Does your child brag and you want it to stop?

Bragging is one way to deal with feeling Proud, but potentially bragging can get you into trouble.  There is a fine line between bragging and just telling someone how you feel about your accomplishments.  So, how do we teach our children to deal with feeling proud, without being arrogant, bigheaded, conceited or a show off?

My proudest accomplishment in my life is the creation of my family, from marrying a man I not only love, but respect in every way possible.  And to top it all off we have two awesome children together.  Plus, I’ve been blessed with a career that has touched children and families and enriched my life beyond belief.

So, all that being said, how do any of us deal with expressing our pride with humility and grace?

I think the first place to start is to teach our children to be proud of themselves.  As parents we are proud of our kids and therefore tell them how proud we are of them on a regular basis.  But, just as important as affirmation is helping them learn to take ownership of their pride by telling them, “Be proud of yourself!”  This simple statement helps them learn what they can do for themselves when they did a great job, rather than just doing good deeds to be noticed by others.

Then once children understand their own pride, teach them how to express it inside and out.  Standing tall and smiling are great ways to express this feeling.  You can say something like this, “Always start telling someone you’re proud with a whisper and then watch for a smile from the person you told about your pride.  Then you two can celebrate together by laughing, clapping & jumping up & down, especially if you’re outside”!

Parents, try to watch for appropriate ways other children express their pride and point that out for your child.  Tell them you’ll be watching them to see how and when they show their own pride in an appropriate manner!  This way they’ll learn their own special way of feeling proud.

Remember to feel your own sense of pride and pass that along to your kids, Dr. Ann