Monday, June 4, 2012

Warning: If You Constantly Brag About Your Kids, You Might Not Want To Read This.

Do you all know Dawn from Dawn's Diversions?? She also writes for The RHOK.

She's one of the sweetest people I've "met" online. She's the mother of two daughters, one of which is a teenager and one is 5.

Last week she had a status update that was particularly poignant and really resonated with me. It was in light of the fact that every other person on Facebook was giving huge kudos and props to their kids for receiving awards either academic or otherwise.

This is been weighing on my heart ever since and I wanted to show you the status update and then talk about my perspective.

Dawn's update:
Since everyone is bragging on their children I thought I'd brag on mine.
We finished the year. Yes, that's it.
It seems all my friends have the smartest, most talented kids and I really am happy for all of you. Jobs well done!
But, should you have kids that didn't receive any awards be just as proud of your kids for just finishing. It's these kids I really feel for during awards times. Give them an extra hug, they worked hard, too. :)

I can see both sides of this, truly, I can. However, if you are on Facebook and there are people that you know that are constantly, constantly, constantly bragging up their kids (who i'm sure are wonderful), and you know those people (we all do), it gets rather tiring. Annoying at least and sometimes infuriating.

The thing is that there are many children out there that it's the biggest accomplishment in their young lives to just go to school. To just get there. To make it through the day, every day, for 9 months.

Think about kids these days. Kids can be mean. They could and often were when I was a kid too. But these days it seems like things are on a whole different level. Kids are growing up too fast, have too many options, too many electronics and social outlets and often times too many privileges. Not to mention the sexualization that happens in this society, way too young, in my opinion.

If you aren't "one of the crowd" or getting tons of academic kudos, sports awards, or have the coolest clothes, neighborhood, parents, car, can be torn apart.

I'm not one of those parents who wants my child to be better than everyone else.

I want my children to be the best that they can be.

It's pretty clear when you become a parent that comparing children to each other is never, ever, ever a good thing. You just shouldn't do it. For your own sanity as much as protecting your children from being the victim of your way to high expectations.

We had a rough year. We did. And though both of my children did receive awards throughout the year for different things, mostly academic and behavior in nature, one of the biggest accomplishments that either of my children had this year was this:

They went. Every day.

Even though Big Boy had days where he was crying that he didn't want to go. When his anxiety was at it's peak and he was having the biggest inner battle he'd ever had...his heart was literally pounding with trepidation every morning, he was physically ill sometimes and to the point of terrified...

He went.

He made it through the day. He survived. They both did.

And even though they got excellent grades...neither have a whole bunch of friends or are the popular kids. They're both nice to all different children, even when dealing with their own issues and even when the other kids are just plain @$$holes. And, trust me, both you and I know that there are kids like that out there.

Even if they got straight Ds and struggled academically and socially...I would obviously care and hurt for them, but at the end of the day...when the rubber meets the road, what's important to me is that they went.

They did their job as elementary students. They were present. They dealt. We all dealt.

And our reward?

It's the last freakin' week of school! Thank the good Lord above it's almost over!

So, pardon me if I don't like every status update that I see about people with wonderful children who are surely destined to be the next president of the United States.

I am very happy with my children's accomplishments this year. And if you are a parent of a child whose biggest accomplishment this year was going ever day...then congratulations!!

Because even if your child won every academic, sports and social award this year? I guarantee it was harder on the socially awkward, the non academic and the un-popular kid who made straight Cs to just. go. every. day.

And there ya have it.

End rant.

Congratulations to all the parents and kids out there who made it, whether highly awarded or not at did it!


VandyJ said...

Well put. When you have one of those kids who is not the best at everything it's so hard to hear other parents talk up their high achieving angels. Doubly hard when you now those kids aren't angles.

Sarah Kate said...

This was really great, Macey! Bragging status' were one of the reasons I shut my FB down. I'm not sure what was more annoying - the people who posted daily about how wonderful their lives were, or the ones who complained all day about theirs.

