narcissism

I was Homeschooled by a Narcissist… And Other Horror Stories from American Suburbia

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With the demise of public education in this country–which includes under-funding by the government, overcrowded classrooms, ineffectual administrators, and private entities like testing companies having their filthy hands all over your children and their data–it is inevitable that the homeschool movement has grown exponentially over the last couple of years. Instead of trying to improve public education and how our politicians treat our schools, our teachers and our children, many have chosen to pull their children from school all together and educate them at home. Even with a less-than-perfect public education system, I believe it is still infinitely better than homeschooling your child.

This is not an anti-homeschooling blog. There are some instances when I believe homeschooling is appropriate, such as a child with really bad anxiety, a bully situation, an injury or remote living. Even in these situations, there is a right way to homeschool. This includes following professionally designed and state mandated curriculum. It includes professional oversight, with trained and state certified educators coming to your home to make sure your child is learning everything they would in a traditional school setting. And it includes opportunities for group learning with peers, in a format such as a homeschool collective.

And it’s not just fundamentalist Christians homeschooling their children either. Many people in the atheist, skeptic and non-believer communities are homeschooling their kids as well. I find this trend to be very troubling. As skeptics, we tend to be the first ones to condemn a non-vaxxing parent for using snake oil to treat their sick child instead of taking them to a doctor. We criticize parents who think a google search can replace a medical degree. We loathe parents that take medical care into their own hands and think they can replace the professional education and training of doctors, nurses and medical staff. Why don’t some of my fellow skeptics feel the same way about education and teaching?

Some of the excuses I’ve heard from my fellow skeptics for homeschooling their kids are just as ridiculous, if not more ridiculous, than reasons given by religious fundamentalists. The following are some reasons I’ve heard in favor of homeschooling followed by my personal commentary on why they are complete bullshit.

1) “I think I can do a better job than anybody when it comes to educating my children.”

No you can’t. Get over yourself.  Teaching is NOT “so easy a caveman can do it.”

I don’t care if you are Neil Degrasse Tyson. Nothing takes the place of a licensed, professional, experienced, teacher in a public or private classroom who is surrounded by other professional educators, counselors and school support staff. I used to teach high school and I WOULD NEVER homeschool my kids. EVER. Do you think I am extensively trained in early childhood neurological development? How to teach reading to a child? Methods in teaching fractions? I can teach my child about the rise of dictatorial governments throughout Europe following World War I, but I think he would want to learn how to read and play in the sandbox first. If you think you can do at better job educating your child than hundreds of rigorously trained and vetted professionals, you are a self-important narcissist with a grandiose sense-of-self.

2) “I don’t like the curriculum being dictated by a school board. I want to make my own curriculum.”

Okay. That’s nice. You think as a teacher I liked everything in my social studies curriculum? Of course not. But most teachers know how to play with the curriculum and make it enjoyable for students to learn. Curriculum and standards are there for a reason; they ensure your children learn what they need to know to not only graduate, but to become well-rounded adults. Also, professionally trained educators are constantly designing and modifying curriculum to reflect the latest standards, methods and innovations in education. Curriculum is NOT designed by an army of Illuminati robots despite what you read in your FB parenting group.

If you’re wondering why we now have a generation of young adults who think vaccines cause autism and the holocaust never happened, blame the parents who think they know how to write curriculum simply because they shot a child out of their nutsack and/or vagina. Don’t like the curriculum? Supplement your child’s education with further materials and learning experiences. Have a meaningful conversation with them. Visit a museum. Give them experiences that will enrich their lives and grow their empathy, compassion and curiosity. Limiting the amount of people who they learn from, including peers, will only limit the amount of knowledge they acquire.

3) “I want to teach my children what I want them to learn, not what teachers and the government wants my kids to learn.”

A person gains culture and knowledge through interaction with others. I had teachers of all different personalities, political affiliations, backgrounds and cultures. I had mean teachers. I had nice teachers. I had sane teachers. I had crazy teachers. I had extremely intelligent teachers and a handful of clueless ones too. I learned from them all. I learned a variety of views and experiences.

I’m a non-believer. I’d like my son to be a non-believer as well. However, if he learns some religion and wants to be a bible thumping Christian, then I’m cool with that too. As long as he treats others with respect, kindness and compassion. Many homeschooling parents are afraid their little snowflakes will learn something evil or different at school from teachers or other children–views that might question a parent’s authority, beliefs, and fears. What if I told you not everyone has to think as you do, not even your child. They are not an extension of you. They are individuals with their own thoughts and agency. If you only want your child to know what you WANT them to know–to only know your views and your experiences–you are a self-important narcissist with a grandiose sense-of-self.

