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Dear Crissy - Life, blogged.

Is it okay to brag about your child?

Have I told you that I have the smartest, sweetest, most adorable toddler on earth?

Oh, I have? Well, have I mentioned that at 18-months-old, he is speaking in short sentences, he can say the alphabet, count to ten, and sing beautifully about the Itsy Bitsy Spider? In fact, Evan was showing signs of early verbal skills at 2-months-old. He is truly gifted.

Brag about your kid

I could go on, and on, but I do wonder… should I?

At what point does bragging about your child become obnoxious, and, should you care? Is it insensitive to brag when you can’t be sure what challenges other moms may be facing within their own families?

Best kid ever!

My mother always told me, with pride, that I was walking by the time I was 9-months-old. I didn’t really have an expectation of when Evan should start walking, but when the mothers in the forum I am a member of began exclaiming that their babies were walking at 9, 10, and 11 months (Evan walked at 12-months, by the way), I can recall feeling the smallest twinge of envy, because my little guy seemed nowhere near reaching that milestone.

It was really the same story for rolling over, sitting up, and pulling up, too. Evan was certainly not behind in these areas, in fact, he was perfectly average, but let’s just say he wasn’t the first baby on the block to reach the physical milestones.

Comparisons are harmful

Isn’t it just completely ridiculous to be concerned about your child’s milestones, as if it’s some kind of race? I do my best to push those thoughts out of my mind, because trust me, I KNOW that every child is special, unique, and will develop in his or her own sweet time.

Still, being honest, there are probably some threads of competitiveness, even if they live in the back of my mind.

I think most parents do some bragging about their children, it’s really just natural when you are so intensely focused on this little person. I mean, look! I had some part in the creation of this amazing human being!

I also think in a round about way, it’s a means of bragging about yourself, without actually bragging about yourself.

Narcissistic? Absolutely.

Is it just natural to brag about your child? Do you ever find yourself annoyed when parents go on and on about their child’s accomplishments?

I would love to hear your thoughts, and feel free to do a little bragging of your own.

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76 Comments

  1. February 7, 2011 @ 1:43 am

    I’m not a mom (yet) but I do get a tad annoyed at mothers who go on incessantly about their child. While it is wonderful they’re thrilled with their child’s accomplishments it gets borderline obnoxious when the *only* thing they ever seem to talk about is their little one. I’ve seen *some* moms forget who they were before children and become this never-ending verbal overload on how great their kid is. It’s almost like they’re busy trying to out-do other moms. I don’t get it.

    Maybe I’ll think differently when I am a mom but like other things in my life I’ll be excited about like my personal achievements, my spouse’s achievements, other major (or even not so major) events there’s a line to be drawn. It’s okay once in awhile but don’t overdo it or make it seem like your kid is better than someone else’s kid or that the only thing you talk about is your kid.

    REPLY
    • February 7, 2011 @ 1:55 am

      It was very easy for me to forget who I was before I had my child, because honestly, I feel that my life was far less significant before I was this kid’s mom.

      It’s funny because I don’t really remember ever being annoyed at parents bragging about their kids before I was a mom, I was just indifferent. I didn’t really hear it at all.

      It’s just different when you have someone in front of you doing monumental, life-changing, things every day. Watching a human learn to be a human is pretty profound, and it’s not like it ever gets old. When you have a kid, it’s literally like you are born again as well. It’s pretty wild! :)

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      • February 7, 2011 @ 2:03 am

        Well, for the record I am pretty sure of who I am, child or no child. I don’t forget “me” because I remind myself of the person I am as often as I can. I don’t need a child to define me much like I don’t need my marriage to define me. My marriage is a part of me but it does not define me.

        I can’t begin to say what being a mom is like other than being a birth mother (long story on that) but I do know at least something about motherhood.

        I guess I’m much more of a straightforward realist who doesn’t get into the sappy, cliche side of being a mother. My husband and I joke that our child will be demon spawn. Some mothers will gasp and call us horrible for such a sentiment but we’d rather have fun than be all cutesy wootsey about parenthood.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 2:18 am

        I didn’t say that I don’t know who I am. I said that it was easy to forget who I was. When you become a mother, you are no longer who you were. You are changed. Regardless of any woman’s experience, I would say that most mothers would agree with me on that. Not all, but most. It’s not a change you can even fathom until it happens to you.

        I am never sure whether to be insulted, or just laugh when people imply that becoming a mother means that you lose your identity, or that your sense of self is diluted because you have a huge focus and adoration for your child.

        I don’t think that having children is for everyone, or that having a child is necessary for happiness and fulfillment. I also don’t think that everyone’s experience of motherhood is as “sappy and cliché” as mine. My experience is certainly sappy and cliché. In fact, I have found motherhood to be true of all its clichés. It is deep, beautiful, and all-consuming.

        I don’t think that having a child makes a person better than another. But, it makes me better than I was.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 11:58 am

        Life in general changes you.

        Major moves, graduations, marriage, death, divorce, etc. All of these CHANGE us, having a child is just one more of the many, many changes we experience in life. Granted the difference is that a child is a living and breathing thing but it’s still just one more change in life that we all adapt to and either enjoy or don’t.

        Read my comment below about having given birth. Yes, I am a mother and HAVE created life and you know, in many ways it did change me. But 11 years later other major life events have changed me too.

        One life change does not supersede other life changes, at least I don’t think so. And let me tell you, I’ve been through several major changes in the past 10 years.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 2:28 am
        kimmylooloo

        I don’t mean to be rude but you shouldn’t comment on this blog unless you have actually had children because you have no idea what you are talking about. Check back after you have miraculously created life in your womb and watched while life was breathed into his or her body. Just sayin

      • February 7, 2011 @ 2:36 am

        To be fair, I did ask if kid-bragging was annoying, and everyone is welcome to chime in!

        That said, yes, making and raising babies is pretty amazing, right? :)

      • February 7, 2011 @ 11:54 am

        And that, Kimmylooloo, is what bugs me about *some* of you moms. You take such a holier than thou approach to being a mother and get up on a self-righteous high horse like I couldn’t POSSIBLY know what it’s like. With all due respect, please get over yourself. I have given birth and unfortunately, I am not raising that child but it does NOT make me less of a mother.

