Why Parents Need To Stop Bragging About Their Children

There are many parents who blog these days, and they rarely agree with one another. They argue over everything from co-sleeping to banning video games, breast-feeding to vaccines, but the one thing they can seem to agree on is that parental bragging needs to stop.

In recent months, BabyCenter reported ‘I Hate Hearing About Your Gifted Child’, Cafe Mom listed the ‘8 Most Ridiculous Things Moms Brag About’ and WebMD advised its readers on ‘How To Handle Parents Who Brag About Their Kids.’ It’s annoying when someone else keeps banging on about how wonderful their child is, but for some reason no one can seem to stop.

To an extent, it can be heart-warming to hear a parent talk about how proud they are of their child, especially as parenting is a tough business, and deserves a family wellness victory lap every now and then. However, these days many children do multiple activities, clubs and sports, and so bring home more high scores, ribbons and gold stars. Coupled with the surge in Facebook, FaceTime, Twitter and the like, there are more things to brag about than ever before, and more ways to do it.

So it seems a little moderation is in order, but what are the new rules for parental bragging? Adriana Trigiani, author of Big Stone Gap and The Shoemaker’s Wife, says, ‘Brag about how good a child you have, not how good a parent you are. I’ve noticed when parents brag it’s usually a reflection of their wonderful parenting skills and not their child’s natural abilities.’ Also, brag about the effort your child makes, rather than the achievement itself.

Brad Meltzer, author of The Fifth Assassin and two nonfiction books about children, adds, ‘If you say, “My kid loves reading,” that’s OK. If you say, ‘My kid is the best reader in his grade,’ I start the hate machine.’ Also, don’t pretend your children are perfect, but ‘I want to hear the bragging in the context of real, gritty, poopy life,’ says Meltzer.

Finally, when bragging about your kids, Ian Frazier, author of The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days, says ‘The pleasure you take in something your kid does is greater than the pleasure in something you do yourself, but, after a while, my eye starts to droop.’ Therefore, if you really must brag about your kids, get it over with quickly.


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