March 16, 2014 by jeliwobble
With social media changing how we communicate, this is something that seems to get a lot of bad rap, for no real explicable reason as far as I can see. Why would a parent not want to boast about their kid? Hey, everyone, look what my genes are capable of!
I suspect, what it is, is the reverse Spotlight Effect. No one is actually sitting there thinking, ‘Oh, actually, you know what, I will post this boast about my child’s prowess in order to shame some other random parent on the internet because their child doesn’t do that’.
This is vastly different from Smug Parenting, where someone responds to a poster’s worry or question about what their child is or isn’t doing with a ‘Well, *I* never had that trouble because *I* did this’ implying that they are clearly a better parent than the worried poster, when they probably didn’t have a child with that particular issue in the first instance.
I was invited to make a boast post about my children on a forum I use, exactly because of this tendency to see boast posts as somehow Smug Parenting, instead of what they are, which is being proud that your genetic doodads are actually doing stuff that could be seen as amazing!
So, with that in mind, here are my four little boasts:
First there is Eldest. My weird one. Deeply twisted macabre sense of humour, with a large dose of anxious intelligence. Wanted to be a palaeontologist at 6, a vet at 10, and is now thinking about either biochemistry or psychology. She is socially inept (like her mother) but a staunch friend, incredibly beautiful, fierce in her belief in and defence of equality, and is hyper aware of social injustice.
Next there is Middlie. She is quiet in new places, till she gets the measure of them. She is my lawyer, despite also wanting to be a vet. If there is a loophole in your argument, she will find it and spear you with it! She is rarely happy, but is a content sort of child, who you can sit in pleasant silence with. She is probably cleverer than her big sister but God help you if you try to say it and she refuses quite often to put the effort in to show the world, because she is frightened of stepping out from her big sister’s shadow. She is, however, beautiful inside and out, generous to a fault and my kindest child by a country mile, though she has a mean streak…as they all do…and her lawyerly ways make her crimes almost perfect!
Then there is Son. My handsome chap. My ball of energy who can break things as soon as look at them. Can’t sit still, will not be *taught*, but has to learn by doing, feeling, seeing. Is as intelligent as his sisters but his talents will probably lie in sales or politics because this chap has charisma in spades, he oozes it. He is utterly charming and polite, and is simply annoying because he avoids the trouble he should be in by flashing those long lashes. He can do something daft like hurt a little friend for absolutely no reason and yet still get invited to their birthday. And ALL the girls love him. He’s that little bit bad boy that has just the right amount of vulnerability…
And finally, there is Smallest. She is proving every bit as feisty as her siblings. Decided to hit all her milestones just a little bit early, like her biggest sister, shares and gives playmates stuff already as well as loving stuffed animals, like her middle sister, and can charm the birds out of the trees, like her brother. She is the best of all of them, she is the one that brings our family together, finishes us. Before, my children were all different, they didn’t even look much alike. Then Smallest came, and everybody made sense.
I hope you don’t mind my boast posts.