I tell my DC that they are the best. Is that wrong?

(23 Posts)
mymoonandstars Fri 13-Jun-14 22:36:20

I am having a difference of opinion with my mum who thinks its better to drum into my DC (and to me, still, whenever I do well at something I tried really hard at) that I/we are not better than anyone else. I remember as a small child going to bed, her parting words were always, remember you are not better than anyone else.

I get what she was trying to do but honestly, that whole attitude has left me with a legacy of self doubt. Along with her regular put downs and underminings I am lucky I have any self worth left tbh.

So I tell my DC they are the best. They are the kindest, cuddliest, loveliest and the greatest in the world and can do anything, as long as they work at it. DM told me today that I was inflating their egos and they would think they were better than everyone else. But to me, they are! And I'm sure every parent thinks that their kids are the best and why not, thats great because someone believes they are.

Am I doing this wrong?

morefalafel Fri 13-Jun-14 22:41:13

I think confidence comes from having someone believe in you, and you are not wrong to let your kids know that you think they are special.

Sounds like you didn't have that. And still don't. thanks

HygieneFreak Fri 13-Jun-14 22:47:40

My mother but me down at every opportunity

She has never, to this day told me that she loves me.

I tell my dd whos 20 months that i love her every dad and that shes mummys special girl.

Too right i will be telling her shes fabulous etc as she grows up

wonderstuff Fri 13-Jun-14 22:48:03

I tell my kids they're great, my favourite people in the world. My mum told me that and knowing she and my dad thought I was brilliant no matter what got me through some tough times.

Spinaroo Fri 13-Jun-14 22:52:26

I tell m

Spinaroo Fri 13-Jun-14 22:53:39

Agh, sorry! I tell mine they are great but not the best- I think it is important as they become older that they realise it is not a competition, they don't have to be the best.

mymoonandstars Fri 13-Jun-14 22:56:14

I'm sorry to hear that HygieneFreak. You are right, Morefalafal, I dont think I ever felt I was special at all.

She said today, you mustn't let them think they are better than anyone else. And I said why not? To ME they are better than anyone else on earth.

Dont get me wrong, I am not all smug and in peoples faces about having amazing kids. I just mean that someone has to think you are the best. And that person should be your Mum, surely?

I think there are different kinds of telling DC they are the 'best', for example 'loveliest' and 'cuddliest' are light hearted and immeasurable and obviously an expression of a parents love rather than the objective cuddle factor of the child! Even very small children will realise this, in my experience. On the other hand, I think telling them that they are, for example, the 'smartest', 'fastest', 'best in the world at football/reading/dancing/etc' is different because IMO that is just setting them up for a fall when they get beaten at something - but that doesn't sound like what you are doing.

But anyway, just read your post back to yourself - it sounds like your Mum's words were actually quite damaging to you and so she is not someone you should be taking advice on this matter from - you wouldn't want your DC saying the same things you say about your mum about you in 20 years time. Your approach sounds fine, just do your best and trust your instincts.

PortofinoRevisited Fri 13-Jun-14 22:57:30

i tell my dd that i love her daily. i praise her achievements whatever they may be.

Ilovecake80 Fri 13-Jun-14 23:02:05

I always tell my son he's the best, cutest, amazing etc and that I love him, he's says it back to which is really cute. I think it's all about giving them confidence and I always try to give praise whenever possible even playing. Your mum is wrong, you carry on telling your children they are the best because they are.

TheMasterNotMargarita Fri 13-Jun-14 23:03:04

I think you need a balance. I tell DD that she is wonderful and do specifics i.e. you were very kind when you did x or I love you working out a problem.
I think 'best' is a tricky one because inevitably you cannot be best at everything.
I explain it to her as she is everything to me and the most special girl in the world to me and DH but that her class is full of children who are most special to their families and that is how it should be.
Semantics really but I think its important for them to to realise they are cherished without the pressure to be the best all the time.

MrsRuffdiamond Fri 13-Jun-14 23:05:04

You are doing the right thing!

What you're giving your dc is confidence in themselves. That's completely different to arrogance, and absolutely essential to their emotional well-being!

