"But my son is a math genius" exclaims at the playground a mother of a child who still does not go to school. "And your daughter, is she already reading?" she continues another, referring to the four-year-old girl. "My already reads whole sentences!".
We are all a bit hammered by the achievements of these perfect little children, by advertising but also by the videos that Facebook or YouTube offers us, not to mention the neighborhood chatter between mothers. Who has not been faced with the skit of two mothers talking to each other saying: "Look how good my daughter is at math." "Mine, on the other hand, can count up to 100!". And maybe he even felt a little diminished.
In today's society, it is a constant comparison of one's own children with those of others. And brag with phrases like, "Oh, my son slept all night and never woke up" or "My son never had a tantrum."7 PHOTOS
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Boast as a cultural factor
Now this boasting of their children has become a cultural factor, explains University of Pennsylvania sociologist Anette Lareau, PhD. And it also goes against a healthy and just idea of modesty and respect for others.
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Lareau is a scholar of the habits and habits of parents today and argues that mothers and fathers of this millennium, especially those of the middle class, see their parenting as a "parenting project", something to be planned and regulated.
"In a sense, the expectation that is formed in parents for something their child does is even stronger than that of the child himself," continues Laureau. "And the whole thing becomes something very competitive. In practice, we are left worse off by the parent for the loss of the child's soccer game than the son himself. Who enjoyed himself anyway, because he played with his friends.
Focus on the child, not the results
It is important to focus on your child as a whole. And not just on his results. This is explained by psychiatrist Alvin Rosenfeld, co-author of the book "The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap".
"Many focus on their child's accomplishments and not on the child as an individual," Rosenfeld continues."The problem is, when children are evaluated only for their achievements, they live only to satisfy the fantasies of their parents and not for who they are as individuals."
How to deal with a parent who brags?
But what to do then when you are in front of a parent like that? Can a "Wow, great" fit?
As mom Hilarie Atkisson, of Alameda, California, explains, her strategy is to respond with a "Wow that's great". That's all. By avoiding comparing her own child with that of the other mother, she behaves in a way that she hopes her son will adopt too.
Furthermore, it relativizes everything. "I know that anyone who goes to school and has an education will sooner or later learn to read and write. It doesn't matter if he reaches this milestone when he's four, five or six."
What can a parent do then? The answer, in 4 points.
- Model your behavior also based on what you want your children to develop. "If they see you and hear you praise them, they will learn it from you. And they will try to imitate you"explains Alvin Rosenfeld.
- Remember the basics of etiquette. Don't brag too much. Remember that you don't know who you are up against and what battles that family is facing. You may be bragging about your child's physical abilities in front of a mom with a disabled child.
- Focus on who your children are as a person rather than on their last vote. "We rarely hear a parent say 'He's such a good boy, with such a big heart,'" says Rosenfeld.
- Avoid talking about successes of your child and their talents along with other parents, grandparents, aunts and relatives. Only you know how much your child is the best and most talented child on earth.
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