        You say you don’t mean to be rude but that was arrogant and condescending as all get out. You’re a mother. Wonderful. So am I. As I said, I just have not had the chance to raise my child. Step down off the high horse, please.

        Crissy, my apologies. Comments like that rub me the WRONG way. I’m trying to have a civil discussion and refrain from being rude. I have a link to my other blog that tells the story of my having a child but I don’t want to link (spam?) unless it is okay with you. It’s an eye opener, at least I think so.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

        Kim, I don’t mind if you link-up.

        I really think Kimmylooloo was only chiming in because of your tone and the insinuation that you lose a part of your identity when you have a kid (and we do, I think, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing). While what you said was definitely civil, it could be read as condescending too. At least, it felt that way to me.

        If you’ve had a child, then you’re in the same club, but with a different experience, and that’s cool. I’m sure there are so many complexities of experience in motherhood that we could go on all day and never scratch the surface.

        I was asking for opinions here, and welcome yours, I just think the feeling that someone is “holier than thou” goes both ways, especially when you are saying things like “*some* of you moms” like we’re members of an outlaw gang LOL.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

        I only put it in asterisks to be able to emphasize my point since I can’t italicize. In my experiences I have been around some moms who do act holier than thou towards non-mothers. No disrespect or self-righteousness on my part. Just putting in my two cents as a [sorta] non-mother.

        The link to my post is here:

        http://www.lifeasafoodie.com/2011/01/on-road-to-parenthood-part-1.html

        Thanks for a wonderful discussion. As to be expected, actual tone cannot be entirely picked up on through words read on a screen. Please know I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone. I just don’t care for comments like, “Check back when…” It’s very condescending and self-righteous, at least in my opinion.

      • February 8, 2011 @ 11:14 am
        Becca

        I just wanted to say that I think being a mother, no matter how you came to be one, will change your life!! I didn’t have the opportunity to create life in my womb, but I have had the opportunity to adopt my babies and motherhood has completely changed my life and my priorities.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 2:51 am

        These are all very easy things to say until you have a child. /smiles I remember the days when I thought the same thing. I had this idea of how I was going to be and actually never liked kids before getting pregnant…

        … and then I had my son Cody and he was my whole wide world, there was nothing but him and I was no one before I became a Mother. My son made me something special without having done anything to brag about.

        When you carry a life inside of you for nine months, you feel that life expanding and your emotions/hormones and body expanding and contracting to allow room for that life… you change. Everything about you changes.

        And quite frankly, anyone who doesn’t give up part of themselves and their lives selflessly for their child(ren) shouldn’t have children in my opinion. Once you choose to become a parent you choose to do everything in your power and give EVERYTHING, everything, everything you have to make sure they are taken care of and loved. Everything… and sometimes that means even yourself.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 3:05 am
        kimmylooloo

        I am not a sappy mom who gushes about my kids all day but I am definitely not the same person that I was before I had kids. I am better…not because my kids define me but because I have been shown what it is to love something more than I love myself, which in turn has made me a better person. The vulnerability that comes from loving a child is only something that can be experienced, not explained.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 11:05 am

        Marriage is VERY different from motherhood. My husband and I lived together for a few years before tying the knot. It was great to be married and no longer be “living in sin” in the eyes of our parents, but it didn’t change a lot.

        But motherhood… completely changes who you are as a person. I thought I knew who I was in my heart before I became a mother, but once my child entered my world, I not only had different priorities about how I wanted to live my life, but my sense of who I am completely changed. I am a completely different person than I was right up until the day before my son arrived, and that time in my life is like a very, very distant memory. My life began anew when my son was born.

        While I’m definitely am a different version of the person I used to be, I wouldn’t say that my child completely “defines” me. He has, though, influenced my life, my dreams, and my desires in ways I never could have imagined before I became a mom.

      • February 7, 2011 @ 11:50 am

        Agree, no offense to my husband, but getting married and having a baby are not in the same league. lol.

  2. February 7, 2011 @ 1:43 am

    been there, done that. every child is different, and no one should be upset if their child doesn’t walk at 8 mos or speaking early. my son didn’t walk til around 15 mos..he ran actually, but his verbal skills were way above at a lot younger, my girls both walked around 8 mos and while one daughter had quicker language skills, the other didn’t. i do think that at some point it can get super obnoxious. what i don’t think those that are bragging left and right are doing is that they are causing insecurities in other mothers that are not necessary. if anything, we need to be more supportive and say, ‘well, every child is different..and that’s okay.’ all my kids are older now: 23, 14, 12 and my stepson is 16. omgosh…all of my stepson’s family brag so much about his abilities that he has an overinflated ego lol all i want to do is pop it :o/ is that bad? but i guess you can see what i’m saying…cos after a child keeps hearing who fabulous they are, they feel the need to keep up to that expectation. my stepson is hard on himself because of how my husband & his ex raised him, but he also says he can be better than anyone at anything. it’s quite amusing lol

    REPLY
    • February 7, 2011 @ 2:20 am

      I agree. Parents sometimes over-praise children even when they did a “less than par” job. Children need to learn failure as well.

      But, that’s a bit off-topic.

      In reply to the post, yes, I think it can being annoying if it’s done distastefully. For example, people who are “one-uppers”…their child always has ‘one up’ on yours. Their child has always done something bigger, better, & quicker than yours.

      But, I certainly brag on my child…maybe too much. After all, he is pretty smart & an absolute doll. ;) However, I’d never try to make anyone feel beneath me (or my child) though, and I think there are moms out there who do just that.

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      • February 7, 2011 @ 2:25 am

        I agree totally on the one-upping, not nice!

