Friday chat: Am I bragging?

July 17, 2015

bragging about your kids

When you praise your kids to friends, is it bragging?  Schools out and I could not be more proud of Anya.  She has achieved so much this year – getting the achievers award for her year as well as a fabulous report.  A report that made me cry because not only was it great on the learning and academic front, but the wonderful things they wrote about her as a person made my heart swell with pride.  But why is it considered boasting to tell others that your child has done well?  Why is it not acceptable to be proud of your child in public?  Why do some parents feel the need to put you down if you praise your child?

As a habit, I don’t speak much about Anya’s achievements to anyone apart from family.  But I happened to mention these latest achievements to a ‘friend’ and she immediately turned around and said something jokingly (but with a clear sarcastic edge) along the lines of how I couldn’t stop talking about my super star child.  I had mentioned it once.  It was the day I found out about her achievers award and naturally I was bursting with pride.  This is a recent example but I have been faced with this same situation before. 

I get that if you constantly talk about how great your kid is then it is annoying, very annoying and that is showing off.  If every update on facebook is about your how your 2 year old is reading War and Peace then yes, that’s not cool.  But to once mention an achievement or something fabulous they have done should be more than ok.  After all you should be able to share your proud parent moments with friends and expect them to be happy for you.  I am equally happy to talk about Anya’s faults (like her making crazy faces every time I get the camera out 😉) and I don’t ever hide them so why shouldn’t I speak of her accomplishments?  When friends tell me about the wonderful things their kids have achieved, I am genuinely happy for them.  It’s not a competition – if my kid did something great, it’s not a reflection on your kid.  In fact it has nothing to do with your kid.

On the flip side, if you talk about your child’s faults or shortcomings, everybody seems more than happy to listen.  Those same people that dismiss the good stuff, are all ears when it comes to the bad stuff.  Strange.  This isn’t a rant, but I’m genuinely wondering how parents feel about this – maybe some people will say that me mentioning it even once was showing off.  I personally think that we should be comfortable praising our kids to others beyond family.  If they’ve done something that made you proud, why not tell people and expect them to be happy for you.  Of course, I’m not saying that every conversation should revolve around your ah-mazing kid who can do no wrong.   But there is a big difference between bragging about your kids and just being proud of an achievement.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and any ‘bragging’ experiences you’ve had, good or bad?

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  • thefolia

    Brag all you want…if she won’t listen then talk about your pride and joy to someone else especially with such great news…how can you contain yourself right?

    • ebabee likes

      That was just it – normally I am very contained but on this occasion I was just too excited!

  • HonestMum

    Oh darling, this makes me so sad, firstly let’s give her the benefit of the doubt-bad day or perhaps she was never praised as a child and is projecting or feels her kids are not succeeding and you touched a raw nerve unknowingly but really, you know what as adults we need to behave as adults and real friends are happy for you, happy when your kids shine, are there to hold your hand when times are tough too and they want the best for you. Period. I’ve got all American on your ass because I feel passionate about this. I’m all about thinking the best of others but I think if this is something from her that happens continuously, don’t really invest in the friendship and come speak to me because I’d want to list about smart, beautiful Anya all day and we must celebrate our kids’ achievements and our own and not be scared it makes others feel inadequate. P.S I love the faces she pulls in front of the camera, such a character. Loved this post x

    • ebabee likes

      Thank you lovely. I’m just a bit taken aback as to why people can’t be happy for you. But as you say – benefit of doubt and put it down to a bad day for now. I know you are so kind, giving and supportive and that’s what real friendships should be about. xx

  • Mirka Moore @Kahanka @Fitness4Mamas

    Who is this so called friend? Friends are here to listen and even if you talked about your little one’s achievement all the time, she should support you. I know this is not your case, as i happen to know you xxx You should be so proud and tell the world! xxx

  • @Jax2000 Mummy's Little Monkey

    Kiwis are a bit funny about mentioning achievements; you’re taught from birth not to go on about yourself, or ‘show off’ in any way – to the point where people will always downplay themselves rather than give themselves any credit.

    I hope my girls grow up with the right balance of humility, and pride in themselves and their achievements. There is NOTHING wrong being a proud Mum, and also nothing wrong with taking pride in knowing you helped mould that lovely, talented, hardworking girl. Keep on boasting!!! 😉 xxx

    • ebabee likes

      Thanks – I know exactly what you mean as we are brought up the same way – stay humble, modest etc and totally downplay! I don’t normally talk about achievements for exactly that reason. But once in a while it comes out and I agree, we should be publicly proud of our kids and ourselves (in moderation) xxx

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