Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This has been bothering me ever since I saw the commercial. It makes me cringe every time I see it replayed. It's the Hooked on Phonics "Heart-swelling Pride" commercial. Talk about "my kid is better than you kid" propaganda. Just what moms need to watch - more parenting comparisons.

I'm all for kids learning new things, but this is just kind of crazy. In the commercial, a 4 year old boy is reading aloud. All of the surrounding moms watch him in amazement asking if he's in school & where he learned to read. "Oh, we just practice", the proud mom says. She seems to say it smugly & the haughty look just tops it off. Gah. What bothers me so much about it isn't that the 4 year old is reading at obviously, a very early age, it's the reaction of the mom. Yes, it is amazing that a 4 year old can read, but please - tone down the cavalier attitude. He's not a rocket scientist.

This commercial is really hurting mothering social circles rather than helping them. I think as first time mothers, the baby comparisons are natural & normal. After the baby hits major milestones (walking, talking, etc) the comparisons seem to relax a bit. Never in all of my time with playgroups has another mother boasted about what their little one accomplished. It was always more tactful & more as a part of the conversation. However, I know that "these" mothers exist in other circles & they are not very well received. If I had a mom like this in our playgroup, I'm sure I would just have to roll my eyes at her rather than be impressed with her superior child.

Rant over.


Dawn B said...


Kayce said...

I just saw that commercial a few minutes ago for the first time, and it annoyed me too. As much as I'd love for my kids to read early, I think I'm least likely to try their program because apparently I'd have to be smug about it if it worked.

Jen said...

I HATE the "let's compare babies" game.

But...I bet if Autumn was going to shove peas up her nose...she could get at LEAST eight of them. How many did Logan get?...Four? ;)

Seriously though...I have a cousin who has a baby three weeks younger than Autumn, and her mother is always calling my mother to play the "whose grandchild is smarter" game. It makes my mom crazy too.

Jaime said...

I went through this at Thanksgiving myself. My cousin brought along his infant who is only 2 weeks older than my own.

I finally had to get ugly with them. I could care less if my daughter isn't eating table food yet, or if she is longer or heavier. And the worst part of all was defending nursing my child, yet again.

I agree, it is annoying. I haven't yet seen that commercial, thank god.

Erin said...

I haven't seen the commercial but eek! So basically, the mom is lying in the commercial to make it seem like her kid is a freakin genius..."we just practice"...how about telling the truth, "we use Hooked on Phonics!" BLAH Glad I haven't seen it. Drives me nuts when people compare. Kids do what they're going to do when they're going to do it, they're all great and wonderful and amazing, no matter what they can or can't do!

girl from florida said...

UGH. I *HATE* the comparison game, and you are so lucky to have such a fair and kind group of friends in your playgroup! Since we've been in KW, we just socialize with mommies with older babies. I actually tured down invitations from 3 mommies recently for this very reason, I could NOT stand the comparisons. I get it really bad for choosing to work, talk about feeling judged. It makes me so sad we have to deal with this.