  3. February 7, 2011 @ 3:10 am
    Marlow

    I think when anyone is passionate about something, they want to tell the world about it! I’m not a mother myself however when I sit with my girlfriends who do have children, to see their faces light up about their children is priceless! I have seen the ups and downs to parenthood through family, friends & co-workers. It’s not really about that, it’s about passion. I feel anyone who talks about something with passion should be able to let it fly! Of course I wouldn’t interrupt my friend’s story and go into a boasting banter, but who does that anyway? If you talk about something with honest passion and your whole conversation with the person is a two way street, there is no way you can come off as being a “one upper” or obnoxious in any manner. What I have learned over the years is you cannot surround yourself with people who do no embrace your passions. Therefore if you have a friend or someone in your life that you feel is “bugged” by you talking about your child’s accomplishments, your career’s highlights, your big day, your trip to somewhere you’ve dreamed about, etc. you need to re-evaluate that person’s placement in your life. While I have no idea what it’s like to have a child, it’s wonderful to celebrate my friend’s experiences of being a mother.

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    • February 7, 2011 @ 10:32 am

      This is such a fabulous comment! It truly is about passion. My son is definitely a passion of mine and I think that my friends who don’t have kids can feel that passion when I speak about how excited I am about the amazing things my child is doing now. It’s not always about being a braggart or boasting, it’s discussing something that I feel passionate about, and because it happened to my child, it’s a major event in MY life too. And thankfully my friends love me and love my son as well, so they’re always excited to hear the latest updates, just as I’m always thrilled to hear what’s new in their lives as well.

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      • March 16, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

        I agree, that is a wonderfully well-said comment. We are all passionate about our kids, I can’t imagine parenthood without passion. And you are absolutely right, Marlow, if people don’t appreciate your passion for your kids, then it’s time to reevaluate their place in your (and your kids’) lives. Besides, nobody will ever adore our kids the way we do or feel that passion for them that parents do, so if we can’t shout from the rooftops about their accomplishments, who will?

    • February 7, 2011 @ 11:20 am

      unfortunately, there ARE people who interrupt and goes into a boasting banter. i’ve experienced it, not only with myself but with other people. it’s quite irritating. it’s okay to talk about what your kids accomplish as long as it doesn’t go overboard. not that this has anything to do w babies & toddlers: there is this one mom who really disliked how my stepson knew everyone and that he’s great at sports, then she goes on about her sons (which really aren’t that great cos i have seem them play sports)..she didn’t see my husband near by when registering for high school 2 yrs ago and hubs said that when she saw how everyone was acknowledging my stepson, she said, ‘I wonder if he pays these kids to like him.’ Hubs was a little pissed. There are even some sports dads who get catty & talk crap. it’s so funny how the one-upmanship and bragging continues on even after the babies accomplish all the cute stuff.

      anyways, it’s one thing to talk about something with passion, it’s another to be a showoff or braggart.

      also i have to say, and some may not notice this until their kids are older like mine, but some parents are not realistic about their kids’ abilities. they exaggerate quite a bit, and when their kid is not the ‘star’ or don’t get to play enough, they get really upset about it. i always tell my kids that i’m proud of what they accomplish, to always work hard at whatever they do, but to know there is always someone somewhere that could be or probably is better. no one did that with my stepson so he takes rejection and failure pretty hard when it happens. :o/

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      • February 7, 2011 @ 11:46 am

        I think exaggeration is just part of it, too. I am sure I exaggerate. Quite sure. I don’t think it’s necessarily my job to give a fair and balanced review of my kid, because you know, he’s MY KID… and he is superamazingyouknow?

      • February 7, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

        i’ve got a feeling you’re far from an exaggerator :o), because trust me, i have SEEN some. it isn’t pretty lol i don’t think you are anything like the parents that i deal with. i talk about my kids and think they’re super amazing, too, but i keep it real. sometimes my hubs hates how straightforward i am, but i guess that comes with being OLD LOL

        btw i do like hearing when friends kids accomplish something or if they’re talented at something, i was just saying i don’t like the parents who take it a step too far. i wish you could see the parents at the high school football games; the ones who are trying to live through their kids. :o/

      • February 7, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

        I am happy with my toddler phase and swapping stories with moms about how well our kid is using their sippy cup! lol I kind of dread the sports competition, I am sure that does get ugly!

  4. February 7, 2011 @ 3:31 am

    I sound just like you when I talk about my kids! Children are definitely amazing (especially mine! lol). Okay, seriously now, I do find myself more aware of what I say about my kids when I’m talking to people that have kids themselves. I try really hard to not to compare milestones or when I do it’s to reassure the other parent that every child is different by giving an example. Now if someone asks me about my kids, all bets are off and I will talk their ear off! ;-)

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  5. February 7, 2011 @ 3:40 am

    I was the best mother ever before I had children. Really. I even had a degree in child development and taught parenting classes. Of course after I had children I realized how ridiculous I was, but at the time, I was totally unaware.

    Humiliation has since become my friend.

    My opinion with bragging is save it for the grandparents, they are the only ones who care. Moms I know who brag often have very few friends. (And as all moms know, friends are quite valuable in the early years! :) )

    REPLY
    • February 20, 2011 @ 1:30 am
      Kim M

      Your comment about saving it for grandparents is so true. My daughter-in-law in another state texts me all the time with the cute things they say or how much they have grown or pictures of the funny things they do or things they make. Something probably only close relatives would enjoy hearing. My other daughter-in-law tells me when my 3 year old grandson waved or clapped for the first time and how excited I was to tell others because it was such a big accomplishment for him because he is Autistic. I am the mother of 5 grown children who still talks about their accomplishments or skills when they were younger if the subjects ever come up in a conversation. Now as for grandchildren I could talk about them all day.

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  6. February 7, 2011 @ 3:54 am
    Saartje

    BRAGGING IS A WAY OF DEALING WITH INSECURITIES.

