My 72-year-old mom isn't this wise.
January 2, 2017 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Jeez, I wish I was so competent and capable at presentation speaking.
If you let her wander up and down a bit and occasionally drink a sip of water she could pretty much just do all TED talks from now.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:24 AM on January 2, 2017 [35 favorites]

And she plays the piano as well.

These folks are good parents.
posted by HuronBob at 6:37 AM on January 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think once she lays off the booze I think she's gonna crush it, but until then I think it might be an uphill battle.
posted by nevercalm at 7:18 AM on January 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

I have tried to spread the word on this. People don't want to hear it! First of all, some people make NY resolutions really work for them. Back when I used to spend a lot of time on a support board for drinking, the n00bs would come surging in every January, as expected, but some of them would be there a year later. As for the population that thinks it's some obligatory ritual, needed to show that they are a "good person", or the kind of person who "gives up" non-existent addictions like coffee when they only even drink it once a day, they usually aren't real thrilled with your devastating exposure of them as dupes and fools and little machine men, for some reason.
posted by thelonius at 7:23 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

All I know is that it's annoying how busy the gym gets this time of year. I try to be gracious and friendly and encouraging because I know it will be back to normal in February and I genuinely think the world would be better if people were healthier and felt better. Don't let the hassle and disparaging eyes from the regulars get you down, if you stick with it til February, you'll be a regular!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:38 AM on January 2, 2017 [10 favorites]

Btw, the Bartfast resolution plan is 10 minutes of guided meditation per day, seems doable. Also, cut back on drinking. Also, no skipped days of exercise. And practice guitar every day, because I've also resolved to get a new band together. Oh yeah and be a more mindful parent. And walk to work more. And while we're talking about work, trying to have harder limits there and not taking it home. And be more financially disciplined.

But that's all, seems doable.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:43 AM on January 2, 2017 [14 favorites]

I cured myself of New Years diet resolutions by almost always flying home on New Years Eve. Nothing cures your diet resolution faster than coming home to a house with no food and no prospect of getting some from anywhere other healthier than Dominos. Thus I start pretty much every January by eating leftover pizza for three days.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:49 AM on January 2, 2017 [7 favorites]

Ordering pizza sounds like the Best Idea Ever right now. But that may be the cold medicine talking.

Little kids with accents (to my American ear) are one of my top things in life.
posted by something something at 7:56 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

That was strange, rehearsed, artificial. I worry about the kid.
posted by DMelanogaster at 8:01 AM on January 2, 2017 [49 favorites]

When I was her age I was unclear on the concept of a new year. I remember asking my mom if it was ever going to be 1984 again, and being a little unsettled that it never would.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:02 AM on January 2, 2017 [16 favorites]

DMelanogaster: yeah, that and the piano playing may indicate that she's under a lot of pressure to perform well, which I personally, as a parent, have issues with. The message is pretty good though, and maybe indicates that the parents aren't as rigid as the performance may indicate? I dunno.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:09 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is a weird time to have a preschooler/ little kid of one's own because the internet serves up a constant stream of these kids that talk and act like adults and meanwhile my four year old is yelling at me from the bathroom to please come wipe his bum.

I have an internet friend whose twins may in fact be as precocious as she reports on Facebook but somehow I'm just not entirely sure because there's such incentive to present your offspring as fonts of preternatural wisdom and talent. (See above.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:12 AM on January 2, 2017 [17 favorites]

First, yeah, I would like to believe this is a gifted precocious child doing something she enjoys (as she is in the piano video). But there are some serious red flags here.

Second, my NY resolution is the same it's been for a while: This year I resolve not make any resolutions.
posted by Frayed Knot at 8:13 AM on January 2, 2017

The first video that followed for me was also completely adorable.
posted by Guy Smiley at 8:18 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have tried to spread the word on this. People don't want to hear it!

You're not a 4-year-old with parents making you memorize lines for Youtube so they can go viral.
posted by kimberussell at 8:33 AM on January 2, 2017 [11 favorites]

That was strange, rehearsed, artificial. I worry about the kid.

