Acting Stupid is not Cute

Elle at the Fall “Festibol” at her school.



E-Daddy, how do you draw a little “e”?
Me-Are you serious? Don’t ask me questions you know the answer to.
E-I don’t remember how to draw it.
Me-You write one every time you write your name, every day. Acting dumb is not cute, it’s annoying. Show me how smart you are.
E-Ohhhh I remember now. Never mind.


Last night, while helping the girls with their homework, I realized that one of the most frustrating things I’m going to have to deal with, is them acting like they don’t know something, when I know they do. Why is it frustrating? Because they know the answers and they’re pretending not to in order to get me to spend more time with them, when all I want to do is get it done. Yes, it’s sweet that they want me to pay attention to them, don’t get me wrong. I want them to learn and become very smart girls, but the things they are asking me are the basic things they already know and that’s where the frustration sets in. Their stalling tactics are keeping us from actually being able to learn new things and when you have two kids, with 30 minutes of homework each night, that becomes even more difficult to do. (Yes, you read that right, kindergardeners with 30 minutes of homework every night. It’s awesome.)

Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve been in school, but sitting through the pain that was homework last night with the girls reminded me of those girls in school that you knew were really smart, but they acted stupid on purpose to get attention for the dumb stuff they’d say. It might have been cute/funny to high school or middle school me, but to parent me, it’s annoying as sin and pisses me off. As a parent, I’m never more proud than when my girls exceed my expectations at something. If they know something I didn’t expect them to know at their age, or they say something that is wise beyond their years, I’m glowing with pride. When they put on the dumb act…I’m glowing with anger.

In the heat of the moment it makes for a very un-fun learning environment. It makes it hard for me to encourage them and root them on when they get an answer right because I find myself thinking “effing finally!” rather than “great job honey.” I know that the learning process can be frustrating and I envy teachers for having the patience to deal with kids every day and try to teach them new things. It’s not a talent I was blessed with, but it’s still something I have to do since they have an insane amount of homework every week. With all that being said, my new goal is to encourage them not to “act dumb” and to always be proud of being smart. I have a feeling this will be easier said than done.

Silly, funny, loud, outgoing, entertaining, sweet, caring, kind, loving…those are all words I want people to use when talking about my girls. Dumb is not one of those words. Not now. Not ever.




2 thoughts on “Acting Stupid is not Cute

  1. I tell my girls (I’m a 5th grade teacher) all of the time that stupid is not cute. The attention you attract with stupid is just more stupid. It’s sinking in slowly. We live in a culture where girls are rewarded for being dumb, obnoxious, drunk and intolerant. It is disgusting.

    On the flip side, I tell my boys that girls who are cute and dumb grow out of cute. You don’t want one of them hanging on your arm when the cute is outgrown.

    They look at me like I’m crazy. Pfft! Those are free life lessons right there.

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