    I don’t get all the bragging, actually. And yes, it annoys me. It starts right from birth with asking if the baby sleeps through the night, and just gets worst and more annoying. I like to say my children are beautiful and that I love them, but bragging, no. Actually, when other mums are going on about how smart and wonderful their kids are, I try to insert certain phrases in the conversation. For example: “Mary was 18 months before she started walking. The doctor was quite concerned.” (we were not, she’s a normal kid, slow to start walking) or “Peter still doesn’t count to 10, at age 4, and he mumbles and when he gets exited he stutters” or even “We’re so glad Mary doesn’t bite her brother anymore, now she just bites, pinches and pulls his hair”. I love the horrified and pitying looks I get.

    But serious now, I think when mums brag about their children, they are not really trying to brag, about their children, or themselves. THEY ARE TRYING TO CONTROL THEIR FEAR THAT THEIR CHILD MIGHT NOT BE STRONG ENOUGH TO MEET ALL THE CHALLENGES IN LIFE. By telling themselves (and others) over and over that their children have superpowers (be it in motor skills, communication or social skills), they are trying to tell themselves that their children will be ok, that they will be able to fend for themselves. Those mums are not full of themselves and their children, they are just a bit insecure.

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    • February 7, 2011 @ 8:58 am

      Wow, do you really believe that?

      I am definitely afraid that Evan won’t be strong enough to meet all the challenges of life, because hey, life is ROUGH, and scary, and hard for everyone.

      I am insecure FOR SURE, no question about it. I started being insecure the moment I found out he was pregnant. Having a kid is the scariest, most terrifying thing in the world.

      I don’t think that bragging about how well he sings Itsy Bitsy Spider is a symptom of that. LOL.

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    • February 7, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

      bull crap. life is tough and all we can do as parents is prepare them as best as we can for being on their own, but kids still have to learn to do things without us. there are some parents who try to live the life they wanted, but never got, through their children..those are the braggers & exaggerators.

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  7. February 7, 2011 @ 6:48 am

    I think it’s important to remember that people do get annoyed with it, but also important to be true to yourself. Yes, it’s okay to brag about your child, but then put a lid on it. There’s a difference in saying, “Hey my child did (whatever) and I’m so excited about it” and going on for 20 minutes about it. Every mom thinks their kids are the best thing that ever happened to the planet… I know I do. People get confused with my bragging unless they know my oldest child has special needs because she doesn’t look like she does. I’ll be overjoyed about something she said that would match a three year old’s skills and people are looking at her photo like…what? She’s seven!

    It’s also important to remember to celebrate your victories without making other moms feel as you mentioned that we’re all in a race and they’re losing. We ALL do that whether we should or not. Be sure when you brag not to make it come out like, “Hey my kid is better than yours because of this.” We all think our kids are better than every other kid. It would be weird if we didn’t. Let’s just not make it come across that way to others. Tone of voice can’t be read so we have to be particularly careful what we write and how it’s coming across.

    We all should remember too as you said that our kids are special and unique in their own way. Your Evan is talking early, my Essie (16 months) walked early but isn’t talking much past babbling. They’re both special for different reasons:) God bless.

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  8. February 7, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    I’m just a Mom. I don’t remember what I did before I became a Mom. Don and I were married 8 years when Gracie was born and we had tried to have a baby for so long. I know I brag/and talk about Gracie A LOT, but so do my other friends. We just get together and have a big ol’ brag session I guess. But it doesn’t bother any of us. This is our normal. When I’m around women that don’t have children, I don’t seem to talk about Gracie as much, unless they ask- but I think that’s because I just don’t have as much in common with them.

    I quit working when Gracie was 6 months old because I know that a lot of Moms continue to work, that was just my choice. I was older when we had Gracie and we were blessed by Don’s job, so it was easier for me to quit. We had to make a lot of adjustments budget wise, but we have made it. I just didn’t want to miss anything. She is 9 now and I’m so glad I did have that time with her. Although I have chosen not to go back to my “regular” job as a Respiratory Therapist because of “on call duty”, I have begun to sub at Gracie’s school part time.

    Basically- I’m a Mom and I brag and it doesn’t bother me when others brag about their kiddo’s.

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  9. February 7, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    I think it’s normal and fine to say “my child does this and this” but when you’re making someone feel bad about it is when you’ve crossed a line. Like a friend of mine said to another friend “She isn’t sitting up yet? Oh I forgot my baby is so advanced” (when really she isn’t. It’s ridiculous.

    As for my bragging :) Austin has a vocab of 30 words (big words too, like Basketball…) and he is 14 months. He also says some small sentences (like I Love Mama, Bye Bye Daddy, and something else, I forget…). But he isn’t walking yet, or showing signs of caring to LOL But I will take what I can get! I love his words!

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  10. February 7, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    My Will (who turns 3 in a couple week *tear*) was always kind of a stubborn baby. He never did anything until he was good and ready. But when he did it was like a light switch. 6 months, wouldn’t sit by himself… in 1 day, he went from 10 seconds to 20 minutes. Same with eating, sleeping, talking, walking, and now potty training. So I learned a long time ago that I wasn’t going to worry about everyone else’s milestones. I know parents that pushed their kids to be potty trained by 1, so they could brag about that and the kid still has accidents and fights it. I waited, took 3 days and he’s done. Being the first to do something isn’t always the best.

    As for the bragging. We all do that, because we want people to be as proud of our kids as we are. Which most grandparents/godparents are. I think it’s natural to do it and unless you see the other people rolling their eyes. I say go for it. I just try and make sure that I don’t get into the 1-upping others. That is when it gets to the point of obnoxious.

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  11. February 7, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    I think every parent is entitled to a little bragging, for whatever reason! But, I’ve known so many parents that just go too far. One friend of mine has posted their childs report card numerous times, thru email and a link on Facebook, because they got straight A’s, and are taking excelled classes at 10. Now, I’d love it if my child had those grades, but unfortunetly, he doesn’t! I’m proud of him for what he achieves, and tell him all the time. I also “brag” to my family, but wouldn’t post his report card on FB! To me, it does seem like she’s looking for that assurance that Yes, you are a good parent! You must be, your child gets good grades!
    Well, to each his own, but I’ve witnessed a few “High Honor Roll” students that got into High school and went another direction! They had great parents, hung out with a good crowd, and then changed in an instant!
    I won’t keep rambling, but like I said before, I do think every parent has a right to brag, but how much and where you’re doing it should be taken into consideration!

