Friday, May 7, 2010

Let them crow!

We don't allow our kids to crow.  The boasting child makes people cringe, probably because a boasting adult makes people cringe.  Class, please turn to page 1 of most pediatric testbooks.  First sentence...

Children are not little adults.

Pediatricians have this axiom tattooed on their foreheads in invisible ink (black lights bring it out- that's why I haven't gone clubbing in some time.  Clearly the only reason), but I hear crazy things from adults all the time that showcases misunderstanding of this point.  The list includes:

  • expecting younger kids to be able to sit for long periods of time without creating a disaster than can be visualized from outer space.
  • Telling a child once that the fill-in-the-blank behavior is expected...and actually believing that a Borg-like assimilation of said behavior happens immediately.
  • Looking at a big-for-his-age child and expecting big-for-his-age behavior.
  • Seeing a baby in pink and saying, "Isn't he cute?"  (ok, that's a different point, but it's still silly).
  • Hoping that "rub some dirt on it" will cure all aches and pains.
Back to crowing.  Every now and then, at routine check-ups, kids will relate their accomplishments to me.  Came in 2nd at the state swimming meet.  First in the nation in an engineering competition.  Just got his helicopter pilot's license.

I LOVE hearing about that stuff.  BRAG away.

I  don't always get to hear about the good stuff, so hearing good news makes me smile.  Unfortunately, the child's parent often says (sounding a bit embarrassed) "Oh, Johnny, don't brag."  Why not?  There's plenty of opportunity to teach your child about the social mores of discussing one's victories.  Allow kids to feel good about themselves - the development of self-worth depends on it.


  1. Judi Chafetz-SulfaroMay 7, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    I so agree with you here, Brian. There is a fine line between bragging and sharing, isn't there? I want to know the kids' accomplishments. They're proud of themselves. Why is it bragging to tell how well they did? It's not as if they borrowed the P.A. system at the local grocer to announce their news of the day. From this Nana's perspective, I just wait to hear those words "Nana, do ya know what "I" did?"

  2. I love that they feel like they CAN tell you.


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