I love your perspective on this, really. I'm guilty of pushing Lexie too hard, I know I am. I have good intentions, but I need to chill sometimes and just be grateful she's happy to go to school and makes decent grades. You're right...being proud that they tried is the utmost important thing. :o)

Heathers Happenings said...

Great post Mimi! I am a guilty of pushing Ryan this year. Everyday became a struggle to get him up and get him logged into class every morning.

Stephanie McCall said...

I love this! and yes, I have {and probably will!} brag about my kids but I totally get this post :)

McVal said...

Great post! I hope I'm not one of the annoying ones... ;) But you know, I need to focus on the positives... Too many negatives to count.
I am really impressed that you son went EVERY single day! My kids sometimes needed a day to decompress or they would explode. I rarely give in, but probably one day a year I let them when things are getting too over whelming and they just really need to get caught up on sleep.
YAY! They're done!!! Now what do we do with them?!

Connie Weiss said...

I think I'm the most happy that school is over because if I read one more thing about Kindergarten Graduation I was going to scream!

My kid did not graduate. He's doing K again next year.

The parents that patted themselves the hardest....are the one's that should have their kids repeating K too. I was in the classroom, I know that they are not ready.

My kid is going to repeat K so that he can master the skills to go forward. Their kids....are going to struggle.

Kindergarten graduation is bullshit.

Lourie said...

AMen!!! My Little Middle struggles so much in so many ways. And the fact that towards the end she pulled up her big girl panties and dealt with it gave me hope. No, she doesn't have awards coming out her ears, and she has not been in shows. She is not excellent in sports. But that girl fought to go each day. And she has pretty decent grades. So yes, I applaud her. I told her everyday how proud I was of her. And she shined every time. This is an awesome post!

I would also like to add, that we all can't put our kids in sports, or give them lessons(piano etc) because of financial reasons. So we do what we can. For this, I am so grateful for the wonderful arts program at our high school. I am excited for Little Middle to choose her path when the time comes!

Done. :)

Lourie said...

PS You can do it!!! One more week. You can do it!!!

Done for realsies! ;)

Dawn said...

Obviously you know how I feel about it. Thanks for sharing my status update. It sure resonated with a lot of folks. I think there were over 130 likes on it and I lost count of the comments. It seems most agreed and some got defensive.
It certainly was not meant to take away from those kids who excel in mos, if not all, that they do. Parents have every right to brag and be proud of their children.

If anything, I think I wanted people to be aware that there are just certain times of the year that are harder for some parents and kids.

I, like you, am just proud they finished this year. For my 14 year old daughter it was HARD. It was hard because she had teachers that weren't good and some that were even abusive and then she also dealt with several bullies. She also got suspended for finally defending herself against one of them. It was her standing up for herself that I was MOST proud of.That was better than any piece of paper award she could have received. She has a self-confidence now that she had lacked.

As a former teacher I'm very happy to see kids succeed IN ALL WALKS of life.

I'm proud of your kids. And, they are blessed that you see and acknowledge just how hard it was for them. xoxo

Impulsive Addict said...

Being a former teacher, I loved reading Dawns status on fb and I loved that you blogged about it. I've always taught the low babies. That's where my heart was. Most of my babies didn't get academic rewards but I made sure they got at least one reward no matter what. And you know what else was sad? The parents were hardly ever present for any school functions. There were years where I wanted to adopt them all and bring them home. But then I remembered that I would go insane so I gave them as much love as I could between 8:00-3:00. I hope this touches as many people as Dawns status--if not more. I love your take on it! xoxo

becca said...

see i'm a bragger not just about my son and all his wonderful accomplishments but also the fact that my nephew for the first time since starting school will NOT be attending summer school and my niece if all goes well will finally be entering 1st grade after attending K for 3yrs. so yes i'm a bragger but I brag about every detail even the fact that They survived another year. o and to all who read this comment I am so excited and thrilled for all your children accomplishments and I would love if you all would give your child a huge hug from me and tell them I'm very proud of them and that this old fat lady is totally doing a happy butt dance to celebrate their awesomeness see


Steph said...

Oh my! I hate the way people are so inconsiderate of others feelings on facebook. Matt and I will be proud of Aubri no matter what she does. But hopefully she inherited his social skills and my brains. If she didn't, we'll love her anyway.