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  12. February 7, 2011 @ 9:50 am
    becky

    I think it is fine to brag as long as you aren’t doing it to hurt anyone’s feelings. Its natural. It is your baby. You are so proud of the things they accomplish. It is amazing. I don’t get annoyed when my friends brag about their kids, I know how it feels to feel so overwhelmed with joy and being proud of your children. It makes me happy to see other parents really INTO their kids (I am a young mom, I just turned 25 3 weeks ago and I have a 5 year old and 2.5 year old) so in my circle of friends I have seen a lot of not so good parents.

    Some of the childs skills are just there from birth and some can be enhanced with the parents help, you’re putting working into it…brag away!

    I am very proud that my now (almost) 5 year old has been able to write the alphabet since he was 2.5 and has been able to write words on his own by sounding it out since he was 3.5. Part of that is him being a smart boy and part of that is me seeing that in him and encouraging it. I do a lot of “school” with him where we practice skills he needs for life. He loves it and so do it.

    brag away!

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  13. February 7, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Hi Crissy,

    Love this post! I don’t think I am constantly talking, or “bragging”, about my LO, he just turned 1. But I do catch myself at times sounding like one of those mothers ;-) Which, I guess, means, I am one of those mothers! But when you’ve been through pregnancy, childbirth, and the early months of up-all-night-changing-12-diapers-a-day, I think we have earned the priviledge of bragging, just a little ;-)

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  14. February 7, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    To a certain degree, ‘bragging’ is okay. There are some moms, however, who think that their child is THE best, THE only child who can ____, and that no one will ever compare to their awesomeness. There are some moms, like my self, who have plenty to brag about… but when we can’t a word in because another mom is too busy basically telling us that our child aren’t good enough, it’s a little hard to celebrate with others. It’s also hard when your child has neurological or physical delays (like my son)… I can brag all I want, but the moms and dads with typically developing children don’t see the excitement in FINALLY walking at 25 months, or FINALLY being potty-trained at freaking 5 years old. They don’t get it, their child is perfect, mine is “slow” or “behind”, so while I might brag about him, it’s to the people that understand (family, close friends, and other special needs parents).

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    • February 7, 2011 @ 10:50 am

      Mandi, I get that! I have a couple of amazing kiddos in my family with special needs (niece and nephew), and while I recognize that they may not be doing things on the same schedule as other kids (screw the schedule), I still think their victories are super brag-worthy and need to be championed!

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      • February 7, 2011 @ 11:28 am

        You’re right, they do need to be celebrated. There are just people that give you this funny look when you DO brag and you can tell they are thinking, “Uhm, my kid did that at __months/years… what’s wrong with your kid?”. They could be completely silent yet you know exactly what they are thinking.

        Here’s my brag… my kiddo is turning 6 in May, he’s about to be a big brother on March 25th, and has FINALLY… FINALLY (screaming that last one) potty-trained to the point where he is wearing UNDERWEAR (and he’s quite picky on what characters he wants to wear) ALL DAY, to stores and everything. NO accidents for WEEKS now!!!!!!! *dance* So what it took this long, what matters is that HE did it! :)

      • February 7, 2011 @ 11:38 am

        Three cheers for potty training, man, that is great! Good job Mom!!!!!!!

        Wait, big brother on March 25th?? You have to start ALL OVER! :) #dontenvythat!

      • February 7, 2011 @ 11:42 am

        Yep! It really does feel like starting over since there’s an almost 6-year gap between them, and we of course got rid of EVERYTHING baby related years ago and have had to go buy everything! Gah! :)

  15. February 7, 2011 @ 11:33 am

    I use to get super envious of moms who’s kinds were walking, talking, singing, juggling before mine. Ok not juggling but you know what I mean. It took me four kids tobrealize that every kid is seriously different. One of my kids started walking at 13 1/2 months while another was walking at 10 months .

    My 17 month old seems to be more advance than my other girls (but I think it has to do with her having bigbsisters) and my sister who has a daughter the same age is always wondering why HER daughter isn’t saying this or doing that.

    I say who cares. If your chid(ren) is reaching milestones , is healthy and happy. Who really cares if they can walk at 13 months and not 9. Who cares if they can’t count to 10 when someone else’s kid can. We as parents should be doing our best to teach our kids not just those simple things that yes they will learn eventually, but also things that seem to be thinning away these days, respect, morals, faith, etc. When my 17 month old closes her eyes, bows her head and holds our hands at the dinner table, that’s when I feel like bragging to the world that I am doing SOMETHING right!

    And when my kids are adults and hopefully don’t hit too much trouble on the way, THEN I can absolutely say wow my girls have turned out to be wonderful kids and WE raised them. We should be focusing nore on raising them to be good people rather than fochsingbon whether or not they can say the ABC’s at 2 years old.

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  16. February 7, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    Eh so sorry for all the bad spelling. I’m on my iPad, it’s harder to write. :)

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  17. February 7, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    It’s totally natural. And as a mom who does it. I must say, I don’t mind a bit hearing other moms brag a little, as long as they aren’t blatantly saying that their kids is better than anyone else’s.

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  18. February 7, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    My rule on bragging about my kids – it has to be solicited, like the person I’m talking to must ask about my kids before I start, and then I counter that with a question about herself and her kids. And then it becomes a loving exchange of information about what we love about our kids, and how we feel being their moms.

    But of course, I brag about my kids in my blog unsolicited. It is MY blog afterall, and just like other kids, my kids are awesome too. But I keep it realistic and just really stating a fact. And I focus more on how I FEEL about my kids’ milestones – that mostly, I am happy and proud of them, because I love them so much.

    I think bragging becomes obnoxious if it is unsolicited, over-the-top, one-sided and competitive. When other moms or parents becomes obnoxious like that, I shut up and drift away. It is pointless to have a conversation with them.

    You have great discussions here. I’m a new follower. (And you DON’T HAVE to follow me back, really!)

