterly horrified look that she gave me. Luckily, I turned out ok...albeit still with some minor ego issues :) Great blog.

  2. You made a very good point. It is kind of like the saying "misery loves company". Mostly when you are young, others don't want to see you do better than them.