4) “I don’t want the school to call Children’s Services on me.”

This is a reason why some homeschooling/unschooling parents don’t want to send their kids to evil government schools. Teachers, counselors and other school staff are mandated reporters and are trained to identify signs of abuse and neglect, such as changes in behavior or physical appearance. Mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse can not be detected by school staff when a child does not attend a school. Homeschooling is a way abusers can get away with their crimes. It also prevents a child from escaping from an abusive situation, even if it’s just for six hours a day. And if you’re looking for a common thread here to connect to my other points, narcissistic personality disorder is a common feature of abusive parents.

5) “The schools are bad in our area.”

This is racist/classist code language for “I don’t want my little Caligula sharing a classroom with a poor and/or brown child.” What is interesting about this argument is that I see it put forth mostly by so-called progressives and leftists. If you’re so progressive, you should have no issues with your children learning from children who are different from them.

6) “My kid is not challenged at public school because he/she is too smart.”

Most parents who proclaim their kids are too smart and therefore bored at public school are completely full of shit. They are suffering from special snowflake syndrome; they think their special DNA and special homeschooling is producing the next child prodigy. These are the types of parents that take all the credit for their child’s hard work and achievements, since they were the only ones smart enough to recognize their child was a special snowflake whom is too good to share a classroom with the rest of the plebes.

Teachers do something now called differentiated instruction. We recognize that every child has specific strengths and weaknesses, and we individually tailor instruction just for your special snowflake! There are special programs for gifted and talented children. Your kid being a genius or a prodigy is still no excuse for you to solely educate them. Wouldn’t they become a better genius or prodigy if they learned from others besides yourself? Isolating them from the ideas of others because you think your child is better than everyone else is definitely not going to make them better than everyone else. But let’s admit, homeschooling is not about them. It’s about you and your ego.

7) “Public education is in shambles. If the schools were better, I’d send my kids and I can’t afford private school “

If you gave a damn about public education, you’ would still send your kids to school while fighting to change policies like other parents and professionals do.  So let’s get to what this is really about: you. Homeschooling proves to the rest of your friends and family (and blog subscribers) what a super mom or dad you are by taking on a huge responsibility, while being smarter (and smuggier) than the average momma bear.

“Look at me–Look at me. Look how awesome I am homeschooling my special snowflake. I’m so much better than you! Nanny Nanny poo poo!

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Stop Being an AskHole

Mommy Dearest doesn't really want your advice. She just wants validation.

Mommy Dearest doesn’t really want your advice. She just wants validation.

It’s happened again. I’ve been banned from another page. This seems to happen quite often. It’s never for name-calling or harassment; it’s usually for bringing to light a truth that the page’s admin doesn’t like to hear. This time, it was a mommy Facebook page for simply stating the obvious; something that people don’t want to hear, but they know it’s the truth:

If you crowd source advice or a problem you are having, why do you complain when you get some responses that don’t confirm your bias? Clearly, you did not want advice in the first place; you just want validation for your poor life choices.

You want someone to pat you on the back and tell you it’s okay to pop out 5 kids when you can’t afford them. Don’t worry, God public assistance will provide.

You want people to tell you it’s okay to want to homeschool your kid even though you don’t know the difference between there, their and they’re.

You want someone to tell you it’s all right to let your kid “deal with” a 103 fever without taking him to the doctor because doctors, Big Pharma and Tylenol are all part of an evil government plot to give your kid the Autizms.

You want someone to tell you it’s perfectly healthy to enforce antiquated gender roles upon your daughter and then expect nobody to tell you that it’s going to blow up in your face when she’s old enough to realize you’re a hypocritical ass-bag.

You don’t want to hear constructive and critical advice. All you want to hear is “Good job mama!”, “God Bless you!”, “I’m praying for you” and “Try this herbal remedy…”

To quote my friend Holly S., these people are “Askholes”!

Askholes existed before Facebook and its mommy groups, havens for the validation of Askholes and all other kinds of stupidity. I remember one particular Askhole I worked with who queried me one day about which route I thought best to get to a certain place. When I described what route I would take, he preceded to argue with me that it wasn’t the shortest route and that I should take his route. So why the fuck did you ask me how to get there in the first fucking place? 