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  19. February 7, 2011 @ 1:08 pm
    Judy

    I think it is a wonderful thing to show pride in your child’s accomplishments regardless of the age. I do find it obnoxious when people go on and on without every asking about the wonderful things the other person’s child is doing or just give a disinterested comment and keep on talking. For some people, it’s all about them and your child is just a place holder in the conversation. My point is that, if you are going to extol the wonderful accomplishments of your child, be sure and allow the other person to tell you about their child and show genuine interest. As a mother and now a grandmother I have always tried to do that. I find the overly bragging and obnoxious mothers I knew in the years past, have now become the some annoying grandmothers. If you find that you run into these kinds of women, just don’t even discuss the children. You can never get any satisfaction from them. By the way, I really love this topic and think that you really nailed it as far as what moms feel!

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  20. February 7, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    I talk about my kids a lot – there are a lot of them! With #5 on her way, I tend to field a number of questions on “how do you do…get you house clean, a shower, grocery shop” or their behavior (good in public, monsterous at home) – pple mostly ask when we’re in public ;) And I like hearing about other peoples’ kids. They are intersting little creatures, you know?
    The one time I think it is down right annoying to have someone go on and on about Jr’s accomplishments is when it comes as a response to someone else’s concern. IE. “my baby is 11 mos old and not sleeping thru the night” with “Oh, well, Billy has slept thru the night since he was 2wks old, I think it is bc he is so intellectually stimulated during the day/bc we maintain such a peaceful home/we had the baby whisper on staff for a week.” There are times when talking about kids turns into one-upmanship and can be so unkind. That is when I am not ok hearing about your incredibly advanced child.

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  21. February 7, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    Great post Crissy! I posted a response on my blog http://rantsnrascals.com/is-it-okay-to-brag-about-your-child/

    I love the pic of your little guy and think this is an interesting topic.

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  22. February 7, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    it is always ok to brag about kids especially ur own. why not if u can see amazing and extraordinary stuff on him? by the way, u have an interesting blog here and just followed u through GFC.hope u do too.thanks

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  23. February 7, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    I think that on your blog? It’s fair game. Brag as much as you want. But in public it’s touchy… because there are mothers (like me) with special needs children that hear you “bragging” about your 18 month old who can count and speak in sentences…and it’s like a punch in the gut.

    …I’m not saying you have no right. I’m just saying that your words can unknowingly hurt someone else.

    It’s not something I understood until I had a special needs child. One who was verbal and seemingly ahead of it all at 12 and even 15 months old, and now at 26 months is barely verbal and has to have 3 therapy sessions a week just to get by.

    So I guess I’m saying it’s ok to brag, and yet it sucks for that mom overhearing what you’re saying. :(

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  24. February 8, 2011 @ 5:05 am

    I’m a total novice mom. Pregnant at 18, now 20 with a 19-month old. I feel like my young age really has hindered my mommying skills, so I don’t do a lot of bragging, because I’m honestly afraid that if my girl isn’t where everyone else’s child is that I’ll be lumped in with the whole “Young mom, doesn’t know how to parent” thing… I am honest enough to admit to myself that I do feel like my total inexperience sets me back, and unfortunately, my daughter.

    Her mobility/motor skills have always been quick to show up, but verbally? I get a bit embarrassed. 19-months old and her words include (Hi, Bye, Momma, Daddy, Ball, Doggie, Up, Out, No, Juice, This, That, Nommies, I Love You, I ‘Ate You, Ducky, TV, Blankie, Potty) and one word mommy’s not too happy about so we won’t mention it. 20 words, exactly. When I hear that children close to her age, like Evan, are speaking short sentences, I cringe… It really does feel so competitive sometimes and can be overwhelming.

    But, then I recall that I got rid of my dog because I couldn’t get it house trained, yet managed to successfully toilet-train a toddler by 19-months old, and feel 100x more confident.

    It’s especially hard when you read about bragging and blog posts every day to ignore what everyone else’s kid is doing, and remember that each child is different. It’s the achievements I find when comparing my child-rearing to my own past achievements and failures, instead of those of others, that make me feel like I’m growing as a mother, and that my daughter is growing-up well. Anything else can be discouraging.

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  25. February 8, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    Hey! I love bragging about my son, but as a child care provider I have to be really careful not to around the other moms I’m with as to not make them feel bad. Because truthfully the brain in children develop at different rates in each child. For example I was pulling myself up on tables at 6 months and walking by nine months. My son also started walking by the end of nine months, but he had such a problem talking because we signed with J. So I stopped signing and just read read read to him. Now has been read to so much he can identify letters and numbers in his little baby books and he can put two or three words together, but I wouldn’t say he is speaking in sentences yet at 23 months, so little Evan is one impressive kid!

    There are kids in my care who are a little slower, but I wouldn’t say behind at all. Milestones are important in addressing any concerns that really could be there…but some parents take it too far and take it to a competitive level or even go so far as to actually thinking their child is soo much better than another and it can be berating. I think parents should brag about their kids, its a good confidence builder for them and teaches them what kind of attention they should be striving for.

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    • February 8, 2011 @ 2:51 pm
      Margaret

      I think showing pride in your child’s accomplishments is perfectly natural. Bragging is part of being a parent, everyone does it. It’s important to balance it with constructive criticism for your child but other than that I don’t see anything wrong with ti. My kids are older (10, 17) and I still feel happy sharing their accomplishments!

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  26. February 8, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    Bragging gets really annoying to friends that have to hear it. But, bragging is what grandparents are for. They love hearing about the kids. Mine seem to live for it. So, when you’re in the mood, instead of nauseating all your friends, call grandma.

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  27. February 9, 2011 @ 12:48 am
    Jessica

    I think that bragging is perfectly normal and fine. The thing that bothers me is when another mother tries to one-up what your child did. It’s not fair and it’s not right to try and compete with another child. I’m sure most mothers, myself included, have compared what their child is doing compared to another child of the same or close age. I try not to compare but sometimes you can’t help but wonder why that child did a certain thing before your child. I have to remind myself over and over that every child is special and every child will develop in their own time. Just because this child rolled, crawled, walked, etc. at this age doesn’t mean that your child or any other child will do the same. Landon is my first and only child so I do get caught up in bragging about the new things he’s learning to do. But, that’s any mother really.