I'm with DMelanogaster, but it went a step beyond that in that I wondered who wrote the script, got the kid to do it, and how.

To me, it immediately stood out as something 100% written by an adult. Come, the analogies - toilet, bike, and then throw them back in as to what to do with it, "of course, don't flush them down the toilet" to "now I will go ask for a bike." It bugged me more that someone would try to pass it off as being from a child, and in the end, both ends of the spectrum of opinions on resolutions are just that, random ideas and trying to elicit an emotion.

But I poked around because I was curious, are there signs of how this was made? The same person who made the first video also made this.... bubbly just do it video by 3 year old and if you hunt around, there is an adult saying the exact same script behind a green screen...bubbly just do it video by adult.

Do I think it will hurt a kid? No, I would bet dollars to donuts the kid has no idea what the content of the script is and at that age its a game.

My bigger question is why in the hell am I in here and why did I spend several minutes on this? Off to block the internet for the day....
posted by Wolfster at 8:33 AM on January 2, 2017 [10 favorites]

Wolfster, the adult doing the 'just do it' motivational speech is Shaia LaBouf and it was a ploy to make it go viral and invite others to do the same. So that's that.

The little girl doing the NY resolution thing, though, that made me uncomfortable for many of the reasons others have stated above.
posted by cooker girl at 8:40 AM on January 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm going to speak at least a bit counter to DMelanogaster and others, here. My daughter (who is now 18) could have done this with very little effort at the same age. She has a natural charisma and style much like this kid. We still have a wonderful video of her singing a short little song she made up that was eerily profound for her age (I think she was 5 at that time), which she finds deeply embarrassing but is so charming it's almost painful.

We didn't and don't share this stuff, but there are seriously kids out there that are like this pretty much on their own. Without much guidance they are both capable of, and interested in, doing things like this.

I cannot comment on this particular family's circumstances, however.
posted by tclark at 8:44 AM on January 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

Sit and read these things I've written. I love you. You will be talking about choices, but you have no choice. Sit there and play for me. In a couple of years we can put you on camera where you talk about the bullying you suffered because of this. It's a whole series.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 8:44 AM on January 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

50 years ago, I was that type of precocious child, and I am very grateful that there were no videos and no youtube. I hated what my parents put me through in order to impress their friends and family, I hated that family members and the children of my parents' friends hated me for it, and I hated having no friends of my own because I was always two or three grades ahead in school. When I was 10, I was finally allowed to choose, and chose to be in a class with kids my own age, went through a terrible year of being bullied till I'd learnt age-appropriate behavior and never turned back. Don't do this to your kids, guys.
posted by mumimor at 8:55 AM on January 2, 2017 [13 favorites]

I remember asking my mom if it was ever going to be 1984 again, and being a little unsettled that it never would.

Good news! It's 1984 again!
posted by maxsparber at 8:58 AM on January 2, 2017 [65 favorites]

I don't think there's any doubt that the kid was coached heavily on what to say in this video. I think reading a level of creepiness or concern for the kid into it is maybe going a bit far. Little kids do plays and Christmas concerts and whatnot where they memorize songs and skits. Absent any evidence of abusive coercion, I don't find this any more disturbing than watching my 4-year-old niece try to sing Jingle Bells in Japanese.

On the other hand, I find small children on TV and the radio to be far more annoying than adorable, so I did watch the whole thing wishing the message was being presented by whatever grown-up person actually wrote it.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:58 AM on January 2, 2017 [7 favorites]

Good news! It's 1984 again!

Finally! I'm going back to my room to play with Rainbow Brite and -- oh wait
posted by Countess Elena at 9:12 AM on January 2, 2017 [11 favorites]

so I did watch the whole thing wishing the message was being presented by whatever grown-up person actually wrote it.

