Here’s a thought: What constitutes the difference between bragging about your child’s accomplishments and expressing your pride and excitement that your child has accomplished something wonderful? There’s often a fine line between expressing excitement and plain old rubbing things in people’s faces, but what is that line? How do you know if you’re bragging or you’re just proud?
My husband and I are thrilled and proud of our kindergartner for being chosen as Student of the Month this month, and when I went to create a social media post about it, I found myself hesitating and wondering how to word my pride so I didn’t sound like a braggart. Then I found myself wondering why I care; my daughter is awesome and she accomplished something amazing and I have every right to be proud of her and want to shout her accomplishments from the rooftops. Here are three points to consider when you find yourself in my shoes regarding your pride in your children.
It’s Okay to Brag
If your kid scored a perfect score on the SATs, BE EXCITED ABOUT IT. Don’t be ashamed; he did something amazing and you should be proud! If your child goes a full day without any accidents on the first day of potty training, feel free to tell everyone you encounter; that’s exciting stuff! If your baby is chosen to be the next co-host of Good Morning America, get excited and tell people!
Watch Your Tone
It’s not your pride in your children that’s the issue, it’s the tone we use when telling the world how proud we are. For example, if I were to say, “Oh, your child wasn’t chosen as student of the month? Mine was. I’m so proud. You must be so disappointed,” it’s rude and not at all nice. But to say, “I’m so proud of my girl for being student of the month! Proud mama right here!” doesn’t come across as anything but excitement and pride. The key is to watch how you say it and make sure your tone doesn’t come across as sounding like you’re condemning other children for not being as cool as yours.
All Parents Think the Same Way
It’s okay to think your kid is the coolest kid in the world and to show your pride in that. All parents have the coolest kid in the world, the kid who has the best personality and the kid who makes them proud. We all think that way. We’re all proud of our kids for tying their shoes for the first time (smartest toddler EVER!) and we’re all proud of their first solo potty experience or their first steps. Instead of assuming others are bragging with the intent of making the rest of us feel our kids are behind, stupid, not as awesome, let’s just be excited for other parents whose kids did something great. We’re all going to be there at some point.