How to know if you are a bragger, examples needed please! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the title says it all!

I am a first time Mama and I don't know what the line is.

This is a S/O of the other thread where some mamas were saying live and let live and some were saying they avoid the people they know who do this. I don't feel like I'm being avoided so I am hoping I'm good!
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#2 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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Brag:

To talk boastfully.

Arrogant or boastful speech or manner.

boast:

glorify oneself in speech - talk in a self admiring way.

I think as long as you don't make accomplishments bigger than they are (my kid is the best at.......) or compare (Johnny is better than susie at xyz) you are good to go.

I don't think there is anything wrong with sharing accomplishments and excitement in a sensitive manner.
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#3 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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Yes, to the above. And I'll add; listen to the other parent talk about their children's accomplishments as well w/o seeming put off.
My biggest complaint is how some parents want to talk and talk about their children but then get all bothered/annoyed when you say anything about your children.

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#4 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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I think that there are many ways to do it. Luckily, it's somewhat rare. I know a fellow homeschooler who is constantly saying how little her child is challenged in this program and that because her daughter is on such a higher level than her peers. This kid is very immature and her mother is pushing her into classes with kids who are very much older in order to satisfy some need to brag, apparently. So, that's one example. If you're pushing your child to perform in order to give you bragging rights, that's annoying on many levels.

All parents brag a little. I'm excited when my kids learn something or say something cute. I wouldn't brag about my kid just winning a race (just an example) to a parent with a disabled child. I try not to compare my kids to other kids too much.

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#5 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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I think there are really two kinds of bragging, especially with parents. There's the "standard" kind of bragging, when we talk about our kids and how cute, smart, kind, mature, etc. etc. etc. they are all the time. It's bragging, but I think most people roll with it okay. Then, there's the one-upmanship bragging. It's no longer enough to say "my son is such a cutie-pie". Now, it becomes "my son is cuter than your son" and "my dd is so much smarter than the other kids" or the somewhat bizarre "my kids are so big". These are the ones mentioned in the other thread - the ones who, upon hearing about your baby reaching a developmental milestone, will always throw in "oh, just now? My baby was walking/talking/potty trained/sleeping through the night/writing essays/finding the cure to cancer at one month old". They simply don't seem capable of letting a person enjoy their own children's accomplishments without making sure everyone knows that the bragger's child(ren) did it earlier and did it better.

One-upmanship braggers are pretty hard to take, but I find if I keep my sense of humour turned on, it helps a lot.

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#6 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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When a parent is obviously proud of their kid for something and just thrilled and it's not at all about the kid being better than someone else - you can tell. I don't mind that.

When it's about how little Jayden is so much better at advanced Japanese than that poor Willow who can't remember anything and whose mother - can you imagine - sends her to school with non-organic cheese sticks! Well, that's something far more obnoxious.

But what truly gets my goat is passive-agressive bragging disguised as complaining. As in: "Oh, I have to go out and buy new batteries again. Such a chore. Why on earth does Peyton have to stay up at night with a flashlight reading War and Peace every night? Couldn't I have a normal kid? Your little Allison is five and she's not reading, right? Must be so nice not to have to buy batteries all the time." Etc.
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#7 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
But what truly gets my goat is passive-agressive bragging disguised as complaining. As in: "Oh, I have to go out and buy new batteries again. Such a chore. Why on earth does Peyton have to stay up at night with a flashlight reading War and Peace every night? Couldn't I have a normal kid? Your little Allison is five and she's not reading, right? Must be so nice not to have to buy batteries all the time." Etc.
:, it's so obnoxious.

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#8 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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In my opinion, bragging is really in the "ear" of the hearer. lol I'd say use your judgement to see where each individual reacts as you talk about your child. I have friends who are insecure about their parenting (or whatever else in their lives), so I make sure to not discuss certain aspects of my life with those people. Good luck!
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#9 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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Yes, I'd say watch your audience. If they are rolling their eyes, saying "That's good" or "Uh-huh" a lot, or stuff like that, you should tone it down.

