OK, this one takes a little bit of set up. "a" is a couple of years behind in learning his letters and numbers. And while he's perfectly intelligent enough to learn them, he just wasn't interested in learning them until recently. AND, with his vision issues, I was warned to expect him to take longer to learn his letters and numbers... so I wasn't terribly worried about it. I did work with him extra and got him assistance through education agencies to try to keep him from falling even further behind. Things have gotten a LOT better since he started school... and I've been repeatedly letting him know how proud I am of him because I know how hard he's been working to learn his letters (and he's finally really coming along with it).
The problem is that his self esteem took quite a ding... and he used to tell me that he was a dummy because he didn't know his letters. I took time to explain to him that it's ok to take longer to learn some things and that that's NOT what being a dummy is. He's actually quite smart, it's just taking him longer. Part of the reason I wanted to put emphasis on him thinking he's smart, he just has to work harder is that I think that if you think you're dumb, you don't even try to learn things. If you realize you are smart and capable of learning, but that sometimes things are harder for you than other things - it's just a matter of trying harder. An important skill I want him to have is the ability to recognize sometimes you have to try harder.
Anyway - about two weeks ago, we were practicing the ABCs while we were driving... and again, I complimented him on how good he was doing and how proud of him I was. He came back and told me that he's "so smart" -- which was a real relief to hear -- and I told him that he absolutely was very smart indeed!
But then he told me that he knew "why" he was so smart.
So, I made a smart-alecy comment, that it was because he got his smarts from his mom.
First, he didn't get the gene reference (can't blame him, he's six) - but beyond that - he said "NO that's not why I'm smart"....
So then I said it was because he had a great brain and was thinking hard and using it.... "NO that's not why I'm smart. I'm smart because I eat SMARTIES (a type of candy)."
OK - that's kind of cute. So I made sure next time "A" saw him, that he asked why "a" was so smart... and he got the response "because I eat SMARTIES" and he thought it was cute too. Not exactly blog-worthy, but definitely cute.
Well just wait... it gets cuter.
Last night "a" called his big brother "A" a dummy. And it isn't the first time. And like every other time I tell him that it's not nice to call someone dumb and why it hurts their feelings and that he shouldn't do it again.
This time (being the umpteenth time I've had this talk) I decided to take it to another level. I talked to "a" about how some people are smarter at making new friends (he is) and some people are smarter at computers (like his brother) and still other people are smarter at other things. And not being smart at something (like computers) doesn't make someone dumb, it just means they haven't taken the time to learn it yet. (Which was probably just a waste of breath anyway because his goal really was to insult his brother and had nothing to do with knowing anything about being smart/being dumb etc)
Anyway... "A" pipes in, "Yeah, you know you aren't the only one who is smart, mommy and I eat smarties too."
Well, that kicked off a diatribe (really) from our six year old about how Smarties don't make you smart, and it's a lame candy, and he doesn't eat it anymore and he doesn't know anyone who eats them anymore and we shouldn't eat them either.... a full two minutes of how "lame" smarties are.
AND to top it off, he points to me and looks me in the eyes to tell me "And you are not my mother anymore" and points to "A" and tells him "and you are not my brother anymore" and he storms out of the room.
I glanced at his brother and started laughing and said, " I think we just got seriously burned by a six year old for eating lame candy."
"A" had to go update his facebook page to tell everyone his brother just dis-owned his entire family over claiming to eat lame candy that we don't really even eat.