Saturday 26 January 2013

The Sunday Parenting Party - Permission to be proud

Taming the Goblin

Its time for the Sunday Parenting Party. Please link up your parenting related posts, these are anecdotes, experiences, tips and tricks or cries for help, anything specifically related to being a parent and raising kids. Please don't link up kids activity and craft posts. These can be linked to Kids Co-op
I give you permission to be proud.
(Goblin is 39 months)
I am really proud of Goblin's swimming. He has essentially taught himself to swim. There are going to be kids his age that are more advanced in swimming and there are going to be others who are far behind. But that doesn't stop me being proud of my son's achievements. 

This got me thinking that while we are all told we are supposed to take pride in our children's achievements we don't often get a chance to share them in a guilt free way. 
You can talk to a friend or colleague who doesn't have kids. But they often don't have a clue what kids are supposed to be able to achieve at a given age, so they don't realise that writing aged three or walking aged 8 months is a big deal. Even if they do listen and sound interested you probably find yourself feeling a bit guilty that you are going on about your child and not talking about something that they might actually want to talk about. 

So you really want to share your child's big (and little) achievements with other parents who will get the reason you are so pleased. But response from other parents often isn't entirely positive. Sometimes it come in one of two forms:

The 'Put down' 
"Oh yes my child achieved that at X age" [several months before your child]
This leaves you deflated and feeling stupid that you were so proud of something that apparently isn't such a big whoop after all

The 'Guilt trip'
"Oh my child is still struggling with that, it will be ages before he achieves it"
This leaves you feeling like you've been boasting. Often in a desperate attempt to backtrack you will end up dumbing down your kids amazingness . 

Are you guilty of responding to friends in this way? 
I know I am. Too often the achievements of other children make me question my own parenting. So rather than helping them to celebrate their child's achievements I respond from a more self centred stance. 
I'm not saying you should never respond in these ways. Sometimes you need to have a conversation with another mum or dad about your anxieties and their child's achievements will act as the catalyst for that conversation. But maybe occasionally we should just let another parent savour their child's achievement for what it is.

So starting today I'm going to make an effort to enjoy my friend's kids achievements simply for what they are rather than as a paranoid comparison to my own child. I'm going to respond to friends with phrases like

"Thats awesome, what a clever kid" "You must be so proud of him/her"
"That's Pretty cool"   "Oh how wonderful"

And then sit back and enjoy the smile I know will spread on a fellow parents face as they see its OK to be proud of their child. 

And to help me start off my celebration of parental pride I'd love for you to leave a comment telling me why you are proud of your kids. Lets all enjoy children's achievements without worrying that our own child doesn't match up.

My top 5 posts from last week are
Child led learning - Like Mama ~ Like Daughter
Encouragement: Building block #3 for positive parenting - Positive Parenting Connection
Attachment Parenting for Introverts - Prickly Mom
Finding Happiness as a Stay at Home Mom - Connection Family and Seoul
Job entitlements - Just for Daisy

And now to the linky


  1. I agree, being proud can be difficult sometimes. I'm proud of my daughter for being so caring and thoughtful and I'm proud of my son for being so happy and cheerful. Thanks for your post.

  2. I really like your post... permission to be proud!! Thank you for the feature!

  3. What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing ours!

  4. Those are beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing! The funny thing is that in my circle of moms with kids, we are so P.C. about sharing accomplishments. We have a tendency to downplay them in case of offending the other mom/kid who hasn't gotten there yet. I don't like that either!

  5. Oh I find this one difficult. It's so deeply ingrained in me that it's bad to brag. I hate to make others feel bad. I will downplay everything. I always celebrate others achievements though but it does make things feel a bit one sided sometimes.

  6. I'm proud of my boys too! I definitely play this game with other parents but am grateful that I have a mom and a sister that I feel I can brag to without feeling guilty. I'm going to be more mindful now of how I respond to other parents - I'm sure I've been a bit insensitive in the past.

  7. Thanks for the feature! :) x I'm proud of my daughter (2.5) for her empathy and kindness at such a tender age! :)

  8. I proud of my "practically-perfect-in-every-way" children. (LOL- we're reading Mary Poppins right now and this was the first brag that popped into my head!)

  9. Love this post because it's very true but also unfortunate - I wish parents could support and celebrate with each other more, on this and so many other things's better to travel in good company! thank you for featuring the 3rd building block for positive parenting!!

  10. Ive been dealing with something like this for a while now :( anytime I share something with her no matter what if somethings bad hers has to be worse, if its something good hers has to be better. Ive stopped sharing somethings with her cuz I'm tired of her making me feel bad. I don't know if its purpose or not but it sux when they are your only friend. I'm not saying I haven't done it, most times without realizing it but ive learned to be careful in what I say!


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