Burgeoning Bragging Wars? Or facebook failure?

Ah, bragging. Parental boastfulness has remained a favored topic here at Manners for Modern Mothers. Whether general bragging, bragging about eating habits, or even the terminology of bragging, such showing off is a precarious parental situation which we have revisited time and again.

Apparently, we are not alone. In “A Truce in the Bragging Wars” the New York Times reports mommy blogs have declared war on parental bragging and offers nine guidelines for “acceptable chest thumping.” Assuming one must brag at all, we applaud the suggestion that a parent should brag about the child not his/her parenting prowess, and agree that grandparents are an excellent audience.  However, we retain some reservations about the idea of offsetting boasts with admissions of shortcomings, as children will inevitably overhear and might not like to have parents report on bed-wetting habits, even if it is mentioned in conjunction with their perfect SAT scores. Above all, we have to wonder, can’t one strive to take the high road and remain above this fray?

Instead of raving about one's own offspring, perhaps we should remember to ask, "and, how is your family?" Of course, that would mean an actual conversation, not just status updates on facebook. Perhaps the problem is not one of bragging but changing communication and the prevalence of facebook/twitter/social media. On Motherlode, K.J, Dell'Antonia suggests that parents weary of excessive bragging might want to change their facebook feeds to see different friends. We might even go so far as to suggest that if it leaves you vaguely disgruntled, or makes you feel like an inadequate parent of underaccomplished children, then go cold turkey. Just don't forget to sign up for Manners for Modern Mothers by email: no vacation pictures, no reports of prizes won, and no brattling, just a few attempts at humor, the ocasional rant, and an ongoing discussion of manners in the modern world.




2 comments:

Kate said...

Very timely! I caught my husband bragging about my son when we were out with friends at a restaurant. "He's a great test taker!" he said. I had to chime in with, "He has been sent to the principal's office every year he has been in elementary school!" And then I added that he has a terrible haircut and looks ridiculous in his headbands that he wears like Bjorn Borg every day to school. I guess I am one of those bragging deflectors.

EHP said...

Hilarious, Kate. I think you're deflections were well done - funny and we all know humor is the best way to put everyone an ease.

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