    Also, I have a question about something you posted. You mentioned that at 2 months old Evan was showing signs of early verbal skills. How, at 2 months, can you tell that? I’m not saying that you can’t tell or he wasn’t showing signs…I’m just really curious. How can/did you tell?

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    • February 9, 2011 @ 12:52 am
      Jessica

      I meant to include this in my comment above. I have a friend whose daughter is one month older than my son. I’ll post on Facebook about something he has just learned and she’ll comment on how her daughter has already learned to do that and add something else she has learned to do. Bragging is one thing but trying to one-up another child is another. It’s downright annoying. That’s great that her daughter has learned to do that as well but she has to remember that her daughter is older than my son. What makes it even worse it that she adds something in that wasn’t even in the discussion in the first place. I just find it very annoying. Sorry for the rant.

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  28. February 9, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    I don’t really care what people think/say when it comes to bragging about my kids. They are my pride and joy and I try to remember that even when they don’t act so ‘good.’ I think as parents it is natural to think the world of our kids! I happen to have the most beautiful kids EVER, inside and out! Just sayin ;)

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  29. February 10, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    My daughter is not two yet and her vocabulary has expanded to 250 words. She recites the alphabet forward and backwards, counts 1-20, reads the entire “Good Night Moon” book but I find that when I start to tell people, they envy her and get annoyed facially. One lady even said to go enroll her in Harvard if I am so sure she is that good. My daughter proved her wrong when she pronounced the word “hippopotamus”. I have since kept her milestones to myself and just work with her at home. I think most mothers dont spend time developing their kids and at such envy those that do. No child is a genius, but if you spend time working on your kid, he/she is bound to reach various milestones before others.

    Keep your head high mama, you dont have to worry or care about what others think.

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  30. February 11, 2011 @ 2:09 am
    Charline Williams

    Interesting article

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  31. February 12, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    I LOVE bragging about my kids- I mean what mom doesn’t?! But I think there is a line that you have to watch. My son has been developmentally challenged and had to go to therapy- and as a mom sometimes it was really hard to listen to my friends bragging on their children who were younger but could do more.
    I think you just have to know your audience and judge when too much is too much bragging.

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  32. February 12, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    I had more thoughts on this than I could put into a comment. I wrote a post with my thoughts, if you are interested. I’m not going to stick the link in here since my blog is linked with my name. :)

    TLDR version – Moderation is key, it seems almost ingrained in us, parents brag about adult children too, and it might be connected to social acceptance … humans, we’re such insecure creations ;)

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  33. February 17, 2011 @ 1:54 pm
    Eileen

    Wow…I can see that this can be a wonderful, warm, delightful yet TOUCHY subject. Great one to open up the lines for moms, moms to be, and those who are not moms.
    I have 6 kids, three have left the nest and two have honored me with the name GRANDMA already. It is SO incredibly hard not to “brag” about your kids or grandkids because in your heart they ARE the most amazing kids in the world…in any element, at any speed, ‘gifted’ or not.
    I do remember in my early 20′s getting into the comparisons of our babies with my best friends…the whole walking and talking game. But we actually joke about what difference did it make at when, now at 5 or 10 or 18 years old what month our children WALKED? I mean, bar physical limitations by illness…they ALL learn to walk or talk eventually!
    I had illness take me down when my last child was a tiny toddler. I am home with her (and my other youngest 4) every waking moment from tiny toddler to entrance into preschool and beyond. She could cite the ABC’s and recognize every letter at 18 months, she could sing and count and talk like a trooper…to the point of OH MY GOSH do you EVER turn OFF! LOL! She had Mommy’s complete attention and a one on one ‘teacher’ 12+ hours a day. This was bound to happen. (When I was working, I didnt have this kind of TIME to spend with her or my first five children.) The bottom line is this…she is a smart little girl at 11 but still has difficulty with some classes and is not a A+ student because her personality does not require perfection in school. She LOVES to play soccer and basketball and softball, but she falls on the field sometimes and even broke her foot this fall in BB practice. (Thus, walking at age 10 months didnt give her an Olympic title at it LOL!). BUt, she is perfectly BALANCED with life and that is fine with us!

    Our other children who may have walked or talked early still have strengths and weaknesses in every part of life. We have one child who has some challenges in her academic life, and although she is shy, she is a confident, giggly, most loving child and is now a Senior in High School. She has found her strength is taking care of children and works in a day care. We are so proud of THIS, her shining gift, even if her academics do not show “‘normal” success.

    The bottom line is this…at every stage you are going to find other moms brag about their kids grades, their sports ability, their college or friendships and jobs, and eventually THEIR kids, their choice of mate, their homes etc. People in general can be competitive and it is easy to get sucked in when we have something to say about our kids. The most unfortunate thing is when a parent has such high expectations or is completely focused on comparing their kids to others, even their own siblings. Sad is the child whose parent NEVER toots their horn about how special their child is…sometimes a child needs to overhear it said how special they are, as long as they are not putting down another. If for one am old enough to know it is not true bragging…it is pride in their child. Pride is something a child needs to learn, as long as it is not so overdone that one feels superior to others. (my 10 cents worth…sorry, i tend to get wordy) ;)

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  34. February 22, 2011 @ 11:04 am
    Ally

    In my opinion, for the sake of being “fair” to all your children, moms should not engage in bragging about their children’s accomplishment to prevent resentment between siblings.

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  35. February 22, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    I know I’m chiming in late on this…but it’s hard for me to hear other mom’s brag on their kids because my boys are behind on their verbal development and in their eating. My boys will be 2 in one week.
    I guess it comes down to me feeling like I must have done something wrong as their mom…if I had done this or that then they wouldn’t be so behind.
    I have to keep reminding myself that kids develop at different rates and just keep doing what I know to do.