I think it really takes a pretty self-absorbed person to be a real bore of a bragger. The fact that you are concerned that other people might think you are bragging leads me to believe you are not self-absorbed. So I wouldn't worry about it.
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#10 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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I think it really takes a pretty self-absorbed person to be a real bore of a bragger. The fact that you are concerned that other people might think you are bragging leads me to believe you are not self-absorbed. So I wouldn't worry about it.
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#11 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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.

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#12 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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I think bragging is much like pornography. You can't really define it all that well, but you know it when you hear it!
:
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#13 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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But what truly gets my goat is passive-agressive bragging disguised as complaining. As in: "Oh, I have to go out and buy new batteries again. Such a chore. Why on earth does Peyton have to stay up at night with a flashlight reading War and Peace every night? Couldn't I have a normal kid? Your little Allison is five and she's not reading, right? Must be so nice not to have to buy batteries all the time." Etc.
Similarly, I roll my eyes at some thread titles I've seen on various parenting sites. They usually start something like: "At what age do children learn their ABC's?" or "Is this normal for a 16-month old?", but then when you read the thread it's actually a super passive-aggressive brag about how their kid is doing thus and such, and the whole post is just an excuse to show off.

Please don't get me wrong on this: there are certainly legit posts that ask these questions! But please don't expect me to take it seriously when you ask "Should Johnny know his numbers already, because he can count to 100 and he's only 18 months; is that normal or should I be concerned?"
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#14 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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Similarly, I roll my eyes at some thread titles I've seen on various parenting sites. They usually start something like: "At what age do children learn their ABC's?" or "Is this normal for a 16-month old?", but then when you read the thread it's actually a super passive-aggressive brag about how their kid is doing thus and such, and the whole post is just an excuse to show off.

Please don't get me wrong on this: there are certainly legit posts that ask these questions! But please don't expect me to take it seriously when you ask "Should Johnny know his numbers already, because he can count to 100 and he's only 18 months; is that normal or should I be concerned?"
I have seen this in posts where I feel like responders have crossed the line into bragging. When a person posts something like, "When did your dc start saying their ABCs? Because my ds is 3 years old and isn't able to say his ABCs yet and I don't know if I should be concerned."

Follow that up with post after post of, "My dd knew all her ABCs at 2 months and was writing by the time she was 18 months."

I think that there is a time to be proud of your dc's accomplishments and there is a time to read all the details and be sensitive to what the other person is REALLY saying (IRL and on the boards). And if you can't contain yourself and just really need to go on about how advanced your dc is, then you have crossed the line into bragging.

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#15 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 09:08 PM
 
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An example of over the top bragging:

My middle DD has a genetic disease. It has no cure. It makes it extremely difficult for her to gain weight and to grow. SIL has a son that is about a year younger than DD. After every Dr's appointment (for her son) she would call my DH or we would see her at MIL's house. She would always ask how much our DD weighed and how tall she was, then brag that her son was going to catch up to our DD and outgrow her. I finally told DH that if I EVER heard her comparing them again something would happen to her that I can't post here. I guess he told her what I said because she stopped.

So that it what bragging is to me, trying to belittle someone else's accomplishments to make yours seem bigger.
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#16 of 40 Old 08-31-2009, 09:10 PM
 
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An example of over the top bragging:

My middle DD has a genetic disease. It has no cure. It makes it extremely difficult for her to gain weight and to grow. SIL has a son that is about a year younger than DD. After every Dr's appointment (for her son) she would call my DH or we would see her at MIL's house. She would always ask how much our DD weighed and how tall she was, then brag that her son was going to catch up to our DD and outgrow her. I finally told DH that if I EVER heard her comparing them again something would happen to her that I can't post here. I guess he told her what I said because she stopped.

So that it what bragging is to me, trying to belittle someone else's accomplishments to make yours seem bigger.
That goes even beyond bragging, imo. Bragging tends to be self-centered, at least ime. This isn't just self-centered - it sounds malicious.

