Posted: Mar 29, 2012 12:32 PM
Sometimes the line between proud parent and braggart is a fine one. When is it appropriate to brag about our children and when does bragging merit a parental time-out?

Let's face it, we have all been in the room with a parent who brags excessively about his or her child's achievements. As parents, we may sometimes feel elation as our children meet and surpass milestones, but when does bragging become a problem? More importantly, can it alienate other parents?

There are moments when I wonder if I am that woman — the one who boasts about her children so much that she actually annoys her friends and family.

I'm not that woman — right?

I will admit, I am wholly preoccupied with my kids, as I think are most mothers. There is rarely a moment when I am not considering their wants and needs — and the entirety of my daily life is filled with their laughter, accomplishments, tantrums and triumphs.

Milestones are certainly worth mentioning, however, at times bragging can be not only annoying, but hurtful.

Why do parents brag?

I want to believe that boasting about my children has nothing to do with my own ego, but I know that on some level, it does.

I would never consider rattling on about my own abilities, because it seems so clearly rude. Yet I find myself regularly going on at length about my 2-year-old's impressive knowledge of dinosaurs or the fact that my 3-month-old rolled over this week.

When is it okay to brag?

Milestones are certainly worth mentioning, however, at times bragging can be not only annoying, but hurtful.

I try to save bragging about my children for instances when people ask about them. When friends inquire about my kids, I do take that opportunity to share a few of their recent accomplishments. But I try to keep it to a minimum unless they continue to engage me on the subject.

Avoiding the urge to one-up another parent is also crucial. Be sure to give other parents the floor to share stories about their own children — and offer the same interest and enthusiasm that you would expect in return.

As we all know, every child is different, and bragging could be particularly hurtful to parents whose children have developmental delays.

How do you feel about parents who brag?

I am definitely a cheerleader for my children, and though I try to limit bragging about my kids, I am sure there are times when I am that woman.

Tell me what you think — are you annoyed by parents who brag?

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Maureen Wallace April 17, 2013
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Crissy, this is a great perspective. As mom to a child with special needs, I often find it particularly hard to listen to bragging -- and complaining -- from moms whose children can do so much, so easily. It's tough when I watch my son work so hard for milestones other moms take for granted. Thanks for sharing!
L. N. May 25, 2012
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I try very hard not to brag about my children. Do I talk about them a lot? Yes! I have little else to talk about really- my life revolves around them and my job, and my job is rather boring, while my kids tend to do something funnyish at least once a week.

I have a relative that ONLY talks about their grand child's perfectness and that they can do this or that or they are so super excelled and excellent. It gets tiring. I'd rather hear about them crayoning the wall (and how they found out what gets it off!) instead of how they learned their ABC's at 2 years old.

I DO feel it's important that your children hear you're proud of them and that they hear you talk about the good things they do. It is entirely possible to do so without being a braggart.
Anonymous May 24, 2012
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In every case I've seen bragging parents are trying to elevate themselves regardless of the reality of the greatness of their child. PLASTIC!. We are all sinful humans-fallible at times. What TREMENDOUS pressure to put upon our children to brag. It is far more elegant to not brag and for others to learn/see the reality of a person's ability/character first hand. WAY more genuine.