I hate the word stupid.
having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense.
I deplore when one of my children calls the other stupid. I was called stupid. More often asked “are you stupid?” If I said no I was asked, “are you sure.”
I wasn’t always sure.
Since I’m coming down from a huge Italy high after our vacation I’ll share:
In Roman culture, the stupidus was the professional fall-guy in the theatrical mimes. ‘Stupid’ actually hit the English Language about 1541. It’s an old word. I still dislike it.
You’re Not Stupid
My oldest son has been struggling this year. Really struggling. Classes are not as easy as they’ve been in the past. He has fallen into a lazy low-expectation groove for himself. One reason … he claims he’s not as smart as we think. He’s ‘not like his dad’. His Dad is magna cum laude smart. That’s real smart.
So rather than try, rather than push, rather than apply himself … my son went in the opposite direction and checked out.
It started with not thoroughly reading chapters. Not taking notes. Not highlighting important facts. Not trying. Not working. Not studying. Not passing. Because being stupid is easy. It requires very little effort.
Three months down this stressful journey of 9th grade truth showed up in the mail. We finally received last year’s standardized test scores. 8th Grade scores from last May.
My son was expecting the worst, because he has convinced himself he is stupid. But when his momma opened the large envelope and started crying … things suddenly changed. Chains were broken and lies scurried away to dark corners.
The ‘stupid’ son learned he’s not so stupid after all. In fact … he’s above average. And not just a bit above average in one area. Across the board above average. He scored right where his exhausted frazzled mother always believed of him.
The last three months of exhausting homeschool misery and the boy magically believes in himself. Now he can’t believe he’s failing 2 subjects because he’s smart. No amount of me telling him otherwise mattered. Not one breath! It’s those black and white scores and fancy National Grade Ranges that have instantly changed his opinion of himself.
He sees himself in a different light. It never mattered how many times I spoke truth into his heart – Moms are supposed to say that stuff, he told me.
You’re Not Stupid
I’m not advocating standardized tests. But when you’ve spent three months crying into your pillow … praying for wisdom … beating yourself up thinking maybe YOU are the stupid one who can’t … who shouldn’t Homeschool her smart kids … and you start believing a lie that you have failed your family … so you had to quit your part time teaching job and step back from that Homeschool magazine column … worse, you can no longer reason with the heart you raised and love … you can’t get him to see himself the way God sees him …
Can I just tell you it is heartbreaking to parent and walk with a child who has given up on themselves.
If those scores hadn’t arrived I would have spent the rest of my life saying … you’re not stupid.
There is thankfulness in those test scores. There is truth in those scores. Those scores brought hope back into our home. A lie has been defeated (it was an emotional, mental & spiritual battle I was starting to become undone).
We needed the test scores right when we got them. We desperately needed something to help him believe in himself.
No son, you’re not stupid !!