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When is discussion, boasting?

(16 Posts)
Fuzzled Wed 20-Jul-11 07:24:46

OK, following on from the pushy parents thread, I'm now a bit worried that I am a stealth boaster/outright boaster.
I have no family to ask, and DS is my first.
Ladies (& any lurking gents) please advise me as to how I can ask questions of other mums without it being seen as boasting?

For example, I have said in the past
"DS has almost outgrown his car seat, does anyone have a stage 2 seat and if so, which one?" or
"DS is getting his top teeth just now and Calgel/Calpol doesnt seem to be working, anyone got other products tips that might help?"
Am I boasting, and how could I phrase it better so I don't seem to be pushy/competitive? It may explain why DS is missed out on invitations to play. sad
Of course, I could just be unlikeable, but that's a whole other thread if that's the case!

SleepySuzy Wed 20-Jul-11 07:26:18

Nah not boasty.

Ozziegirly Wed 20-Jul-11 07:41:49

I honestly don't see how anyone could see your comments as boasty.

Maybe if you said "My DS has outgrown his carseat because he will be tall and gorgeous like a model and oh did I mention that several people have said how he should be a model? No, well, they did. Does anyone have a carseat to recommend?"

Or "My DS has his top teeth now. Yes, his top teeth - wow, an early tooth grower, have you heard that early teeth means a guranteed university place? No, well it does."

If you didn't say it like that them I am sure you are fine......

Fuzzled Wed 20-Jul-11 07:43:53

PMSL at the model comment grin

No, I don't say it like that although he obviously will be a supermodel and I never would.

Adair Wed 20-Jul-11 07:47:36

Fuzzled, I too worry about this. I honestly think kids are great so love hearing about all the stuff they do and am amazed daily by everyday stuff - 'look, they wrote lines on the pad like a shopping list... awwwwww'. So I chat about my kids but also talk admiringly about other's too...

I think a lot of it is about other people's insecurities tbh.

Fuzzled Wed 20-Jul-11 08:04:42

Yeah. Probably a lot to do with my insecurities. I was an only child of a mum who (looking back now!) had fairly severe depression which wasn't acknowledged or treated until I was about 8 or 9.
I have no memories of playing with other children (barring my one friend who lived miles away) again until I was older; and sadly only then because they found out about my slide and swing set sad
I just hope my son doesn't end up like me.

Adair Wed 20-Jul-11 08:29:01

Fuzzled sad

That's not what i meant! i meant other people are insecure and so hear 'oh my child needs a stage 2 car-seat unlike your rubbish baby-child' or 'ds is getting his top-teeth now unlike your crappy child with no teeth'. We all get insecure sometimes but i think it is good to remember we are all human, mostly well-intentioned but all say stupid things sometimes too!

Have you been through any therapy? Can help to see how you'd like to be for your son, and how you relate. Also good for seeing strange thinking habits that can be changed. Your son is not you though - he is his own person with strengths and weaknesses.


Fuzzled Wed 20-Jul-11 08:40:09

Yes, I've been to therapy, counselling and CBT.
Trouble is that while I can discuss things rationally, and I know my triggers and the reasons (depressed mum, bullied at school, issues with abusive first boyfriend etc), there has been about 20 years of this learned behaviour, then I met my DH and things changed; but it's only recently that I have been more aware of my issues and trying to deal with them.
But at the bottom, I think my issue is just that I don't think I am a very nice person, and I can't see why people would want to know me so it's kindof self-reinforcing.
I am trying to change so that my son doesn't end up like me but sometimes threads come along and I think "oh hell, I've got it soo wrong again." sad

Adair Wed 20-Jul-11 12:16:00

Oh fuzzled, I can sympathise with the rationalising but not actually feeling it. Am writing a blog where I try and work some of this out - lots about how one little negative thought doesn't make you a bad person.

A tip is to try and think how you would feel if it was someone else who said/did what you did. you'd either not think about it, or think briefly 'what a weird thing to say' or 'i don't agree' but it wouldn't be a huge deal.

