Oct. 18, 2021

Ask Margaret - Is It OK to Brag About My Kid to My Mom Friends?

Feeling proud of our kids is completely normal. But just as we tell our kids which "spaces and places" are appropriate for their behavior, we need to remember that our mom friends may not always be the best audience for our excitement about our kids' achievements.

Childhood is not a competition, but it can feel that way when talk in our mom circles focuses too much on what our kids are achieving. It's fine to be proud of our kids' accomplishments, but if you've ever wondered whether you're oversharing your kids' milestones, you might identify with this week's question, from our Facebook Page:

My toddler has always been pretty ahead of the curve when it comes to milestones, but my friend's kids are usually behind. How can I keep pressure off the friendship when I sense some jealousy? I'd really like to express enthusiasm for my child's growth, but worry that it's unwelcome.

If you are worried your enthusiasm is not being received well, it's probably a good idea to dial it back. When our kids are small, the concept of milestones is emphasized at each pediatrician visit. Is your one-year-old playing peek-a-boo? Is your eighteen-month-old saying four words? Yes, it can be exciting when our kids meet (or beat) those expectations. But children mature at very different rates, and placing too much emphasis on whose child is already exhibiting reading proficiency may cause friction between us and our fellow parents.

Does that mean that you don't get to talk about your kids' greatest hits? No. But it's a good idea to identify the members of your kids "cheering section" (think grandmothers here) who will never tire of hearing about your kids' achievements, and make them your most frequent audience.

And don't forget to be honest with your parent friends, which means sharing all facets of your parenting journey. One mom may have a kid who is a blazing fast reader but who struggles with sleep. Another parent may have a kiddo who just made the travel soccer team but is struggling socially. When we talk honestly with our friends about the ups and downs of parenting, it helps us help each other– and this is never unwelcome.

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