Thursday, March 22, 2012

Being Cute Is Not Sustainable For Most

"If God had wanted us to be concerned for the plight of toads, he would have made them cute and furry." ~ Dave Barry

I wasn't a cute kid.  So I haven't personally experienced the benefits of being cute.  Our seven year old daughter is an extremely cute and adorable child.  Mine is not the biased opinion of a parent.  Everyone tells me how cute my daughter is.   In fact, some people at my church know my daughter by name and acknowledge me as our daughter's dad, instead of by my name.

Although my daughter doesn't purposely leverage her cuteness, she does get a lot of benefits.  For example, she often gets extra "gifts" from retailers.   When she was four, the manager at a Burger King decided  to give her the toys from a child's meal even though we only ordered a hamburger.  At the state fair last summer, our daughter was admiring some inexpensive marbles and the proprietor decided to give her a small bag for no charge.  Last week, I took our daughter to a coin shop since she started collecting state quarter and the owner gave her three 100 year coins as starter for future options to consider collecting. 

Now, the gifts are typically less than $5 in retail value and probably a lot less in wholesale value.  Still  I don't want our daughter to start expecting "unexpected" gifts or using her cuteness to get her way.  Why?  Because there is a high probability that our daughter won't be cute when she is older.  So she it will be important to  develop more skills than just being cute :-)

My conclusion is based on limited observation that I believe is representative.

  • Teaching K-2.  For the past three years, I've been teaching a K-2 after school program.  I estimate that 60% of the kids are really cute, 20% are kind of cute, 10% are neutral and 10% are not cute.  So about 80% are cute and 20% are not cute.

  • Parents.  If cuteness was lasting, I would expect the same proportion of parents to have the attribute.  Based on my observation, only about 10% of parents can be categorized as cute, and they are generally the younger ones.  There rest are either neutral, at best, or more often, not cute. 

  • I don't know why cuteness declines with age.  Perhaps, the decline is due to stress, more responsibility or just getting older.  However, I do know being cute doesn't last so it's important to develop good skills on which one can depend :-)
    For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2012 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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