We’ve all done it at least once and, in fact, many of us do it quite often. You know what I’m talkin’ about – the mommy brag. And make no mistake, daddies brag too.
I’ve noticed a trend lately of parents apologizing about their bragging.
“Sorry to flood your Facebook feed with pictures of little Johnny holding his medals!”
Or, how about, “Warning: Kid Brag Alert – Susie got straight A’s!!”
Don’t worry, I’m not here to berate you, but I am going to ask…why are you apologizing? If you’re putting it out there, then you must want people to see it. Are you afraid that people will judge you, think you’re annoying or self-centred?
Well, guess what? I don’t think that at all. In fact, I enjoy hearing what my friends’ kids are up to. After all, that’s WHY we’re friends on Facebook – because I like you and I like your kids. If you are so stinkin’ happy for your kids that you’re putting it on Facebook, then you know what? I’m happy for you too!
Over the holidays, I was extremely proud of my youngest, who auditioned and landed a small role in a professional ballet production of The Nutcracker. And, yes, I did post about it on Facebook, because it was a proud parent moment. With virtually all of our family living in another province, it was also a great way to keep them in the loop and in on the excitement. What’s so wrong with that?
There seems to be a fear that posting about these accomplishments on Facebook will somehow cause our kids to confuse praise with love. The thinking goes like this: if the child scores goals, and you praise them, then the child equates praise with love. So then, the fear is, if the child stops performing well and the praise stops, will they think you love them less?
I’m not buying it. We are all good parents. We all love our kids unconditionally and they know that. This is why we tell them this before the game, before the solo and before the big exam. We also tell them this at night when we tuck them in, in the morning when they wake up and at various other times when it feels appropriate. Our kids know, if they have a crappy performance or race, we are a soft place for them to land. Just as we are at the finish line jumping up and down when they win, we are also there with kleenex when they lose.
Another concern with parental bragging, according to the experts, is the way it might make others feel. For every post you make about your kid’s straight A’s, there may be several other parents at home stressing about Johnny’s bad grades. I totally get that. In fact, if I’m completely honest, other people’s bragging has irritated me in the past because things weren’t going well, or as well, for my kids. So, that’s MY issue, my insecurities, my problem that I need to address. Next time someone’s bragging is really annoying you, take a deep look inside yourself to see what’s really going on.
We all know how hard our kids work at their individual pursuits – whether it be academics, sports, music, volunteer work, etc. I know kids who are at the gym at 5:30 am and those that are up till midnight studying and doing homework. There are those who travel 14 hours for dance conventions and competitions. And those who practice the piano daily. I know there will be some out there who don’t agree with the hours spent on these activities and that’s a whole other blog post! But, I admire these kids for their hard work and dedication and if it happens to pay off in a big way, then what’s wrong with celebrating that achievement, first and foremost with them, but also with family and friends?
Ok, and can we just admit that there’s a part of mothering that is boring and rather mundane? Making the meals, doing the sweaty and stinky laundry day after day, helping with homework. So, when something big or exciting happens in their world, well, it is my world too. Does that mean I don’t have a life of my own, my own goals, dreams and career? No, I don’t think so.
I have friends who don’t post a single thing about their kids on Facebook – whether it be for reasons of privacy or modesty, I’m not really sure – and I totally respect that. I don’t judge them for it, nor do I feel they are any less proud of their kids.
So, the bottom line guys is this…let’s stop criticizing parents for being happy for their kids and wanting to share that with (gasp)…friends!!
I would love to read your comments below – whether you agree or disagree!