So, I Guess This Isn't New Territory
I began writing this post because I had been thinking about some of the over-the-top comments that appeared on NYMetroParents’ Facebook page with regard to our cover contest. It had become apparent that some parents would go to great lengths to get their children a coveted cover. We launched the contest with some great prizes, as well as telling parents that they’d get the “ultimate bragging rights”—and it was and continues to be all in good fun. I am grateful to (almost all of) our entrants for sharing in that sense of fun—we all think our own kids are cover-worthy, and why not? But when I saw how deep the competition ran for a few individuals, I began to think more seriously about all the wonderful (justifiable) things we as parents brag about—and rightfully so.
I posted this comment on Facebook:
…and here are a few of my favorite responses:
Only when I Googled something about bragging and kids’ self-esteem for this post did I discover an abundance of conversation on this same topic around the web—and apparently the consensus is that parents should stop bragging altogether. Guess I’m in the minority. I am, however, in good company:
I agree with NYTimes writer Bruce Feiler: “Parenting is tough enough; can’t you take a victory lap every now and then?”
Just, follow some rules.
Two Sets of Rules, Lots of Commonality
And, so it seems, Mr. Feiler and I both created our own sets of said rules. I swear I hadn’t seen any of his before writing this, and I have decided not to change any of mine now that I have, or to toss my post entirely (which was my first instinct).
Instead, I strongly urge you to check out his column, “This Life: A Truce in the Bragging Wars,” in which his rules are grounded in expert advice and real reporting (something we do in our articles on NYMetroParents main site, but this blog—like most—relies more heavily on personal experience and observations).
(I was heartened to see that, while coming at this topic from different places, we ended up in similar territory. The one rule on his list that I wish I had thought to include: “Brag about effort, not accomplishment.”)
I'm not going to ask
you if you think bragging about your kids is okay.
Instead, please share: Tell us your favorite current brag about your kids (we’re a captive audience!).