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#17 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 03:37 AM
 
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I see it online when a poster asks when kids learned abcs to to talk or walk because they are worried about their child who on the later end of the milestone for that skill and people post about their child who did something really really early when someone is obviosuly worried.

IRL there was a mom who would constantly talk about how smart her toddler was and how early they did everything like talking in sentences super early and walking early etc and mention it constantly about how everyone thought she was super inteligient including innapropriate times like right after other moms are worried about their child's development. When they were asking advice like how to wean from a bottle they will say well so and so is advanced in everything else but...

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#18 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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But what truly gets my goat is passive-agressive bragging disguised as complaining. As in: "Oh, I have to go out and buy new batteries again. Such a chore. Why on earth does Peyton have to stay up at night with a flashlight reading War and Peace every night? Couldn't I have a normal kid? Your little Allison is five and she's not reading, right? Must be so nice not to have to buy batteries all the time." Etc.
: <tear> Yes, this exactly!
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#19 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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Similarly, I roll my eyes at some thread titles I've seen on various parenting sites. They usually start something like: "At what age do children learn their ABC's?" or "Is this normal for a 16-month old?", but then when you read the thread it's actually a super passive-aggressive brag about how their kid is doing thus and such, and the whole post is just an excuse to show off.

Please don't get me wrong on this: there are certainly legit posts that ask these questions! But please don't expect me to take it seriously when you ask "Should Johnny know his numbers already, because he can count to 100 and he's only 18 months; is that normal or should I be concerned?"

Well, a little plug for gifted tolerance...

Some kids really do learn things early - and parents of gifted kids like to share accomplishment just like everybody else.

Sometimes parents really are concerned when a child can count to 100 at 18 months. They wonder if it is in the normal development range - and what the ramifications are if it isn't. If it turns out their child is gifted - there are a lot of things to be concerned about (it aint all peaches and cream).

Just saying.

Back to your regualrly schedueled program.

Kathy
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#20 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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I think a lot depends on whether you're able to recognize that the other person (a) may not be interested in a blow-by-blow recitation of your child's accomplishments and/or (b) has children that s/he would also like to talk about and your willingness to listen to their stuff.

For example, I have a Senior in HS - so we're in full swing with the college process. He's bright, has good scores/grades, has specific interests and goals in mind, etc. It's an exciting time for us. It does tend to be a topic that's always close to the top of my mind, and so tends to be something I'm interested in talking about a fair bit of the time. I have friends whose kids are in a similar place - I have to assume that they ALSO want to talk about where their kids are looking at. Then I have friends whose kids aren't there yet - and I figure that they're not as interested, so I try to soft-pedal it some. And then there are the friends whose kids are great kids, but not interested in college, or don't know what they want to do, or don't have the ability (for whatever reason).They also tend to be interested in what "our" kids are doing, but I try to make sure to keep the conversation including their kids' strengths and interests and what they're considering.

To ME, none of the above is braggardly. Although I guess some might.
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#21 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 10:52 AM
 
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Sometimes parents really are concerned when a child can count to 100 at 18 months. They wonder if it is in the normal development range - and what the ramifications are if it isn't. If it turns out their child is gifted - there are a lot of things to be concerned about (it aint all peaches and cream).
Often a parent with a child doing stuff like this really early, gets people telling him/her that it's a red flag for autism, so they are very genuinely concerned even if it's not something they should be worried about.

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#22 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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I think online it is very diffiuclt to tell if someone is bragging.

What may seem like bragging might really be someone giving example to try to illustrate a point, or explaining things upfront.

Not everyone puts the same weight on things. To some, saying "Johnny is bright" is simply fact - like "johnyy has blue eyes". He did not do deserves his brightness, you are not particualrly proud or ashamed of him for it (he did not do anything to earn it). It just is.

In real life, bragging is much easier to spot, lol.

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#23 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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But what truly gets my goat is passive-agressive bragging disguised as complaining. As in: "Oh, I have to go out and buy new batteries again. Such a chore. Why on earth does Peyton have to stay up at night with a flashlight reading War and Peace every night? Couldn't I have a normal kid? Your little Allison is five and she's not reading, right? Must be so nice not to have to buy batteries all the time." Etc.