I got about fifteen seconds in and decided as much. Even better would be a knowing ten or eleven year old, making no effort to sound like they weren't reading from cue-cards, maybe swigging from a bottle wine.
posted by philip-random at 9:14 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

I felt like it was a kid who had maybe seen an adult give these kinds of motivational speeches - like maybe one of her parents is a self-help leader who maybe even does their own videos. So it's both sincere and mimicry. She's a cute kid, for sure! I hope all the ad dollars are going into a trust for her.
posted by amanda at 9:15 AM on January 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm willing to believe that this is the kind of thing you get when the parents aren't into sports, weektime isn't spent going to league practice and games, and weekends (and more) aren't spent plugged into the couch watching sports on TV. It's a little insufferable in the delivery, but I'm not sure there are any red flags here if there wouldn't be if it was a video of her talking about how to throw a strike.
posted by rhizome at 9:17 AM on January 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

The problem there is that the "message" is the child and her performance, which was quite enjoyable for what it was. But the message she is conveying is old hat, and not particularly accurate, or no more accurate than it's opposite depending on the person applying themselves to change. It can be just as self-defeating to tell yourself you can always try to change again later since it removes the impetus for success now and allows continual procrastination. Change doesn't come only through a single method one can preach as "the way" it can be achieved by either absolute adherence to a single beginning effort, or achieved over time, but in the latter case there necessarily still has to be some final single effort made that differentiates the time before and the time after the change was effected.

As a message then this is more about not feeling like an unachieved new year's resolution is a failure than it is a path to successful change. It's a feel good message, and in that somewhat enabling of continuity of behavior since failure is, by this message, expected. This in itself can be true enough in many cases, but inculcating that thought pattern, that I won't succeed, can diminish the drive to succeed and thus act as a aid or ready made excuse for failure. That the message links this to broader concepts of "good" things one might do in one of those many moments that will make up the rest of our lives, like love instead of hate, may be a nice thought, but it further removes the overall context of the video as any sort of decent advice or aid into a general "feel good" message which has minimal benefit other than in appreciation, or not, of the child delivering the rather generically upbeat message.

As for the child, I have no idea what her interests are or what, if any, pressure she is under to perform and perform in a specific manner, so I won't speculate on any of that.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:28 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

When I was about this child's age, the thing that frustrated me more than anything was trying to explain myself but stumbling over the words or forgetting part of what I'd wanted to say. If I had a thought that I deemed important, I would go to my room and extensively practice reciting it before coming out and sharing it with others. This often caused non-sequiters, as whatever conversation or circumstances had sparked the thought had passed and been forgotten by the time I was ready to make my contribution.

My sister, who was a couple of years younger, would go to the mirror when she was upset and practice making angry faces until she found just the right one to unleash on us.

There was never any pressure from our parents to perform in this manner. Some kids are just perfectionists. I mean, I get that we have to wring our hands about whether this child is having her little soul crushed, because MetaFilter's gonna MetaFilter, but a lot of kids are just like this.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:51 AM on January 2, 2017 [10 favorites]

When my sister was 3 or 4, she could recite reams of Chinese poetry.

I asked her about that this past holidays and she can't even remember that was something that she could do.
posted by porpoise at 10:19 AM on January 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

That was strange, rehearsed, artificial.

I would add cloying and twee.
posted by dmh at 10:20 AM on January 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

A friend once explained a philosophy of New Year's Resolutions that I really liked. I'm a little hazy on all get criteria (I was probably drunk), but basically make them concrete and achievable rather than open ended lifestyle changes. Something you know you can do, if you just go do it.

This year I've got one (so far, I might come up with others), which is to ride a bike any distance. I haven't done that in probably decades and I've got a daughter now who'll probably want to learn when she's older.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:22 AM on January 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

That was strange, rehearsed, artificial.

I would add cloying and twee.

Boy, you're going to have a hard time with Shirley Temple.
posted by maxsparber at 10:23 AM on January 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

Hard Time with Shirley Temple (2007): A long-shot come-back deal, this XM-radio-based talk show was positioned as a competitor to Howard Stern and other risque, uncensored programs. Fortunately, it only lasted two episodes, the second of which ended with a twelve-minute description of Frank Sinatra's dick.
posted by clockzero at 10:37 AM on January 2, 2017 [12 favorites]

You're not a 4-year-old with parents making you memorize lines for Youtube so they can go viral.

