So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I brag about my kids too much. I know I do it. I should probably keep my mouth shut. Sometimes I think I suffer from diarrhea of the mouth, not just about my kids, but about other subjects, as well. I’m sure it’s why I’m a writer. I have thought that maybe if I just write down all the things going on in my head (did I mention I have ADD?), I won’t have to talk as much. So far, this hasn’t worked out well for me (or others), but a girl can dream.

I read an article the other day about Facebook “bragging,” what is okay, and what’s not okay to post. Most of the article had to do with children and how much their parents are inclined to “brag” on the social network about them. The article pointed out how bothered some people get when they see extremely positive comments about one’s own children.

Here’s my view, just in case anyone is interested…

I like it. I like when my friends on Facebook post a positive comment about their child/ren. I don’t mind if they post a video of their child hitting a home run at his baseball game. I like it when a friend posts the floor routine her daughter did at her recent gymnastics meet. I don’t even mind when a parent posts a picture of a great report card, and here’s why…

It takes a village, people. It really does. We hear so many negative comments about children and what they do or don’t do, bullying, name calling, low test scores, bad attitudes, and more. I like to see a parent who is proud of his/her child and feels so happy that he/she posts that child’s accomplishment on Facebook. I always try to write a positive message under that post. You see, we never know the whole story.

What if that child has had problems understanding math for years, and he finally got an “A” on his math test? Why wouldn’t that parent be so proud that he/she might post it for everyone to see? I like it.

What if a child has had issues with performing or speaking in front of a crowd, and she was able to get up, give a speech, and make it through without crying, stopping, or forgetting her words? If that was my kid, I’d probably post that speech online, too, and I’d brag too much, and people would roll their eyes. Whatever.

When my girlfriend posts that her daughter kicked two goals into the net at her soccer game, I applaud that effort, and I think to myself, “What a great mom, letting us know, and letting her daughter know that she is proud.” I just don’t see anything wrong with it.

I don’t think talking about the good things your child does is bragging. I mean, yes, they’re your kid, and that’s great, but they are their own, individual person. You don’t OWN that kid. You made them, you raise them, but that kid STILL has to make his/her own choices about what to do in life. Granted, you probably do have something to do with why that child makes good choices, but in the end, your kid has to decide how he/she will behave. You can’t always be there to decide for him/her. So, really, if your kid did something awesome, you should tell everyone, because your kid made a great choice. Your child worked hard for something and succeeded. I think that’s a great lesson to point out to anyone.

No matter how good, respectful, and smart your child is (mine included), he’s going to make bad choices at one time or another. He’s going to make a mistake, hundreds of mistakes, and you will need to be there to tell him why his choice wasn’t the best, and to help guide him as to how to fix the mistake he made. It will happen again and again, and sometimes you will feel like a failure. You will wonder if you talked with your child enough. You will feel guilty for not spending more time with your child because you had to work. You will wonder if you scarred your child for life because you didn’t talk through a specific situation quite thoroughly enough, and that’s why he made the poor choice.

None of that “bad” stuff will be posted on Facebook, well, at least for some people it won’t. So why not post the good stuff? We all know that with the good stuff, there is some bad stuff, and that’s okay, because we’ve all been there.

Instead of rolling your eyes when your old high school bestie posts that her daughter recently won an award for an essay she wrote, smile, “like” that post, and maybe even send your old friend a short note (on Facebook, of course), letting her know what an accomplishment it is and how nice that must be for her and her daughter.

Let’s start celebrating the good deeds and accomplishments of our friends’ children. Let’s let those parents and children know that we recognize their child’s positive works, and we applaud them. It can’t hurt, can it? You never know how just one positive comment about someone else’s kid might make a huge difference in how that child feels about himself. Or maybe that positive comment you make will brighten that parent’s otherwise awful day.

Honestly, if I have to sort through pictures of people’s cats dressed up as fancy old ladies, dogs wearing tutus, or pictures of the tuna salad some dude I don’t even remember from college ate for lunch, my Facebook friends should be able to handle a little bit of boasting about the two offspring I brought into this world (three hours of pushing with the first one. Huge head. HUGE). Don’t even get me started on the epidural that didn’t work. That effort alone is worth about ten brag posts, I think.

Let’s just be patient with the braggers. Let’s allow them post. Allow them to be proud. It might be just what they need to get through the day.

 

Tammi Landry-Gilder

Tammi is an author, wife, mother and blogger who lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan, with her husband, two sons, three dogs, and too many fish in a tank to count.

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