The following was syndicated from Medium for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at TheForum@Fatherly.com.
“Sorry, but your kid is an idiot…”
Let’s be honest. This is what every parent thinks. At least this is what I tell myself as a way of accepting that I’ve officially become the most judgmental asshole when I look at other kids.
My son will always be smarter, more athletic, better looking and cooler than the other children.
If — and this is a big if — my son were to come in second, get the B (C, D, F), get in trouble in any way shape or form, lose the fight or cheat, it will be someone else’s fault. The teacher hated him. The other kid fought dirty. The school election was rigged. Cops are assholes. The other guy cheated. I always hated that girl and he’s better off without her anyway.
As a proud parent, I cannot deny having these thoughts. It’s become part of my parental coping mechanism. Just today we were shopping at a well know department store and it was baby central. I felt like every other person had a kid, or kids, attached to their hip. It was like stroller bumper cars in the children’s section. So how do I entertain myself while my wife is picking out even more unnecessary clothes for our son? I look around and compare my son to the other little rug rats licking the floor. I felt like Jerry and Elaine when they finally see “the baby.”
Now, I don’t think it will always be this extreme. My hope is that as my son continues to grow and mature I will see him for his uniqueness and other sons and daughters for theirs. And all the while providing him with the experiences and environment to cultivate the self awareness and character to take full responsibility for his actions. Both good and bad.
But this has to start with me. How could I possibly raise a child in this light of self-awareness if I don’t possess it myself? The way I see others is nothing more than a reflection of how I see myself; not smart enough, not attractive enough, not good enough.
It’s fun to joke around about how our friend’s kid is the same age as our son and isn’t walking yet. Or that the baby at the store was ugly as shit. But the reality is that I still have a lot of work to do on myself until I feel good enough, worthy, valuable, smart and attractive. And I sure as hell better take this seriously if I want to raise the man I intend to. I owe this to myself, my son, my wife and everyone else in my life. Therefore, the work continues on.
And by the way, I total accept you for thinking that your child is better than mine.
I’d be so grateful if you’d click the little heart so that more Dad’s can see this and know that we are all in this together.
Nate Guggia is a proud dad, non-judgmental vegan, obsessive thinker, big fruit eater and fighter against the Dad Bod.