Google+ Authentic Parenting: Why You Shouldn't Brag About Your Child

Monday, February 4, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Brag About Your Child

Our children are truly little wonders and we love them with all of our hearts. Sometimes, they completely baffle us with what they're capable of and they make us so proud as parents. Yet even though they fill you with all this joy and pride it's not a good idea to brag about your kids.

Most obviously, bragging is just plain annoying and antisocial. It creates competition and sets people up against each other. Any kind of bragging will just rub people the wrong way, so if you're looking for connection, this is not the way to go. Bragging about your kids makes people wonder if you have nothing else in your life, if you are in fact, living through your kids, seeking attention by the merit of your child's performances.

But what about your child? What does it do to your child if you are constantly bragging about him.

When a child hears you brag about his character or performance, he knows that you have set expectations. And as most children just want to please and be loved, he will try as best as he can to live up to those expectations.
It is completely possible that at one time your child will not be able to live up to those expectations, and then what? This will at the very least create undue stress in your child.
In working hard to maintain your pride in that one area, your child will most likely not be spending his efforts in other areas: children labelled as intelligent might further work on their intellectual capacities, at the loss of their social skills.

So by all means: share your child's achievements and be proud, but don't brag! And value your child's other qualities too. Make sure your child knows you like being with him just for him, not for this one aspect of him. Show interest and pride when he tries things out of his range of obvious talents.
Connecting to your child will get you so much further than labeling and judging.



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1 comment:

  1. The way we praise kids is so interesting to me. I've been reading "NurtureShock" and one chapter goes into detail about how a good bit of praise is more for the parent's benefit than the child's.

    And kids really pick up on what their parents see as an activity, skill, or award as worthy of praise and one that's not. There's a bias that adults don't even know they have when they're speaking with or in front of a child.

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