How do I handle those "bragging" mothers? They have to compare EVERYTHING their kid does to your kid. They go on and on about how high their kid(s) can count and blah blah blah. Even though my son can do the same or MORE, I'm not about to get into a "who's kid is smarter" match. So annoying

What do I do when these mothers start comparing? Mind you, I can't just walk away b/c we are all sitting watching our kids do an activity for an hour so we're kinda stuck in one place.


asked 19 Dec '10, 05:12

Jo's gravatar image

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+1 Great question, and I absolutely agree with your "not about to get into a who s kid is smarter match"

(19 Dec '10, 07:45) Emi

Some fathers I know have the same problem.

(20 Dec '10, 14:04) Anne

I never realized how much people discuss their children's "stats" until I had one of my own. It's a constant series of comparisons in terms of demeanor, talking, walking, vocabulary, counting, dressing, potty training, and physical confidence. And I don't like to join in because it feels like throwing my 2-year-old into some competition that she never asked to be a part of.

But one of the things I've noticed is that if I say nothing during these inevitable conversations, I feel worse. I think it's because by not participating, you end up isolating yourself from the group. So I try to figure out creative ways to join in the talk while still remaining true to my personal feelings about all this nonsense.

  1. I'm happy to be impressed with other kids milestones and will express some admiration at whatever quality it is they possess
  2. I may bring up something about my child that is very unusual and funny hard to compare against: "My daughter demands to sing her own songs when we put her to bed. What does that mean??"
  3. If, for whatever reason, I still feel uncomfortable, I try to remind myself that my daughter is still observing me during these interactions and that I need to model a positive behavior for her so that she'll feel comfortable when she has to endure this one day.

answered 19 Dec '10, 23:08

blue's gravatar image

accept rate: 26%

edited 20 Dec '10, 00:26

+1 Nice answer, I agree with why you don't want to join in, and feel strongly that if children are to be the topic of conversation in such an environment then it should be the children "themselves" and not their achievements and performances that are discussed.

(20 Dec '10, 07:22) Emi

+1 this exactly. Sometimes if people go on about how many classes and activities their kids do, I ask, "when do they play"? (Is that a line right out of Sound of Music or what?) Or I will brag about how happy and fun my kid is and stay out of the whole "stats" comparison.

(20 Dec '10, 14:06) Anne

+1, I say, "Really, that's Great!" a lot, and remember doing it a lot when my older boys were younger too. I also completely agree with your 3rd point about modeling positive behavior, it's kinda hard to give your kid heck for bragging when you've spent the last hour bragging about them!

(20 Dec '10, 15:34) Neen

How old is your son? the reason I ask is because chances are you may always have "those type of mothers" around in Primary school too and so on.

So I guess my advice would be to just do your utmost best to ignore them. It seems pretty obvious to me that you are on another level to these ladies, however if your son is friends with any of their children, you may want to remain neutral to avoid any friction, with regard to play dates, or birthday parties, that could be scheduled in the future.

If it is just for short periods you could just feign interest but making the "ahh , ohh, hmm" sounds every once in a while and never letting yourself get caught in a dialog. If you are asked a question directly and you prefer not to answer, just escape with "hmmm, I'm not too sure actually" For longer spells, I guess greater amounts of patience would be necessary, and a cell phone that you can fiddle around with. (B.Berrys Iphones etc could be spot on)

Just as an added note, my own personal conclusion regarding "bragging mothers" is that when in a group their competitiveness flares up more, and they feel more compelled to brag and boast, and yet when alone the same ladies can sometimes seem more relaxed and normal (ish).


answered 19 Dec '10, 20:26

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

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Asked: 19 Dec '10, 05:12

Seen: 2,225 times

Last updated: 25 Dec '10, 10:01