This is a little awkward, but ... I think Google may be judging your parenting. Now don't get defensive! I just wanted to mention something a little surprising. The questions we search for could reveal a lot about how we think about our sons and our daughters differently. And according to Google, we're most interested in the intelligence of our sons and the weight of our daughters. Oh parents. How to explain this? I'm afraid we're way more sexist that we realize.
According to a reporter who aggregated searches from Google (let's just trust his math, okay?), parents are more likely to ask "is my son gifted" than "is my daughter gifted." I think it's funny that gender enters the picture at all -- that so many parents bother saying "son" or "daughter" rather than just "child."
And then parents are more likely to ask Google, "is my daughter overweight" than they are to ask "is my son overweight."
You could explain away the intelligence question by pointing out that it can be harder to test boys. Girls outnumber boys in gifted programs, and a lot of child specialists believe it's because girls are more socialized to test well in a school setting. So maybe parents know this and are trying to find their own, less biased way of assessing their kids' intelligence. OR! Maybe parents really do care more about the intelligence of their sons.
As for girls and weight, well, that's a little harder to explain. Think for a moment -- are you more likely to notice the weight of a girl than the weight of a boy? Do boys do get away with a few extra pounds in a way that girls don't?
Our Internet searches do act like a mirror. How do we feel about what they reveal about our parenting? If our searches could talk, quietly at a cocktail party behind our backs, what would they say? "She's obsessed with her daughter's nail biting!" "All he cares about is his son's math scores!"
I mean, check back on your last 10 searches. What do they say about your priorities? Do you even have the same priorities for each kid? Should you? Would you be embarrassed by your searches?
I don't think this is necessarily a reason to censor your Google searches -- or fear to Google judging you. (I was totally kidding about that in the beginning of this post, in case that wasn't obvious.) It's just something to think about.
What do you think your Google searches would reveal about you as a parent?
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