You're telling me! Mommy and Daddy are telling me that if I just write one more Metafilter: tagline, I'll go viral and then I can stop.

Metafilter: Our 4 year olds never go viral.
posted by ambrosen at 11:03 AM on January 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

No, I would bet dollars to donuts the kid has no idea what the content of the script is and at that age its a game.

Just casually throw donuts into the discussion like it isn't a thread about new years resolutions.
posted by srboisvert at 11:13 AM on January 2, 2017 [15 favorites]

My niece who is a couple of years older than this kid has a Youtube channel and has been making videos since she was around four. While there's no way of knowing whether this kid's video was created in the same way, her videos tend to get the same divided reaction ("Oh, that's cute!" vs "Ugh. Why are her parents making her do this?") so I think it might be useful to explain the collaborative process used for making her videos and how there's a middle ground in between something unwatchably meandering that is clearly all the kid's work and something borderline abusive that's been forced on them by an adult against their wishes.

If this were one of my niece's videos, it would have come about because of a conversation with her dad about what New Year's resolutions are, (probably prompted by an episode of My Little Pony or something where the characters make NYRs.) They'd talk about what the different family members' resolutions might be (the bike, the toilet) and why striving for positive change is a good thing, but allowing yourself to be limited by resolutions is a bad thing, because four-year-olds are sponges and pretty much everything is a teachable moment, (but also because he doesn't want her giving him too much shit for not immediately succeeding in the resolution she's just assigned to him.)

Anyway, later he overhears her explaining all this stuff about resolutions to her little brother, (because kids love sharing what they learn) and it is fucking adorable, so he asks if she wants to do a video that they can put on Youtube and show to her grandmother. Which of COURSE she does, because being on Youtube is like being on TV! Except if you're 4 in 2017, Youtube is actually better than TV because you can watch stuff on the ipad from inside a blanketfort which you can't do with a regular TV. Also it's easier to find stuff to watch because unlike the TV with its tiny buttoned remote control and menus full of channels and programme listings, the ipad has a kid-friendly GUI with simplified icons, a touchscreen interface and voice recognition so that you can search for videos yourself long before you learn how to read just by pushing the little microphone icon and shouting "Disney songs!" and the only adult intervention required is somebody to sit in the blanketfort and watch videos with you while wearing an expression of either awe (Holy shit, I live in the future!) or dread (If you press repeat on Hakuna Matata for the fifth time, I will not be responsible for my actions.)

So anyway, Dad makes a script based on their conversation and runs it by her, then they film it with him saying the lines for her to repeat and with her adding hand gestures. Then he edits it together with her standing next to the computer saying "Isitdoneyet? Isitdoneyet? Isitdoneyet? Isitdoneyet?" until he puts it on a private Youtube channel to share with the grandparents and various other family members, who all text to say that it's amazingly cute but they want to share it with a friend. Can you make the channel public, please? So Dad ums and ahs for a bit, but eventually does make the channel public and his kid is so ridiculously excited to be a "Youtube Star" that it becomes a regular project. They chat at bedtime about videos they can make. They sit in the blanketfort together evaluating the possibilities of doing different Youtube challenges. He starts carrying a GoPro everywhere because if they're at the park and she suddenly decides she wants to do a POV shot of herself going down the big slide for the vlog, then he wants her to be shooting it with something sturdier than his phone. She hums a little musical sting that she's made up whicb she says she wants to be the theme tune to her vlog and asks him to transcribe it and send it to somebody who can record themselves playing it on the piano. When she's learning to read, her favourite way to practice is by using scripts for the vlog, because everything is still a teachable moment when you're five and by six she's writing the first draft of some scripts herself. She keeps a list of video ideas on a chalkboard in her room and shows them proudly to visitors. Her dad is forced to buy Adobe Creative suite to keep up with her demands for special effects. The project gradually expands.

