I’m sure this will offend many of you, but I really don’t like your kids. I pretend that I do, because that’s what we are expected to do; but in all reality, I find other people’s kids more annoying, less intelligent, whinier, and much uglier than my own. Their poop smells worse, and the pictures they draw are ridiculous and could indicate mental instability. The intentions of other peoples’ kids are always evil.
My kids are adorable and “really advanced for their age.” Their artistic scribbles fall within the range of prodigy. When they do things wrong, it’s because they just don’t understand all the consequences of their actions yet, and they are so cute I can hardly stand it
If my kid hits your kid, it’s because he doesn’t understand that he’s hurting your kid. Besides, your kid probably provoked him and he needed to be hit. My child is normally kind and gentle. There is just no way that my darling child would ever purposely harm another human being. But if your kid hits my kid, your kid is a monster who needs medication and counseling, and is obviously the victim of horrible parenting skills.
I suspect my viewpoint on other peoples’ kids is not unique to just me. We all fake it quite well. We get together as friends and boast about our children’s latest accomplishments, and then politely listen to our peers boast about theirs. If there was a loud speaker on top of our heads that broadcasted our thoughts, we probably wouldn’t all be friends much longer. The typical parent-to-parent conversation would probably sound something more like this:
Other parent: “Mackenzie can say her ABCs and count to one hundred!”
Me: “Oh wow, she must be really advanced for her age.”
Loudspeaker: “Mackenzie can say her ABCs? You mean the same Mackenzie that was over there ten minutes ago eating dog food out of the dog bowl without a stitch of clothing on? Oh yeah, she’s a real genius.”
Other Parent: “Cody is a natural at football. I think we might have an NFL quarterback here!”
Me: “Yes, he does seem to have a lot of energy.”
Loudspeaker: “Little Cody is a delinquent, and has already been suspended three times in his brief school career. The only thing he might actually succeed at is having a good sales record at the meth lab he will operate out of your basement when he’s 37.”
The loudspeaker would definitely end every friendship between the parents of children in short order. We are lucky enough to maintain these friendships even without the loudspeaker.
If there is a dispute between our children that boils down to the conflicting testimony of one child against the other, my child is obviously telling the truth–and your child is obviously lying. After all, I know my kids, and they would never lie to me.
My kids are to-the-point, and speak their minds.
Your kid is rude and disrespectful.
My kids are cute when they mess up words and phrases.
Your kid sounds like an idiot.
When my kid spills their milk on the table, I say “Ooopsie” and smile.
When your kids spills his milk on the table, it affirms that he is a clumsy oaf.
I suppose that a lot of this type of thinking might be a symptom of our own insecurities as parents, and maybe we are just used to the smell of our own kid’s poop and not the smell of other kids’. It’s not like I hate other kids. I try hard to see my friends’ children in the same light as my own, but the fact remains that they just aren’t my kids.
So please don’t be offended when I say I don’t like your kids. It’s truly nothing personal. And be assured that I understand if you don’t have all that much affection for my own children, even if you are polite enough to not say so.
— Jon Ziegler
Jon Ziegler is a husband, father of two girls and a tree trimmer who started writing as an outlet for what he calls “creative madness.” He’s the author of Life from Outside the Refrigerator: Stories of Imperfect Parenting, Marriage and Middle Age.