Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things Parents Do for Bragging Rights

The longer I'm a mother, and the more parents I talk to (or read), the more I see it: things parents do so that they can brag up their kid. Sure, they may sight lots of logical reasons for doing these things, but underneath it all- if they were to be completely honest- they are doing it for bragging rights.

These things include:

-early potty training their kid ("Well, my daughter was potty trained at 15 months!")

-extra focus on teaching young kids-or babies!-their letters/numbers/colors/shapes (He's been able to write his letters since he was 2!") ("She knew all of her colors by 13 months!")

-feeding babies and toddlers unusual fruits and vegetables, possibly even things the family didn't eat much of before baby came on the scene ("If you ask her what her favorite food is, she'll say fennel!")

-using complex words for things that have a more common and simple name ("She said to me the other day 'Mommy, I need to use the commode.'") ("He loves to sit in the barcalounger so much that barcalounger was his first word!")

-insisting the child be absolutely accurate in their vocabulary, even when they are just learning to talk ("No, sweetie, that's not a puppy. It's a dingo.")

-taking away things that most babies/toddlers still need or use ("He's been using a cup exclusively since he was 9 months old!") ("She moved to her big girl bed on her first birthday.")

Sure, some kids are just bright or ahead of the curve. But the thing that seasoned parents know- and new parents quickly learn- is that, for example, the age at which a child is potty trained does not have much at all to do with how smart he or she is.

I was definitely guilty of a couple of these things, especially the first time around. How about you? And what did I miss? There must be more that could go on this list...


Erica said...

I don't think I was guilty of this kind of thing, but I did feel tremendous shame if my kid was "behind" other kids' development. Maddie potty trained quite a bit later than her contemporaries and I was embarrassed as though it was a failure on both our parts. Which is abso-freaking-lutely ridiculous.

Swistle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swistle said...

Ack! Yes! Oh, these are wincingly funny!

I think what makes me wince the most is that most of the braggers have no idea how transparent they're being. WE ALL KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING.

LoriD said...

With the first, you have more time to work on some of these things (like the colours, numbers, etc.). If you go to any 'mommy and me' -type groups, you have to have something to brag about (besides having the cutest kid in the room - hee).

d e v a n said...

I do think some parents do this, but I also find it frustrating that you can't say ANYthing about your kids without people either saying you are bragging or, on the flip side, complaining. Sometimes it's just a fact, or making conversation.
I mostly hate the bragging when it's in a "one up-manship" type of way. (how's that for a made up word? ha)

a - "How's tommy doing"
b - "good, he's sleeping through the night now."
a - "Oh, well, little angelica's being do that for ages now!"

Katie said...

Bragging (about my own kid) makes me so icked out that I actually find it harder to even tell people about his big accomplishments. Now with my girl/mommy friends if I want to brag about something I flat out say: "Dude, I need to brag a second because guess what my kid did!"
Then we all know that I know what I am doing and I feel less... dirty about it. :)
Hate the one-uppers more than the braggers too.

Mrs. Haid said...

I totally understand. Sometimes I think that I read too many parenting books for my own sake (sanity? insecurity? those words also work!). I've felt so much pressure to be good at it that I wonder if I made his babyfood or nursed a year or cloth diapered or read at least 20 minutes a day to him for my sake or his.

Fennel... ha ha. I just tried fennel this year!

Kristin said...

Ha! This was great! I'm guilty of the unusual fruit/veg thing. THERE! I said it!

Jess said...

Ooh, fun! I wonder which of these we'll end up doing. Also, this is a reason why it's good to raise a kid with a second parent--someone to brag to who actually wants to hear it!

Swistle said...

Oh, whew---I read today's post and worried there'd been flak on this one, but no.

Mrs. Haid said...

I cited your writing here. And said some more.

Mimi said...

Oh yeah, I FOR SURE did this the first time around. I have become increasingly humbled with the passage of time and with the more kids I've had.