Sunday, March 25, 2012

Compliments

I have always had a problem taking compliments. I'm working on it, because it's actually prideful to not accept a compliment graciously. But here's what I need to work on more - accepting compliments for my kids. I started thinking of this today after talking with a friend whose daughter is classmates with my daughter. Her daughter is very bright and is much more advanced than most kids in the class. And as we talked, I realized she wasn't being boastful. I realized there is nothing wrong with saying great things about your kid. Because just saying how great they are doesn't mean you're saying they're better than someone else. See, I never wanted to be the mom who seemed like I thought my kids were better than anyone else. I've always taught my kids to treat other people not just like they are as important as you but that they are even more important than you. But, in doing so, I have not been doing them justice. By not wanting to brag about them, I forget to boast about them. You know those moms. You say "I'm so happy Billy got an A on his Math test." And she says, "Oh, my Johnny only brings home A pluses!" Or you tell her how proud you are that your Hannah won the lead in the school play and she says that her Taylor had the lead role three years running but decided she would take a break from acting this year. That's probably why I admired the way this mom spoke of her daughter. She wasn't like "Oh, yeah, Sally is just too smart for first grade." I didn't feel like she was comparing our children nor did I get the feeling that my child was inadequate next to hers. I think that happens a lot when you're a mom. You tend to compare yourself and your kids to other people. Oh, her minivan is way better than mine, her house is bigger, her kid crawled/walked/talked/pooped on the potty sooner than mine. I guess I just never wanted to seem like I was trying to one-up anyone. But, by doing that, am I telling my kids that I'm not proud of them and their accomplishments? Is my attempt to be humble too much? I don't know. How do you know when your pride becomes prideful? I do think I say great things about my kids. I know how important it is for kids to overhear you talking about them in a good way. I do hope I tell them enough how great they are. They are smart and funny and kind and considerate and loving and honest and courteous and beautiful.

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