WWCD (What Would Calvin Do)?

“Did you have fun in camp today?” I asked my seven-year-old.

She gave the weak smile that is Little Bit code for “not so
much, but it wasn’t terrible, and I’m a good girl and will do my best to say
what you want to hear.”

This week’s enrichment activity is geocaching.  If you’ve never tried it, it’s kind of a high
tech treasure hunt in which you use a GPS to find caches left by other
people.  Little Bit has geocached before*
and enjoyed it, which is why she wanted to sign up for this camp.

Problem is, the class is full of hyper-competitive kids
(HCKs) who always want to be the first to spot the cache, which means the
quiet, polite, non-aggressive kids like mine never get there first because the
HCKs  shove in front. 

So Little Bit felt kind of cheated today, and also rather
shocked at how poorly the HCKs followed directions when the adults in charge
lamely tried to contain their zeal. 

“Tomorrow,” I told her, “when an HCK pushes in front of you,
stick your foot out and trip him!”

Ok, I didn’t tell her that, but I wanted to.  What should I tell her?  Be good, follow directions, don’t push, wait
your turn.  Sure, where does THAT get you
in life?

What would you tell YOUR kid?



*Note to Gungaboy: Little Bit is hoping you will take her
geocaching again.  She knows she can
trust you to be fair.


22 thoughts on “WWCD (What Would Calvin Do)?

  1. your little one and my little one should get together and go bowling. (in a non-competitive way.)  I always tell mine that stupid people suck, and that it’s not about what you “get,” in life, but what you see and what you make of the things that you see. Actually, that’s the start of what is typically a 20 minute rant on how not everyone in the world should be allowed to raise kids…by the end of which the little one has hopefully realized that her feelings were justified, thereby learning to trust her emotions and instincts and not try to be someone she is not.  And I often suggest subversive retaliation like a foot placed haphazardly in the path of the offending child, but she never thinks that is a good idea. I’d pay a few bucks to see that though, just once.

  2. Husband and I heart geocaching, as do our girls, but I’m not sure any of us would put up with that. Although I would never say this, I’m pretty sure Husband would suggest that they hit below the belt and, you know, fart or something. That should keep the HCKs away. . .

  3. Yup, it’s going to come down to some variation of “the world is full of jerks, sorry kid, get used to it best you can, and strive to find a life where you don’t have to deal with them always. Jerks will get what’s coming to them, it just takes longer than we would like it to take.  The point about validating her emotions is a good one. Her feelings are on target, just that we aren’t in a position to do anything to change the circumstance.

  4. I tell my kids about karma.  That it’s not their job to see that the jerks get what’s due, but to understand that good begets good, and their bad will catch up to them.  And they’ve both seen it happen, so they get it and are less inclined to get upset when stupid people are, well, stupid.  Tripping, sadly, is never the answer, as it drops us to their level. (That’s why I want to be a monkey sometimes, so I can fling poo, and it’ll be okay!)

  5. Geocaching with a compass is what we did in the Army but they used the term orienting I believe.   I usually got lost but at least I had my trusty M-1 rifle to fend off those HCK types.   

  6. Now I understand what this “cache finding” I’ve been hearing about is.  Unfortunately, HCK are probably taught to be that way by their parents, which is really sad.  I suppose it would be small comfort to Little Bit to hear that these kids are probably, somewhere deep in their subconscious, unhappy about being pushed to always be the best at everything.  Hyper-competative parents are the bane of my existence, and probably the bane of a lot of other people and children as well.

  7. My daughter was always the polite child who hung back a bit, too.  That’s why whenever we went to a parade, and candy was thrown, she rarely got any, and sometimes that me as sad as it made her.  Easter egg hunts, or any kind of thing like that were the same. I tried to encourage her to be a little more assertive, but it wasn’t in her nature.   But the good thing is that she grew up and has seen the value of sticking up for yourself without being a jerk about it.

  8. Short of borrowing Barn_Bear’s M-1 rifle for Little Bit, I’m afraid you’re stuck with encouraging her to be more assertive.  It never seems like enough does it?

  9. Oh MY!!!  You’re going to CampGeocachePodville!!!  I have no idea what a “cache” might look like…cache of what?  Camping supplies?  I have a vague idea of what a GPS is.  I’m a map person.  Anyway, I know ALL ABOUT HCKs, but I don’t know what you should tell your nice, polite, quiet child.  I guess tell her to behave as badly as the rest of them, right?  At least it’s a limited period of time with a limited group of people…she can understand that she need only be pushy and rude and obnoxious THIS week, around THESE people.  Then she can go back to being normal.  Otherwise you’re stuck with telling her she just has to smile weakly and try to enjoy it even though the other kids are ruining it for her.  ~sigh~

  10. I have no good advice because I’m so not there yet – we’re still changing diapers here!I think I was similarly unassuming, though, and my mom spent a lot of time telling me to stand up for myself.  Maybe a little bit of pushing herself forward would be a good thing? I don’t know!  It’s complicated and you seem like a pretty great mom already. I trust your instincts. (-:

  11. My kids are also not HCKs and have you ever noticed that such kids are always placed near HCK and bad kids in seating arrangements? They are like neutrons in atoms.  Ignored but if not there things would fly apart. 

  12. @Isismoon – You’re right – the good kids DO end up cheek-to-jowl with the HCKs and other poorly-behaved kids suspiciously often.  I think teachers try to use the good kids as buffers – NOT FAIR!  (I know, the world is not fair, but somehow that is the hardest lesson to accept…)

  13. Yes. You SHOULD tell her to stick her foot out (in a totally sly way) or push her way in front of the pushers.  It’s not fair, so she should get some good ol’ fashioned payback. Yeah, bitches (and bastards!)

  14. I told mine the same you tell Little Bit. And that’s why they hated enrichment camp in elementary and most of middle school. Around 13 or 14, some of the hyper-competitive kids begin to realize what their parents are doing to them, rebel, and drop out. Others remain hyper but the other kids pound them mercilessly for being completely selfish, so the kids change their ways or drop out.Keep up the good work. 

  15. HCKs are not all driven by evil overachieving parents. Some kids are more aggressive than others. As with everything else, there is a normal distribution of aggression. Some kids are average. The rest are more or less than average. It isn’t evil, it is nature. What many children lack, however, is manners. People with better manners usually do better in life. Most creeps end up unhappy after a while. It’s a slow revenge, but it eventually comes around.

  16. that is called the COOL smiley and i am posting it because i am COOL!!! my friends who i will officially BLOG NAME: Dragon and Dark Fairy are watching me write this and saying things like DOES YOUR MOM KNOW YOU READ HER BLOG? So… yeah. This blog post is awesome. YES! TELL LITTLE BIT TO TRIP HCKS OR WHATEVER THEY’RE CALLED!!!!!!!!!!!! OKAY DARK FAIRY IS TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING SO I HAVE TO GO NOW!!! DRAGON LIKES CHEESE. BYE!

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