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  36. July 15, 2011 @ 10:16 am
    M. Turner

    Parents who brag excessively about their children or themselves are showing that they have poor manners. It is rude to brag about yourself, your husband, or your children. In addition, other people will be bored or hurt by those who brag too much.

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    • August 31, 2011 @ 12:22 am
      Star

      I have to say i brag. I am so proud of my children. They make me happy and I have chosen to make them top priority in my life. However, i do not compare. If i am telling a friend that my child reached a milestone early its not to put down their children. I am just proud and want to share it with my friend. I have to say that there are friends that do take offense and there are friends who are happy to hear my reports. This is what is going on in my life. I am a stay at home mom, my children are my day and if you want to ask how my day was and expect me to leave them out of the story then there will be nothing but silence. I am never bothered by friends sharing their stories about their kids. It seems that there are friends who only want to hear your “bad day” stories.

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  37. January 4, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

    I know several people who brag/talk about their kids too much; to the point that I avoid them. I have 2 children and 3 grandchildren that I love very much and am extremely proud of them. But I do not feel the need to brag about them or their accomplishments. I do not hold people prisoner showing them 50 plus pictures of them, or pulling out my cell phone and scanning thru picture after picture. My kids and grandkids know how dear they are to me cause I tell THEM. Let me give you an example – I have a friend who is so wrapped up in her daughter and not in a good way. Everything this young woman (approx 21 yrs old) tries, her mother predicts she will be a superstar at it…..she was involved in singing and acting in high school and in my opinion was mediocur at best but her mother proclaimed she had the “IT” factor and would be on Broadway shortly. Well…..that did not happen. Next we heard the daughter was going to write a book AND illustrate it. Well…that has not happen. Now she is taking some art classes. The other evening I meant my friend for dinner and the moment she saw me, out came the phone and I was shown picture after picture of paintings the daughter had done and listened to how talented she is and no one else can paint like she can. We live in a big world populated by many people who are better looking that we are, smarter than we are, more athletic than we are, more talented that we are, more driven than we are, etc etc. You may be the top dog on your high school football team, but as you get out in the big world, more than likely you will find that you are no longer the top dog. The bottom line is this: THERE IS ALOT TO BE SAID FOR BEING H U M B L E !!!!!!!!!!!

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    • April 27, 2012 @ 1:00 am
      Mindy

      Lynne, as a mother who has raised her children and now is a grandmother I really value your opinion. Unfortunately, I can no longer ask my mother’s opinion as she passed away this last fall. I seriously am getting tired of a friend I have. Everything is constantly about her children. She even goes on and on about how good looking they are. She is right; her kids are all very handsome and pretty. They are what the typical American finds astetically pleasing.

      I don’t know why her bragging bothers me so. We formed a friendship when we were adults as we met when the kids in activities together. We became fast friends and on the non-children side she is a great friend. It is just her “my kids are the best at everything in the world attitude” that is staring to get to me to the point I don’t really want to be friends. This makes me sad because we had a good friendship and she has more to offer.

      Am I being a horrible friend? I guess I am jealous my kids are not seen as “great” as hers. Her children are popular, three of them are now high school age. Her children do seem to excel at all activities they join. Not all my kids are joiners and the son I do have that enjoys sports is not athletically inclined. My oldest son who is one of the kindest people I know, was bullied all through school and is now in college and is much happier. I am super proud of the wonderful mature person he is.

      Any insight you might have is appreciated. Sorry it was a long rant.

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  38. April 27, 2012 @ 12:43 am
    Mindy

    I am guilty of bragging on my kids, but as I have gotten older I am beginning to change my mind about it. I like the point you put that when you brag on your kids you are bragging about yourself. I think it is acceptable to be proud of your kids and want to share this pride, but at what point does it become unacceptable. I have a friend in which her constant bragging on facebook about her kids is beginning to make me dislike her. I don’t know if it is the fact my kids are not as popular and her and aren’t as involved in activities in which I can brag about. Other’s insight is appreciated so I can quit feeling bad about myself and my situation.

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  39. June 11, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    I think it can be harmless, but I also think it can be insensitive. I have a 5 year old with delays and as moms we tend to compare. He has received services for the last 2 years through our school district and has made leaps and bounds of progress but I can’t stand when a mom goes on an on about her child and how smart he/she is when I know my child can’t do those things. My 7 year old on the other hand is incredibly smart and is testing way above grade level in all subjects. I’ve learned to praise them both for their strengths, and not to compare or brag when I am with other moms. There have been many times that I’ve cried, wondering why my child can’t just be on track and you never know what mom is going to go home and do that. It’s smarter just to be sensitive.

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  40. June 11, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    I think bragging about your kids is very natural and totally OK. It’s really a Mom’s job to brag and be proud of every accomplishment. However, with social media I think it’s nice when Moms have good balance and are honest about the challenges they’re facing too.

    We have boy/girl twins and we learned really early on not to compare. You do compare at first, you can’t help it. If one does something the other doesn’t I was worried the other was behind. I got over it quickly and realized everyone gets there in their own time.

    I like being friends with the Moms can brag walking and counting to ten but also be honest that they’re still potty training… or whatever challenges they’re facing.

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  41. June 11, 2013 @ 3:28 pm
    S.

    My boss’s daughter was bragging about her child’s “awesome grades” yesterday while I was working at the office and right in front of her daughter and her mother. While I didn’t really mind the bragging, It was kind of annoying that both grandmother & daughter were both bragging about the child’s accomplishments.

    I don’t have a child of my own yet but I was a little bothered about their bragging. =P No big deal, I mean if I had a child who had some kind of accomplishments in school I would probably brag about it to. I probably won’t be able to understand the big deal about bragging about your children until I become one.

    P.S: I’m 29.

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  42. June 11, 2013 @ 7:41 pm
    Charmaine Campbell

    I don’t remember bragging when they were babies, mine weren’t early movers etc. I do admit to a little bragging about academic achievement now they are at school. I usually say they had a great school report and that sort of thing.

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