Forget Being Smart, I’m Raising My Daughter to Be Kind

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I get the pressure to raise smart kids. Really, I do. In fact, driving home from a play date not long ago, I heard an ad on the radio in which a woman insisted I do my homework on day care places because early education starts, well, early. The ad also suggested that if my 18-month-old isn’t starting her education out on the right foot, then she may never catch up to her peers. At that moment I looked in the rear-view mirror and caught my daughter trying to fit her whole foot in her mouth. Apparently, I was screwed.

My daughter, now 2 1/2 years old, is with me most days. And since she’s a total extrovert and I would go crazy in the house all day alone with her, we’re out in public a lot: visiting friends, taking trips to the zoo and going out to eat. In our day-to-day, we hold many conversations with each other, and I am more often than not finding myself explaining things to her, even when I know it’s over her head. But it’s not what you think. I’m not trying to increase her vocabulary or teach her things beyond her years so she can excel in a field at an Ivy League.

I simply want to raise my daughter to be kind in a world that may seem otherwise.


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