You are valuable and important, not least to your son. Maybe start with that. What three things do you like about how YOU are with your son- ignoring what you don't like for now? (eg i like how I am quite silly)
I find even writing simple lists of things I like etc starts to make me understand who I am a bit. But definitely understand where you are coming from...

munstersmum Wed 20-Jul-11 12:27:35

Not boasty. Asking for advice can be a good way to break the ice with other parents.

You say DS has missed out on invitations -
Sometimes mums with 2 or more DCs have already made groups with mums with DC1s of similar age - so they can come across as not so open - doesn't mean they are though!
Keep up giving out the invitations from your side, some mums just don't get round to it (busy lives etc) but doesn't mean they don't appreciate receiving them.

Fuzzled Wed 20-Jul-11 12:36:19

Thank you.

Good advice and I'll definitely check out the blog when DS goes for a hopefully soon nap.

thebeansmum Wed 20-Jul-11 13:08:47

Fuzzled - little story for you, to (hopefully) put boasting in persepective! We were discussing teacher-presents for end of year and the normal stuff was being bandied around, flowers, wine, gift vouchers etc. One Mum said 'Oh, I may as well give Mrs x the full size Moulton Brown gift set that was in our suite on the cruise we've just been on. It was on our balcony by the jacuzzi on arrival, and to be honest, I probably won't bother using it. It wasn't those crappy travel size ones you get either' She's well known for her boasting and we normally just say 'ooh how lovely' and turn away. But that sprang to mind when I read your question! You sound lovely, I'm sure nobody would even consider you to be boasting.

Fuzzled Wed 20-Jul-11 14:16:28

Yeah, okay, definitely wouldn't do that, not least because I get seasick so wouldn't be on a cruise smile

I think it's easier here on MN as I think about what I type; in real life there isn't the delete or cancel button - many a night I've lain awake wishing there was! sad

I am getting better, I've issued invitations today to a group of mums and to an old friend I haven't seen in a while (who accepted within naoseconds, so a nice confidence boost); just it's very hard breaking through the conditioning of adolescent years with the "you're crap, you smell, we hope you die, etc" almost every day.

Thank god for a DH who saw through the bravado and fear.

AMumInScotland Wed 20-Jul-11 14:26:58

Please don't worry about the whole pushy/boastful thing - if you are worried that you might be doing it, then you almost certainly aren't! If you are talking about how your child is doing, and showing an interest in how the other person's child is doing (and not just to compare!) then you'll be coming across fine.

The boastful parents don't ever bother to show an interest in what anyone else's child is doing, expect to top it with a "Level 2?, oh mine's on level 4 now", "Just learning to swim?, oh mine's in the county swim team he's such a natural", etc

If your response is to show an interest and appreciation of other childrens talents and interests, it will always come across nicely.

Sorry to hear you're struggling with social stuff, it must make it feel much harder when you are questioning whether you're doing it all wrong sad for you.

cory Wed 20-Jul-11 19:13:52

I used to worry about the socialising thing; I was very unpopular as a child so terrified I would be setting dcs on the same route. But they are not me, and once they got to a certain age, I am not in charge of their social life: they make friends at school, sometimes they bring them home, but a mum who lurks discretely on MN having provided refreshments is not much of an embarrassment, so really my problems don't matter. And thankfully dcs are totally different from me, very sociable and as far as I can make out genuinely popular.

PinkEmily Wed 20-Jul-11 20:34:49

I read the other thread too and was going to post until I saw the replies! I've really tried to make an effort with my DD to get out to baby groups etc as I'm quite shy and wanted my baby to have contact with other children so she grows up hopefully to be a social little girl.

All of the Mums I've met are lovely, and I'd like to think they are becoming good friends - but we've all started out on the 'my baby is sitting/crawling/eating loads along with the not sleeping/not eating/crying negative stuff too, I just see it as ice breaking chat, I've never tried to boast and never seen other's comments as boasting, we just share experiences, tips and advice. If one says to me 'x is crawling' I would follow it with 'that's wonderful, y isn't quite there yet, still trying'
I suppose when it's written down it seems competitive, but it honestly isn't. Fuzzled, nothing you've said strikes me as boasting, you sound like a lovely new Mum. Carry on with what you're doing and you'll soon meet like-minded others.

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