BTW, her biggest accomplishment today was taking a bath without crying. I didn't put it on facebook though. ;)

Crazymamaof6 said...

I totally agree with you. As i sat at the 6th grade graduation for my 12 year old, knowing she wasn't getting any awards, wasn't one of the most popular girls i thought, we did it. Hallelujah. I'd rather she be kind to everyone, and try her best rather than be popular or snotty or an over achiever. She stood up straight, smiled big and rocked her high heels taller than almost everyone there. I'm glad the year is over. Great post.

Shawn said...

Yep, I'm a bragger, I feel that as a Mom it's my job. This is tough for me because I have one that "just finished" and one that "excelled". I think I did a good job of bragging about each of them as individuals as they are both so special is their own way.

I feel bad for those that struggle academically and socially, I truly do but I don't think that my child should not be recognized for her achievements because of those that didn't do as well. She comes home every day and goes straight to her homework, then to 3 hours of softball practice then back home for more homework and studying before bed. She works her tail off for her straight A's and IMO she deserves all of the accolades she gets.

Now, having said that I have another daughter that also comes home and works on her homework, then goes to 2+ hours of tutoring them back home for more homework and studying and doesn't do as well as her sister. That's a very painful thing to watch and we do our very best to award her equally for doing HER best, we never compare and we never treat her as less.

I think I understand what you're getting at as I hope you understand me. I'm proud of those that work hard and achieve the best they are capable of, A or not.

Shawn said...

Hey, I just wrote a long comment....where is it?

There is no way I'm ever going to remember all that I said...crap!

Shawn said...

I"m a bragger, as a Mom I think it's my job.

I see both side to this coin as I have one daughter who tries hard, comes straight home from school works on homework before going to tutoring for 2 hours then comes home for more homework and studying to get low B's and C's. And I have another daughter who comes home form school does her homework, goes to a 3 hour softball practice 2-3 nights a week then home for more homework and studying and has been on the Principals honor roll since the 3rd grade.

Should they be recognized differently? Absolutely as they are TWO DIFFERENT KIDS! One will never have to live in the others shadow. As long as they both do their very best that is all we ever ask for. I tell them both that I am proud of their hard work and dedication and for doing the best they could do. Now if one didn't try, and we all know there are those kids out there, then that's another story all together.

My first comment was better but oh well.

Bottom line, I am proud of both of my girls and will never stop bragging about them! (I know that's not what you were suggesting)

Xazmin said...

I try to brag about my kids, and make fun of them equally on Facebook.

I'm so proud of your boys for making it through this year, and of YOU!!

Ducky said...

Great post...very well written! And I'm not just saying that because I agree. :D I swear.

The school highlights and awards do get old. I can understand being proud and wanting to share for friends/family out of town or something but it should be evenly balanced. I have one fb friend that CONSTANTLY posts "Oh A played so well with his brother today. Isn't he such a great kid?!" or she is seeking approval for her parenting decisions. Its like she HAS to have a ton of people tell her she is doing it right, is a stellar perfect parent and her children are equally as pristine. Drives me nuts.. Obviously since I just left an entire paragraph.

LMBO maybe I need to get a life :D

Kelley @ said...

So true.. so true! I havent experienced this first hand [except the facebook status part.. ya your kid got promoted to second grade.. awesome.] but Im proud of your boys. I know it was a rough year.. and they went and stuck it out. Give them a huge from me! :)

Emmy said...

Awesome post!! Sorry I am so behind in reading.
It is good and we should be proud of our kids for what they do-- but yes we don't have to tell every little amazing thing they do. And yes your boys were amazingly successful as they did it- and they succeeded and your son overcame a lot and fought harder than most will ever have to.

Mrs. Petrie said...

I have a kid that doesn't win awards. She's beautiful and wondrous to us, but she talks too much and has had a hard time with learning to read. I find it very painful to hear other people brag about their kids. I've even ended friendships with people that constantly compare their children to mine. Life is hard enough without having to worry about my kids matching up. I know we're doing the best we can. :)