The other day I was with my family at a lifecycle event and my sister and I spoke with a distant cousin. She proudly explained the many achievements of her daughters and it was adorable. I was telling the story to someone else yesterday and she asked if it had bothered me that the cousin was bragging.
When I stopped to think about it, I realized the answer was no…and the reason I wasn’t bothered tied into a lesson I’ve been trying to teach my kids lately.
My daughter is really into various board games and my son is just starting to learn how to play, so I spend a fair amount of time playing Monopoly and Trouble and Dog Dice. And one thing I constantly say to them is that it’s fine to say “Yay, I won!” but it’s absolutely not fine to say “Ha ha, you lose!”
There’s a fundamental difference between being proud that you won and bragging that someone else lost. Similarly, there’s a difference between being a proud mama talking about your kids and bragging that your kids are better than someone else’s.
Saying “Yay, I’m so excited my daughter is [X]!” is great but it’s not so great when it’s “Oh, your daughter is doing [Y]? Well, my daughter is doing [Z]. So there.”
Thus, I wasn’t at all bothered by my cousin, who wasn’t comparing my or my sister’s achievements to those of her daughters, just telling us proudly what her daughters had achieved. And really, who could blame her? They are pretty impressive achievements 🙂
Once again, I’m reminded that Robert Fulghum was right and everything we need to know about living a good life, we learned as little kids.