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For Mothers

For Mothers: Good boasting and bad boasting

When we celebrate as mothers, do we celebrate for others or for ourselves?

In the last post I wrote about respecting our children. I think that boasting can show an incredible amount of respect — or disrespect — to our children, depending upon our motives.

There is good boasting and bad boasting and which boasting we allocate to good and bad depends upon our motive. Why are we boasting? Is it to celebrate with others and to lift up them? Is it to share our hearts and demonstrate our joy in our child(ten)? 

Or is it to build up ourselves?

Good boasting is other-centred. Bad boasting is self-centred.

Good boasting

It celebrates our child, our joy in our child, our hope in our society today. It encourages other parents to “give their all” or to “hang in there” by sharing good stuff about our kids.

Good boasting gives hope to others.

Bad boasting

It is designed to lift up our own egos at our friends’, family’s or even our child’s expense. 

If we are wounded and use our child’s success to lift our own status or to curb our own shame, this is not good for us, not for our relationship with others, including our children; it’s just not good for anyone.

There are good remedies to shame but boasting is not a good remedy.

Wounded hearts

We all have good times and bad, good experiences and bad, joys, sorrows and disappointments. But to heal our hearts we need to process, forgive and move on. Using a child’s successes to boost our own low self esteem is not right, not healthy, not good. Instead, we need to heal. 

Celebrating success is fantastic! It is almost as fantastic as the success itself.

But if we put our child’s success in the limelight for ourselves, it speaks to the child of achievement being important over character. It pushes them forward when they may not want to be pushed forward. It takes away from them the joy of their own personal victory and puts the limelight on ourselves. It even can suggest to them that our love for them is based on their achievement, what they do rather than who they are as unique individuals.

Examine ourselves

Not all boasting is good and not all boasting is bad. We need to examine ourselves to check why we are sharing our child’s achievements.

The why we are boasting will point to us to whether we should be doing it or we should stop.

Let’s not be ashamed of our children nor put too much pressure on them to succeed. Instead, let us share the joy we have in them to them, not so much to others. And when we do share with others, let’s make sure our child won’t be too embarrassed and that we are not doing it for our own sake.

Love the child, not his/her success. Love the child, and there will be no shame at his/her shortcomings. Love the child and our neighbour, so that when our child succeeds we can share in a healthy way to give everyone a boost!