Hi, Mom (and thank you)!

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37 Responses to Hi, Mom (and thank you)!

  1. Jens says:

    No. Just no.

  2. trixy says:

    there needs to bell curve on that. I used to think my parents were the smartest people ever, then I became a teenager, now I hope to be half as smart as they are.

  3. Christina says:

    I agree with trixy, this aught to be a different curve. Based on my mom’s observation that she suddenly gained 100 IQ points when I turned 24, it’s more of a step ladder.

    smartest ever
    | ____intelligent
    | |
    | |

  4. Christina says:

    ah well, that didn’t work :(

  5. Robert de Forest says:

    Mine would be a sawtooth. It increases until they do some facepalm inducing thing, then it increases again, etc.

    Or it could be a sine wave increasing with my appreciation of the contexts they’ve lived in, then decreasing with hindsight. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.


  6. JP says:

    My dad knows I think he’s a moron but he keeps telling me I’ll change my mind when I’m older. (The guy can’t read or write, his only activity besides work is TV)

    But I have to wonder what kind of sad, sad mind progresses on predetermined rails like that. “When I’m 10 I’ll believe X, at 29 I’ll believe Y” This might make small bit of sense within a culture but what happened to thinking rationally about things? Are you people that intellectually incapacitated?

    But my parents never stopped me from doing anything I really wanted to do. I never made any spectacularly bad decisions either. I have no reason to spite them for anything (aside from their foul character). They’re just dumb and my age won’t fix that.

  7. Phil says:

    JP, I am here to deliver the hugs you missed as a child.


  8. fireflight says:

    I think it’s more of an V-shaped curve, with the sharp drop being the infamous teen years.

  9. Matt SF says:

    I’m in the bell curve camp, but only because I’ve had the “finances” talk about their retirement plan.

  10. Josh says:

    Totally wrong… should be U shaped. How many 5 year olds think their parents are idiots? How many teenagers? How many adults? Get it?

  11. Kel says:

    This curve is correct with respect to my father. Sadly, the curve for my mother has a negative slope. Your mileage may vary.

  12. Simon says:

    It made sense to me, but that was when I read the y-axis as “how smart your parents think you are.”

  13. John Muir says:

    This depends on so much. Certainly wouldn’t work for parents with sufficiently nutty/strong/religious beliefs which their kids then fail to adhere to, with chaotic and dismaying results.

    Also assumes consistent actual intelligence of the parents as they get older and older, unless constrained entirely to hindsight.

    I’m overanalysing. I’m a comment, sue me.

  14. IS says:

    So at what age does that start happening? I could really use my parents being smarter right about now

  15. Mike Lilly says:

    My dad started getting smarter about the time I turned 19. Now, 43 years later, he is a genius. Sorry it’s not working out that way for some of you.

  16. John says:

    I have to side with the curvy camp as well. My father knew everything there was to know, until he started to not be able to help me with my homework. Come senior year, I was convinced he was no help at all. Now that I have graduated college, I have a greater respect for what he does know: problem solving. And to think, he is going to turn into a genius all the sudden if/when I have children of my own and I have no clue how to be a dad.

  17. Mark Twain says:

    When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.

  18. Brian says:

    JP, if your father managed to successfully raise a child without being able to read or write, I’d say he can’t be THAT much of a moron.

    And saying this comic shows a mind progressing on rails misses the point. It’s not about your age determining what you believe. It’s more about the experience that comes with age changing your perspective on the past.

  19. Lisa says:

    I have to agree with the bell curve as well, but Kel is right, mileage may vary. My dad gets the bell (smart, dumb, smart), my mom gets the inverse of this graph (I thought she was smart early on, realizing every year that she is dumber than I thought).

  20. Em says:

    Being uneducated doesn’t mean someone is stupid. Being educated doesn’t mean the person is intelligent.

    Education will give you greater opportunities to use the brain you have. But never make the mistake that someone with little or no education is stupid.

  21. SeekGeek says:

    Love the gap in the beginning :)

  22. Jens says:


    I guess there are two different effects that can’t be expressed with one curve.

    The first is how you see your parents (smart or “intelligent”, as some suggested – english is not my native language but I think there is a huge difference).

    The second one is for understanding (or acceptance) of their decisions.

    The second one would (for me) look like the one pictured here.

    The first would look different: Starting from a hight level dropping to a medium one and diverting for both persons thereafter – dropping much lower for one part, staying roughly on the level for the other.

    (I am 35.)

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  24. fishboy says:

    Heh, nice pick-up SeekGeek :)

  25. Tracy says:

    Wow. I read that as “age” vs. “how smart your parents think you are” and my knee-jerk response was “um, no.” Which is pretty freaking dark indeed, yowza. But your comic at its thought-provoking best, though. Thanks!

  26. Jim says:

    Great thought provoking graph. I agree fishboy! The gap is a great subtlety.

    My experience was not such a positive curve either. but hopefully all the people reading this far down in the list are aware and lucky enough to have a nice positive curve with their children.

    I like that you are able to recognize and appreciate your parents.

  27. Patrick says:

    What would we do without you!

  28. EmberLeo says:

    I think averaging my experience with that of many friends, it starts high, dips in adolescence, goes back up as we try to figure out how to be grown-ups, and then comes down and levels out as we figure out just how human our parents really are (with perhaps a separate rise and dip for folks who learn the whole grown-ups thing separate from the whole being-parents thing).


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  30. Wolfger says:

    Definitely not right. They pegged the meter when I was young, then there was a pretty steep drop-off, a flat line, then a gradual increase to another plateau.

  31. keysburg says:

    I am in the camp still waiting for the ‘rents to get smarter. It may be a lost cause. They fail at life… huge amounts of debt, no retirement savings, in trouble with the IRS.

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  33. Karthik kambatla says:

    Inverted bell curve.

  34. MatteS says:

    3yo – up
    teen – down
    20s – up
    30s – downish (im in the mid 30s atm)
    ..so far.

  35. Thorbjørn says:

    How about an L-shape?

    Old people get really dumb, and start voting with their fears instead of their minds.

    When my mom asked me whether the planets or the stars were closest, I just stopped considering her as a reliable source for help with my homework.

  36. Dee Y. says:

    The curve needs to go the other way.

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