In a few years time, she will ask her parents for a puppy and upon being told that she isn't responsible enough to look after it and would lose interest after the first week of so, she will - with the air of one laying down an ace - point out that she's maintained a regular weekly update schedule for her vlog for the last three years because she loves the vlog and she would love a puppy even more. Meanwhile, her father will wonder how did this become his life?
posted by the latin mouse at 11:34 AM on January 2, 2017 [32 favorites]

Needs more cats.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:18 PM on January 2, 2017

Unwatchable dreck made worse by the phony hand motions, obvious cuts to hide the coaching, fake kid concerns (toilet, etc.) and the knowledge that this poor kid will cringe looking back on her cheerful participation in her own exploitation. Yuck.
posted by carmicha at 1:38 PM on January 2, 2017 [5 favorites]

Related: there is nothing sadder (in both senses of the word) than a kid who's been told a certain behavior is cute and is now chewing the scenery in a desperate (and unknowingly insufferable) bid for approval and attention. It's unbearable.
posted by carmicha at 1:44 PM on January 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

I thought it was cute. The end.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:59 PM on January 2, 2017

A mentor of mine once pointed this out a long time ago to me. What they recommended be done instead was to develop a positive habit or volunteer your time in a way some more. So yeah, getting rid of something is a loss, and it means that your brain has put something into the category of 'wrong' or 'bad'. And that makes it harder. Opting to learn guitar as per Slarty Bartfast or putting in the time to be a contributing member of society - even if just once - makes an immediate tangible improvement to your skill set and or the lives of others.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:14 PM on January 2, 2017

My new year's resolution is to stop buying pre-shredded permesan cheese. I've bought a rotary cheese grater. I'm ready.

Let's do this.
posted by gurple at 2:30 PM on January 2, 2017 [10 favorites]

Good parenting 2017 version:

Force your kids to memorize monologues and otherwise perform on YouTube so your channel can go viral. But if the thing they're reciting is at least remotely palatable (better yet: vaguely positive!), then it's okay!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:44 PM on January 2, 2017

these kids that talk and act like adults and meanwhile my four year old is yelling at me from the bathroom to please come wipe his bum.

Almost entirely unrelated except insofar as it pertains to bum-wiping and four year olds being adorable/insufferable, but my sister had a great one to share last week about my four year old nephew.

4YO: Mom, will you come and wipe my bum?
SIS: Yes, yes, okay.
4YO: You like wiping my bum, don't you?
SIS: (Sarcastic) Yes, 4yo. I love it.
4YO: (Trying out new vocabulary) That's right. It's your talent!
SIS: (Indignant huff) And what's your talent, 4yo?
4YO: (With supreme self-confidence) Tennis. Or maybe golf.

At which point he skipped blithely away and my sister was left muttering "You've never so much as picked up a racquet, you rotten little sod", but very quietly, so he wouldn't hear.

It was made even better by this exchange when I was last looking after him.

4YO: TLM, will you come and wipe my bum?
TLM: Who wipes your bum at school, 4yo?
4YO: I do it there, but not at home.

Can't deprive his mom of a chance to show off her talent, I suppose.
posted by the latin mouse at 2:47 PM on January 2, 2017 [6 favorites]

That goat will be dead within eight days.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 3:07 PM on January 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

Didn't watch the video, read the comments. Am bumfoozled by the divide.

*watches vid*

Way too cute. Seriously. Waaaaay. Too cute.

However, she's obviously a precocious child, great social skills, and a big ham with a great vocabulary and is probably reading already, so she can handle a script without mega-prompting. She obviously hasn't been drilled into a monotone or had her spirit broken in the parents' pursuit of aggrandizement via having the fruit of their loins going YouTube viral.

We don't seem to get all wrapped around kids performing as money-makers in commercials or movies, so whatever. Somebody's at least having fun.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:12 PM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

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