STFU Parents: ‘My Kid Is Awesome’
In today’s excellence-driven kid culture, it should come as no surprise that some parents like to brag about their kids on Facebook. Unlike some of the more questionable and disgusting things I’ve mentioned that parents post, these braggart updates tend to exist in more of a gray area. Parents have been bragging about their kids since the beginning of time (or at least in recent centuries), and technically there’s nothing wrong with parents giving shout outs to their kids for their achievements. I usually love hearing about my friends’ children hitting certain milestones, and it can be heartwarming to hear that a kid who was once just a little baby is now excelling in a sport or a foreign language. To a point.
The problem is many of the status updates parents write seem to more about patting themselves on the back than their kids (whose backs I presume they pat at home, away from the computer). They’re eager – sometimes hyper-eager – to compare their kids to others or express that their kids are somehow more adorable, intelligent, funny, sophisticated and emotionally mature than, well, anyone else’s kids. And while that’s all well and good, because I understand that it’s just in some people’s DNA to brag, this sharing tendency comes off as silly at best and epically obnoxious at worst.
About a year ago I started receiving so many of these types of submissions that I created a folder called “My Kid Is Awesome,” and today I want to share some of those entries with you. If you can hear yourself in any of these updates, you may want to step away from your kid’s trophy wall and come down off your pedestal, because not everyone thinks your kids are as cute and smart as you do.
1. Airplane Behavior
There’s no question that I’d rather hear a little girl sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” than scream at the top of her lungs about wanting to eat chicken fingers on a flight, but I have to say that Megan’s update made me twitchy. None of the things her children did sound amusing to me, and I don’t think I’m alone when I say that on I really prefer silence on a plane. Of course, when kids are aboard I don’t expect pure silence, but I also don’t anticipate being serenaded by songs, colors, God, or sleepover invitations. Don’t get me wrong, if the kid behind me asked to have a sleepover I’d be a “very nice lady” too. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still be counting down the minutes to getting back on land (and away from Megan’s kids).
2. “Informed” Opinions
I love NPR, and I love hearing that small children are being exposed to quality broadcasting, but who is Lisa fooling with this update? Ava learned that NPR is “honest” from her mother the same way she’s learned everything else. Adorable, perhaps, but intelligent? I’m not sold.
Cara’s update was pretty harmless, but by posting about her toddler’s ability to differentiate colors she inadvertently invited the mompetition to share all of their children’s abilities, as well. I’m surprised no one chimed in to say that her toddler can count to 40, recite his ABCs, read ancient Aramaic and rebuild a Ducati engine.
4. Extreme Intelligence
Yo, Julie, it’s “gets bored easily.” And trust me, your baby is no different from anyone else’s, all the way down to the fact that his mom thinks he’s the smartest kid in the room. Treating him like a genius now will probably lead to disappointment later.
5. Refined Palates
The “refined palate” argument is one that’s been dissected for years. Fancy restaurants have fancy kids’ menus, coffeehouses have “babyccinos,” and eight-year-olds prefer to eat sushi for lunch. Gag me. I’ve no problem with kids eating healthy, but bragging about your kid’s love of sushi and “insistence” on having black olives on his pizza just makes me think you’re raising an overly precocious know-it-all. Thankfully, the person who submitted this update keeps his/her Facebook settings on Pirate Speak. I needed a side of comic relief with my sushi and olives.