I have read that the difference between arrogance and confidence is empathy. By making your children feel secure and loved and comfortable with themselves, they are likely to relate to others in the same way, and you are likely to achieve the opposite outcome to the one your dm seems to fear.

QTPie Fri 13-Jun-14 23:06:08

I am like Portofino: I am always telling DS that I love him and always praising his achievements - helping him to believe in himself, grow in confidence and take enjoyment in achieving.

When he doesn't always win (or whatever), I just say that he can't always win and next time he has to try harder. But I do always praise for what we has actually achieved.

QTPie Fri 13-Jun-14 23:08:51

I also point out other children achieving too. Like "look at that girl over there. Isn't she swimming really really well. Look at her kicking and making big arms. If you work really really hard, you can swim as well as her".

mymoonandstars Fri 13-Jun-14 23:20:41

Pregnantberry, I agree about not making Best a measurable thing - when I say best, I dont not mean as in 'The best * insert competitive thing here *'. I think I usually say the best boy/girl in the world which of course everyone is!

I also do point out other childrens good behaviour and praise them too ie 'Didnt xxx do some great sharing' or 'xxx read that really well, she must have done lots of good practising!' etc, and like QTPie I praise the effort.

mymoonandstars Fri 13-Jun-14 23:23:36

Because I have done everything the opposite way to DM, I just don't think she understands it.

She told me the old chestnut of spoiling them when they were babies by cuddling them too much. hmm

QTPie Fri 13-Jun-14 23:32:37

You can NEVER EVER cuddle too much!!!

Personally I make the most if every single cuddle smile

morefalafel Fri 13-Jun-14 23:34:48

Don't worry at all. Your approach sounds great and of course you cannot spoil a child with love. Just carry on as you are, ignore your mum smile

salonmeblowy Fri 13-Jun-14 23:39:03

I think you are doing everything right and your children are lucky to have you.

I was raised by a mother who lavished praise on me at every opportunity, deserved or otherwise. I grew up feeling loved, with a very solid self esteem and good mental health. Even though I realised long ago that I was her PFB and she saw me through rose-titnted glasses, it was still a great way to grow up and I am grateful to DM for making me feel very loved to this day.

It goes without saying that three year old DS hears every day that he is the smartest, most beautiful, best boy in the world. 'The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice' (Peggy O'Mara)

Vijac Fri 13-Jun-14 23:52:32

I'm definitely much more in your camp than your mother's (who sounds crazy). However, I tend to stick with I love you, you are lovely, sweet, kind etc. Or descriptive praise-'that is a great drawing, good work'. Rather than bringing other people into it. Great to have self worth but doesn't need to be because you think you are intrinsically better other people iyswim.

cosikitty Fri 13-Jun-14 23:55:03

Telling your kids you love them more than anything else is fine. Telling them they are the best "ballerina" "footballer" "top of their class in maths" etc isn't going to do them any favours.
.

TortoiseUpATreeAgain Sat 14-Jun-14 00:02:48

There's a middle path. I tell my DCs that they are "my best boy", "my best big girl", "my best little girl". I tell them when they have worked really hard on something or been kind or thoughtful, or if they've asked a really good question, or they've produced an interesting picture, or even if they've controlled their temper and only had a little huff when I could tell that they reayy really wanted to have an enormous tantrum. I comment on specific stuff that they are good at. We have lots of cuddles (make the most of it while they still want to be associated with us...). But I don't generally tell them that they are objectively the best. DH tells them that they are the wriggliest occasionally, if that helps...

But drumming into a child every night "remember you are not better than anyone else" is just weird and a bit toxic.

LittleLionMansMummy Sat 14-Jun-14 06:48:16

My dad had a bit of a fixation with achievement which has meant I've felt his expectations weighing on me heavily as I've grown up, fearing failure. While it's meant I have achieved well I have resolved to encourage my ds to do what he enjoys and is good at. I don't care what he does just as long as he has a genuine passion for something. I want him to know that he'll always be the best in my eyes but that doesn't equate to achievement but qualities I admire. He's my best boy and I tell him that regularly. I'm afraid I'm going to be one of those mothers teenagers find insufferable as I have no shame telling him all the time how much I love him!

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