Facebook has made it so, so much easier to brag about your kids because you don’t have to listen to yourself. You just throw up the photo of the offspring hoisting the trophy and bask in the pixelated glow, unabashed.
But the real bragging, authentic bragging, bragging that means anything is done face-to-face, where you can see the lights dim in the other parent’s eyes as he reflects on his own child’s more meager accomplishments. That’s the kind of bragging I’m talking about.
It’s been my experience that most parental bragging falls into categories or styles. Most parents will move between the different styles of brag depending on the situation and audience, but usually have a “standby” or “base” style of telling everyone how awesome their kid is.
A default technique popular here in the South because of the veneer of courtesy. Lead with a question. Then pounce. “How did Betsy do in the crochet competition?” Then, BOOM.
Lead with a joke or some self-deprecating nugget before getting down to the real business of bragging. “I knew she sold the most cookies in the county, but leveraging that to start a hedge fund? I didn’t start my first hedge fund till sophomore year!”
Head Shaking Shame Brags
This brag usually starts with a feigned look of concern regarding the high achieving child. “Sally needs more balance. I told her she shouldn’t donate blood and teach SAT prep classes in Spanish at the same time.”
Bald Faced Boasts
My personal favorite. I respect the guy that has his kid’s resume printed up as a t-shirt. A guy who dispenses with the usual sideline smalltalk and launches right into a summary oration of Junior’s latest triumphs.
Me personally, I use them all. Why? Because, to be perfectly honest, I’m the best. Not to brag or anything.
Which one are you?