My twelve-year-old son Optimist Prime has always prided himself on never following the crowd and never doing something just because the popular kids say it’s cool. It has me kind of worried. The doctors tell us he should have outgrown his idealism by now. His mother and I are having a hard time making him understand that going along with the crowd can be a lot of fun.
OP was born into the world as an undercover adult. He’s always found it easy to talk with adults, and when kids his age complain about a teacher or parent, far from being a sympathetic ear, he usually takes the adult’s side.
He read Steve Jobs’ 600-page biography. Three times. This year. Play a video game already!
He just finished an 800-page history of The Beatles and the thing he mentioned most was how exhausting he found John Lennon’s immaturity, lack of focus, and drug use in contrast to Paul McCartney’s responsible nature.
Recently he told me he was assigned to a group and he complained to the teacher that he was the only one in his group doing any work. I had to put my foot down.
“Let me get this straight. You told the teacher the other kids were acting like kids?
“Yeah. It’s not fair that I’ll get a bad grade because they won’t work.”
“I’m sorry your mother and I didn’t make this clear years ago, but making friends is way more important than getting good grades.”
We sat down and I told him he should go along with the crowd about 75% of the time. I tried to give him a pep talk, “You could change your whole image. Go along with the crowd. Be responsible in secret. This could be the start of a whole new Optimist Prime. You’ll go to school on Monday and give them Optimist Prime 2.0.”
Optimist Prime 2.0
–3x less boreing!
–4% more awesome!
–2% more popular
–38% More classy
–1% more sexy
–47% less perverted
and thats only a tip of the iceberg
Release date: Mon.
On a completely unrelated note…
…sometimes I wonder if The Fonz is happy.