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#24 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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Often a parent with a child doing stuff like this really early, gets people telling him/her that it's a red flag for autism, so they are very genuinely concerned even if it's not something they should be worried about.
Usually that's obviously not what the poster means, however. You can totally tell the difference between genuine concern and an excuse to brag.
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#25 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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My friend's daughter is the same age as mine. She never outright brags, but she does tell stories nonstop of funny/cute/smart things her daughter did. This is normal conversation for two mamas but she goes on and on. If I get a moment to get a similar story in she pretty much ignores it and moves on to her next. None of her other friends have children so I can see how they are okay with this (they are all women who adore her child), but when she's with me it's like... come on. Give and take. I have a funny/cute/smart child too and I'd like to share some things with you too. So I see it as a sort of bragging, but in a different way. You know?
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#26 of 40 Old 09-01-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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I used to live next door to a couple who had a baby 6 months after my ds was born. We were friends for quite a while. We would often run into them on the way in and out of the house. Every time we saw them, it felt like they were bragging--their baby was rolling over early, she was talking early, they couldn't believe how smart, great, advanced etc. she was. Oh shut up already! I dreaded running into them, because my ds was on the slower end of meeting his milestones, and eventually needed speech therapy. The bragging just felt like a steamroller all the time, no humor, no self-deprecation, no sense that I was feeling bad hearing all this.

Eventually that friendship disolved, over a few other unrelated issues, but I think the bragging contributed too.

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#27 of 40 Old 09-02-2009, 09:01 AM
 
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When I run into you in town and ask if your son is going to preschool yet and you look at me with a smug knowing look, smile and nod, and say "he got into such and such preschool", then you are a bragger

The preschool in mention is a sought after one in this town with a waiting list a mile long. "Getting in" means you smooched some butt and did some fund raising and got put to the top of the list.

If I had rolled my eyes any harder they would have rolled out of my head.

Other than that, we all just love on our children and aren't afraid to mention it
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#28 of 40 Old 09-02-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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When I run into you in town and ask if your son is going to preschool yet and you look at me with a smug knowing look, smile and nod, and say "he got into such and such preschool", then you are a bragger

Or....maybe they were excited they got in???

Obviously you know better, you were there....

---------------------
On a seperate note:

I think we need to be easier on each other and not judge. What comes across as bragging to you may not be the speakers or posters intent. I think there is a cultural bias against bragging - so people sometimes come across as overly sensitive and a bit judgemental in that regard. Sharing accomplisments is not bragging.

Peace,

kathy
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#29 of 40 Old 09-02-2009, 10:27 AM
 
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My friend's daughter is the same age as mine. She never outright brags, but she does tell stories nonstop of funny/cute/smart things her daughter did. This is normal conversation for two mamas but she goes on and on. If I get a moment to get a similar story in she pretty much ignores it and moves on to her next. None of her other friends have children so I can see how they are okay with this (they are all women who adore her child), but when she's with me it's like... come on. Give and take. I have a funny/cute/smart child too and I'd like to share some things with you too. So I see it as a sort of bragging, but in a different way. You know?
I have a friend like that. I just let her go on and on and basically ignore it...
I thought of this thread this morning when a friend called me to tell me how gorgeous her DD looked on the first day of school yesterday and went on and on to tell me exactly what she wore and how much it cost (WTH?) and how her hair was done and how some kid complimented her on how she looked way better in that outfit than another girl who wore the same thing did and yada yada yada LMAO
Bragging doesn't bother me. It's easy to tune out.

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#30 of 40 Old 09-02-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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To keep going on and on about your child to another person and not giving any care to their own child. To repeatedly talk about your child's accomplish every single time you are with the other person, even when that person doesn't seem to want to discuss the topic. It's hard to explain but I can definintely tell the difference between a mom who brags excessively and tends to compare her kids to my own, and a parent that does the normal or right amount of bragging.

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