And this brings me to a major theme that runs through many of my blog posts…

Narcissism

We have becoming so increasingly self-involved that we don’t want to listen to what anybody else has to say. We don’t want to accept that someone might have a better idea other than ourselves. We just want to hear validation and praise for our own shitty ideas. If someone is critical or disagrees with us, they’re a Debbie Downer or a judgmental meany.

When I do ask for advice, whether it be through a friend or the rare occasion I crowd source my FB page, I don’t argue with people what is the best advice. I listen to what everyone has to say and then I decide what would be the best plan of action. I don’t complain when I don’t like the advice. I don’t argue with you about it

I think it takes some maturity to eventually realize you do not possess all the answers and never will. We’re devolving as a society because we’re so wrapped up in ourselves that we forgot why we became the top species. In case you forgot, it was through mutual help and understanding. When we listen to others, we thrive as individuals as well as collectively.

Oh, and crowd sourcing for serious medical conditions like this twat-waffle is a serious no-no:

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Just F’n Stop It : Mike Francesa the Elitist Blowhard

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The exclusive interview!!!! Coincidence?

Cease and desist now Mike. Put the mic and the diet coke down. Why in the world would you, after all that has been said and done, support one of the biggest narcissists in modern sports? I will tell you why. You are also a huge narcissist. You exhibit all the symptoms, most notably your fragile ego. I remember when you fell asleep on air with Sweeny Murti! Then you blew a gasket on live radio when callers the next day were phoning in and making fun of you. You couldn’t take a joke Mike.

You sycophantically cater to elitist non-sense–as evident of your tedious, boring coverage of golf and horse racing. You hang up and interrupt the average fan, yet give A-ROID a continuous and uninterrupted platform to lie and connive his way through life.  While listening to you, I have also caught you in several lies . And when a caller catches you out on it, you completely deny it. You and A-ROID; birds of a feather.

And bringing your sons on the radio this past weekend… Really Mike? Can you get any more narcissistic than putting your progeny on the air? No one wants to hear an 8 year old’s picks for AFC championship game. In fact, I don’t think I want to hear your picks either.

Hipster Hate Mail

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My first piece of hate mail/comment. I am so honored. What little 20 something year old Mike doesn’t realize is that the more he flaps his gums, the farther along my blog goes. For someone who doesn’t think it will go far, he’s trying an awful lot to promote it. I was about to dismiss Mike as someone living in New York off their parents’ money, with nothing to do but ride the subway with his pants off. But then I read his post again and realized Mike and his attitude is what is wrong with the Millennial generation–not just hipsters.  (The italics are his words, the bold type is what he really means.)

“Fuck nugget” Wow. Your blog is clearly going to go so far. (I have nothing else to respond with after being called a fucknugget)

Also, attacking hipsters? You’re so inventive and original! How many millions of viewers do you have? Billions? Zillions? I bet it’s Zillions because you have talent. Real talent. Not that type of Improv Everywhere talent that leads to millions of fans, write ups in The New York Times or being featured on countless television programs. (I only decide what is worthy and good by how many views it gets on Youtube and if it’s written up in New York Times because I’m that fucking shallow and have no brain of my own. If you’re not on youtube or written up in the New York Times, you’re a nobody. I might also work for the PR department of Improv Everywhere.)

No, you have the type of talent that will lead to fucking nothing, no money, or anything positive delivered to your sub-human existence.  (If you don’t have money, like me, well its actually my parents’ money, you’re a nobody. And the only way you’ll be somebody is with money. Things that cost money or give off the appearance of wealth are the only things that are good.)

Enjoy complaining about people who matter in society… (Hipsters like me think I matter and have talent, but I’m actually a herpes sore on the labia of society. We have done nothing to contribute culturally to this city besides asking morons on Kickstarter to fund our pointless and talentless urban art projects and rooftop, sustainable, bee-keeping. If I keep telling myself that I matter, will I make it so, God?)

 and don’t forget to update your website which appears to have been designed by an emotionally unstable monkey (I’m so clever! Look at me Look at me. I made an analogy)

This blog wasn’t even going to focus on hipsters, it just happened to be what my first blog post was about. And Mike’s attitude regarding what is worthy is society, fame and money, is endemic of the generation Mike is apart of. Reality TV and every dick with a camera phone has made young Americans like Mike believe things only matter if they’re in a VINE, or on Instagram, or star in a reality-TV show, or get written up in the New York Times. We need to raise better judges of talent if we want America to be great again.